This week I was at our Xerocon London conference with over 1,400 customers, partners and technology enthusiasts. It’s pretty much the TED conference for Accounting, Business Advisory and Bookkeepers.
One of the most beautiful experiences I had while there was with the free cab trips we provided to guests. This was a great idea and brilliantly executed. The cabs were free to anyone that wanted a lift between the hotel and the exposition hall. Free and convenient is always nice. However, the best part was the brief ‘Xero hangouts’ that took place when four or five smart, interesting people – who didn’t know each other – jumped inside the cab and started sharing creative ideas.
My first Xero cab trip
My first trip was with four other people I had never met. One accountant was on the phone as we jumped in. When he finished the call he explained that he had been talking with a business client that is about 36 hours away from buying a larger competitor to expand his business. Someone commented “We do this type of advising too. Has this business owner ever purchased another company before?” This sparked a fun exchange of ideas and war stories.
It turned out the all five of us in the cab had helped business owners through their “sleepless nights and white-knuckle” experiences. As we arrived at the venue, one person asked if the acquisition would create or eliminate jobs. The guy answered “it will create 120 new jobs in the next 18 months if we get it right with the financing, technology and people they need to hire.”
One cab ride, 6,000 new jobs
On a subsequent trip, the topic of job creation and finding talented young people came up. It turns out that nearly all of the employers at the conference have found that adopting Xero for their firm has quickly led to more clients and a greater need for team members skilled with cloud technologies. This explosive growth has been so strong that many of the firms are forced to hold back on taking on new clients until they can add more people skilled and certified on Xero.
We decided to estimate how many jobs would result as a consequence of this meeting. Since this was a meeting of accountants, we decided that only an Excel spreadsheet model would do and a napkin just wouldn’t be accurate enough. So, we built an estimation model that showed that this conference would lead to 6,000 new jobs in the next 12 to 15 months.
The path to hiring new talent
You might say “6,000 is a great number. But how will Xerocon really lead to people accepting new positions? How will Xero solve the supply problem?” Fair questions. As we often do, we quickly huddled with Rod, Andy and a couple Xero Partners. Incidentally, these partners had just raised the same issue in our Xero Partner Advisor Committee meeting. After just a few minutes, we had a game plan. A few hours later, Rod and Andy shared in the town hall session our plans to deliver the talent requested by Xero partners and accounting profession.
Xeros loves a challenge, and matching young people with open positions is a fantastic opportunity. We also have the advantage of dozens of university relationships, a brilliant education team, fantastic marketers and passionate and innovative advisors and partners.
Before you go, please use the next 60 seconds to share your thoughts on the opportunity to help connect young job seekers with Accounting, Bookkeeping and Advisory firms. Share one quick idea that we should consider or leave a quick note of advice. Your idea, and the 60 seconds it takes to write it, may be the key to creating way more than jobs.