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DNA of a Partner – white paper for Hays

About this project

This white paper for recruiter Hays was based on quantitative and qualitative research with partners in accountancy firms. It focused on the backgrounds and personal attributes of people who had made partner in accountancy firms in order to advise and inspire upcoming accountants who are plotting their own career paths. It was used as a big part of Hays' marketing to clients in practice.


We live in a world where job titles are becoming ever more convoluted, yet increasingly trivial. In the context of professional services however, the simple term ‘partner’ continues to retain its mystique.

A wealth of authority, entrepreneurialism, expertise, knowledge, leadership, prestige, talent and trust is conjured up by just two syllables. That’s why being a partner in an accountancy firm means as much today as it ever has – if not more.

But while we all recognise that making partner is a badge
of achievement, partnerships can often seem impenetrable to new entrants to the profession. What are the skills and personal characteristics that aspiring partners need to have? How can they plan their route to the top? What are the pressures and challenges that they will encounter once they get there? These are all questions that we answer in this report, which explores the DNA of a partner.


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