In Pursuit of Profit
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When looking to hire management-level financial roles, it is crucial to understand the current recruiting trends that will affect your ability to hire the right candidates. So, what are we seeing so far this year?
Today’s employment market is like nothing we have seen before. Accounting and finance professionals continue to be in high demand despite unemployment figures being up in other professions, but recruiting has changed significantly over the last year. Effective recruiting right now hinges on utilizing digital tools, reimagining job requirements, prioritizing career growth, providing the right employment incentives, fostering a positive workplace culture, and utilizing a professional recruiting firm
Hiring is happening faster now because screening, interviewing, testing, and onboarding have all gone virtual, allowing organizations to streamline bringing in new employees. Organizations that have not fully integrated with digital recruitment tools will miss out on qualified candidates that competitors are scooping up.
Reevaluating Job Requirements
Relevant job experience is no longer the only important qualification when hiring. Skillsets and familiarity with key software platforms and applications are becoming just as desirable. CPA Practice Advisor advises,
If you’re looking to add to your remote teams, new recruits should be tech savvy and capable of learning new systems with little or no in-person training. They need to be able to work with cloud-based systems, understand IT security protocols and be comfortable using digital communication tools… However, while it’s easy to be dazzled by the new and exciting world of remote working, keep in mind that collaborative platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams are much easier to master than specialized accounting software. Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks (for smaller businesses), enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and similar applications remain the gold standards, and you should assess candidates’ resumes accordingly.
Additionally, while financial roles used to be viewed solely through the lends of financial acumen, accountants and finance professionals are no longer just “numbers people.” They must also be able to collaborate, communicate effectively, demonstrate critical thinking, and innovate to solve problems. These softer skills are just as critical in today’s rapidly changing environment.
Emphasizing Career Growth
Job seekers are looking at what kinds of professional growth opportunities will be available to them (in the way of leadership tracks, new software implementation, ambitious growth initiatives, and experience in niche industries), not just the salary being offered.
An Accounting Today article explains, “Paying top dollar won’t be enough by itself to secure the talent you need. Offering project-based contract work that provides opportunities for professional growth and development can significantly expand your prospect pool.” In fact, more contract work is being offered than ever before – everything from project accountants to fractional CFOs. Many job seekers are receptive to this type of work if it will enhance their resumes to help fast track their careers.
Offering the Right Incentives
In addition to career growth opportunities, prospective employees are looking for the right overall employment package. Workplace incentives are the intangibles that can tip the scales when a candidate is evaluating multiple offers.
Employees at all levels now expect flexibility from their employers in the way of permanent remote work options and scheduling that accommodates personal needs. “Work-life balance” is no longer a buzz word – it is a requirement for many job searchers. Candidates will give preference to a company that promises to respect their time.
Health and wellness programs also remain important among prospective employees because they demonstrate the employer’s commitment to caring for employees with a holistic perspective. Furthermore, these initiatives also provide a sense of job stability for employees because they decrease the likelihood that employees will miss work due to illness or injury.
Prioritizing Workplace Culture
Workplace culture is also more important than ever before. Candidates want to work someplace that matches their values and beliefs. Employers are expected to have a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion (D&I), valuing input and contributions from all employees.
And while these larger-scale efforts are critical, employers must not lose sight of individualized focus as well. Candidates do not want to work in roles where they will be overworked or undervalued, making these a top culture priority for employers. Keeping employee morale high, as well as employees satisfied in their roles and respected for the work that they do is integral in recruiting top talent.
Using a Recruiter
Recruiters are more adept at hiring for specialized accounting and financial roles than the average HR team, which is why many companies prefer to use them over managing recruitment for financial roles in-house. This has been a trend in talent acquisition for some time but is becoming even more pronounced as the hiring landscape gets more competitive.
Furthermore, professional recruiters provide a personal touch that recruiting software simply cannot. Unlike an algorithm that uses an equation to match a job seeker with an employment opportunity, a recruiter will work with the employer to genuinely understand their unique needs and desires for the position to find someone who will flourish in the role.
Recruiters also have proven tactics for finding the most qualified candidates for more specialized roles. For instance, the most successful recruiters go after passive job seekers (those that are not actively looking but would be open to better opportunities) as well as current candidate pools. To do so requires tapping into professional networks, not just going through regular channels like LinkedIn and job posting boards, which requires the kind of time and resources that only professional recruiters have.
Contingent recruiting provides a way for companies to get the right candidate in the door quickly instead of languishing in the search process. Contact us today for your finance and accounting recruiting needs.