In Pursuit of Profit
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There is skepticism around whether special skills are required to recruit well, how much experience plays a part in the process, and if the benefit justifies the cost.
We understand that it’s hard to pay someone to do something for your organization that technically you can do yourself, especially when cash is tight (or the economy feels uncertain). However, it helps to think of it in the context of any other skilled service provider. When you need electrical work done, do you do it yourself, or do you hire an electrician? This kind of analogy helps to frame the discussion around recruiting because a business owner or executive can hire staff, but should they? Probably not. Recruiters have both the technical skills and soft skills needed to find candidates that are not available to individual hiring managers and properly vet them for the role to give them the best chance at success.
Recruiting is best left to the professionals for the following reasons:
Time is a top consideration when deciding whether to handle hiring yourself or utilize a recruiter to find someone for your open role. According to SHRM, the average time to hire in 2023 across all industries was 24-58 days, with professional and business services averaging 25-66 days depending on the role. Utilizing a recruiting company can shorten the time to hire significantly, which is important because the longer hiring takes, the more it costs a company in terms of lost productivity.
According to recent recruitment figures, the average cost of a vacant seat is $98/day. So, doing the math on an average hiring time of 25-66 at an average cost of $98/day, that makes the approximate cost of an open accounting position approximately $2,500-$6,500. When this is coupled with needing to contract out accounting services to a third party in the interim while searching for the right candidate to hire, the cost can quickly climb even further. For this reason, it’s easy to see why companies choose to let a recruiter handle their hiring based on this on this consideration alone.
Using a recruiter also gives you access to passive candidates, which are those that are open to the idea of switching roles but are not actively looking and applying for roles. Think it isn’t important to reach passive candidates? Recent recruitment data indicates that 73% of potential candidates are passive candidates! So, without using a recruiting approach that can effectively reach this audience, you are missing out on almost ¾ of the pool of qualified candidates.
Recruiting companies not only have access to passive candidates but often also get the first crack at top candidates, which this same data tells us are typically only on the market for 10 days before receiving an offer. If you’re not where the best qualified candidates are at the moment they start looking for a new role, you’ll miss them and either need to wait longer to fill the role or have to settle for a less experienced candidate. Neither is a desirable position to be in when you need to backfill a skilled role like an accountant, accounting director, or Controller. Using a recruiting company gives you access to their pipeline of qualified professionals to help you fill your role faster with better talent.
Hiring platforms are just resume mills. You post your job opening and tons of resumes flood in, but most of them are from unqualified candidates, which take considerable time to sift through. This approach burns through time that you don’t have to spare. Sure, conducting a search yourself costs less in hard dollars, but it costs far more time, and your time is valuable! When you use a recruiting firm, they will screen applicants for you. A recruiter will identify qualified candidates and review their relevant experience, salary requirements, reference checks, first round interview, work expectations (in-office/hybrid/remote), career goals, and so on.
At ASP our recruiting process looks something like this:
The more senior a role is, the more you need a recruiter. When you’re hiring for a manager or director-level role, the speed of hiring and the need to get it right the first time both become even more important.
In terms of the cost of leaving the role vacant, our Cost of Vacancy Calculator shows that a skilled salaried employee making $100K annually costs their employer approximately $40K for every 30 days that the role is vacant when you account for a figure called “annual contribution,” which measures how much they add to their employer’s revenue potential in their role.
Our team explains the other cost associated with poor hiring outcomes in saying,
There is a substantial cost for bad hires when employees are a mismatch for the role or the company. In a recent survey, 25% of employers reported that a bad hire cost the company more than $50,000 due to lost productivity, time needed to find a replacement, diminished workplace morale, and brand damage with customers. In the case of an accountant, this cost could be even higher due to the nature of the job. Financial errors can result in serious consequences such as cash flow issues, tax penalties, state or federal fees, and damaged vendor relationships.
And yet, even this figure likely underestimates the true cost to the organization at the senior level because it is an average across all employment levels from individual contributor to manager to director. Clearly, avoiding hiring delays while still taking the time to reach qualified candidates and appropriately vet them is of the utmost importance!
Recruiters recruit every day, and dedicated accounting/finance recruiters specifically recruit accountants and finance professionals every day. As a result, they have far more knowledge and practice to lean on throughout the process. Leveraging their specialization is a shrewd way to find better qualified candidates and get someone into the role faster with far less work on your end so you can focus on the work that really needs your attention!
When you need accounting recruiting services, reach out to our team of qualified recruiters. We set ourselves apart because we are accountants, hiring accountants, into accounting roles. When you work with us, we take an insider’s approach to finding the best accounting candidates and matching them up with roles where they can succeed. Contact us today to learn more and experience the difference in working with dedicated accounting and finance recruiters for your next search.