How to Make Better Finance and Accounting Hires

Bad finance hires can be costly – both to the bottom line and team culture.  But there are ways to land finance and accounting talent who are a better fit for your organization.  Here are 5 tips for making your hiring process more effective.

Tip 1: Clearly Define the Role
To maximize hiring success clearly define the role’s responsibilities and requirements.

  • Make sure key stakeholders are on the same page before the job description is written.
  • Consider “must haves” vs “nice to haves.” Do you need some high-level ERP skills in your candidate, or is that simply a nice to have?
  • Remember that there is no perfect candidate.
  • Create a scorecard based on your “must have” requirements. Have each person involved in the interview process use the scorecard to create objectivity and consistency.

Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”  And while Yogi wasn’t known for being particularly eloquent, his words have meaning when it comes to successful hiring.  Define the role as clearly as possible so that when the right candidate comes along you recognize the fit.

Tip 2: Consider Company Culture
Candidates will often leave a role because of a lack of cultural fit.  Consider the natural working style of your team – is it collaborative?  Autonomous?  Think about the people who have been successful in your organization.  What traits do they have in common?  Incorporate interview questions that dig down into cultural fit.

Resource: For help interviewing accountants, including tips and questions, download this resource.

Tip 3: The Job Description
It can be tempting to simply dust off old job descriptions and re-use them.  But if you’ve gone to the trouble of completing a needs analysis and cultural fit assessment, then it makes sense to incorporate these points into the job description.  Speak directly to the kind of talent you want to recruit.  Make the job posting as reflective of your company culture and brand as possible.  This will help to attract the right candidates at the very initial stage – saving you time down the road when you have to review resumes and interview candidates.

Resource: Read, “10 Strategies for Writing Effective Finance and Accounting Job Descriptions.”

Tip 4: Establish Expectations
Define what success looks like at the one month, 60 day and 90 day mark.  Communicate these milestones during the interview.  Candidates may self-select out of the process if they feel they cannot meet expectations (extra points for candidates who ask questions that attempt to establish what success looks like at different time frames).

Tip 5: Focus on More Then Technical Skill
Only 11% of new hires fail due to a lack of technical skill.  The rest don’t succeed because of a mix of poor interpersonal skills and motivation.  Knowing this, an effective hiring process incorporates questions to assess motivation, responsiveness to feedback and communication style.  According to Mark Murphy, the CEO of Leadership IQ, typical interviews focus on hiring for technical competency, but, “coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament are much more predictive of a new hire’s success or failure.”

Resource: For interview questions that will help you assess a candidate’s motivation read this blog.

Key Takeaways
Regardless of the size of your organization, a poor hire can derail a top-performing team.  Take a look at your hiring process.  Are there areas in need of improvement?

  • Make sure to create a list of “must-have” requirements for the role.
  • Create job descriptions that reflect your company’s culture and speak directly to the kind of candidate you want to attract.
  • Ensure all stakeholders are on the same page and build a scorecard that everyone involved in the interview process can use to assess each candidate.
  • Ask interview questions that focus on coachability and preferred communication style.

Hopefully, by following the tips above, you increase the success of your hiring process and land the kind of talent that you want for your organization.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

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