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  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 year ago
  • Author:by Kayley Haythornthwaite

​How to win top accounting and finance talent

Accounting and finance jobs are set to grow 10% by 2026–yet the talent pool is shrinking. With CFOs in the top firms struggling to source skilled professionals as demand outstrips supply, 75% of C-suite executives in the industry are concerned about skills shortages. It’s more important than ever for leaders and hiring managers to understand how to win the war for talent in today’s tough, candidate-driven market. Read on for a few inside tips from the professionals. 1.Be transparent Be clear and honest with candidates from the outset. That doesn’t just mean being transparent about the pay, benefits, flexible hours and remote options you offer, it also means talking about any major challenges in the business, cash flow problems, or exiting employees or executives. Withholding this information until the final stages–or worse, until the contract is signed–can be detrimental. You want to be open about everything, knowing that the person who starts is up to the challenge. 2.Be detailed Write a detailed job description with full details on the role, so that the candidate is able to prepare relevant examples of their experience. At the same time, be as open as possible about what skillset, qualifications and personality traits you would consider. Are you able to consider a less experienced person for or someone with transferable skills for this role? 3.Keep your hiring process short Plan and diarise your recruitment process before you begin. Make it quick and efficient–minimise the time lag between receiving CVs, interview stages, feedback and decision. You need to be quick to snap up the best people. If you have allotted time in everyone's diaries before you start, you can ensure your process doesn’t unexpectedly drag on. Appoint people to step in if someone is absent, so that you can stick to the schedule–but keep the process as short as possible and involve as few people as necessary to make a decision. 4.Ace your interviews Be mindful of how you interview–it’s a two-way process. In the current market, candidates are being offered a number of roles at any one time. Their choice may ultimately come down to cultural fit: where could they see themselves fitting in best and enjoying work the most? They need to see during the interview stage that your organisation is the best candidate for them. 5.Make sure the pay is competitive Competitive salaries are particularly important right now. Consider benchmarking the role before you go out to market; there have been dramatic changes this year. Never try to undercut on salary–offer the highest that you think the candidate deserves and that fits in with your team’s pay structure. 6.Be punctual Make sure you and any other interviewers are on time for the interview, and don't let any disturbances occur in the interview–that includes making sure you’ll be undisturbed in a Zoom interview. 7.Be flexible Be flexible over how and when you see your candidates–don’t object to seeing them at lunchtime or during the evening. Being strict on interview times and dates can mean you don't get to meet all candidates and you might miss out on the best person for the job. 8.Don’t ask inappropriate questions Inappropriate questions to ask an interviewee are usually inappropriate questions to ask a person full stop, yet too many interviewers do it anyway. Asking a candidate to disclose or discuss their age, marital status, whether they have or plan to have children, or anything else of a personal nature, is inappropriate and shouldn’t be relevant. After all, you’re not planning to discriminate based on their answer–are you? If you follow all these tips, it’s still possible to hire great talent in the current market–but it won’t be easy. Positioning yourself to win in such a competitive market takes time and recruitment expertise. If you’re a little short of one or both of these, get in touch with us today–we have plenty of both, and we’ll be delighted to help you gain that edge over the competition and secure your ideal talent. Kayley Haythornthwaite Director 0773 880 3320 Kayley.H@sewellwallis.co.uk

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Accounting and finance jobs are set to grow 10% by 2026–yet the talent pool is shrinking. With CFOs in the top firms struggling to source skilled professionals as demand outstrips supply, 75% of C-suite executives in the industry are concerned about skills shortages.

It’s more important than ever for leaders and hiring managers to understand how to win the war for talent in today’s tough, candidate-driven market. Read on for a few inside tips from the professionals.

1.Be transparent

Be clear and honest with candidates from the outset. That doesn’t just mean being transparent about the pay, benefits, flexible hours and remote options you offer, it also means talking about any major challenges in the business, cash flow problems, or exiting employees or executives. Withholding this information until the final stages–or worse, until the contract is signed–can be detrimental. You want to be open about everything, knowing that the person who starts is up to the challenge.

2.Be detailed

Write a detailed job description with full details on the role, so that the candidate is able to prepare relevant examples of their experience. At the same time, be as open as possible about what skillset, qualifications and personality traits you would consider. Are you able to consider a less experienced person for or someone with transferable skills for this role?

3.Keep your hiring process short

Plan and diarise your recruitment process before you begin. Make it quick and efficient–minimise the time lag between receiving CVs, interview stages, feedback and decision. You need to be quick to snap up the best people. If you have allotted time in everyone's diaries before you start, you can ensure your process doesn’t unexpectedly drag on. Appoint people to step in if someone is absent, so that you can stick to the schedule–but keep the process as short as possible and involve as few people as necessary to make a decision.

4.Ace your interviews

Be mindful of how you interview–it’s a two-way process. In the current market, candidates are being offered a number of roles at any one time. Their choice may ultimately come down to cultural fit: where could they see themselves fitting in best and enjoying work the most? They need to see during the interview stage that your organisation is the best candidate for them.

5.Make sure the pay is competitive

Competitive salaries are particularly important right now. Consider benchmarking the role before you go out to market; there have been dramatic changes this year. Never try to undercut on salary–offer the highest that you think the candidate deserves and that fits in with your team’s pay structure.

6.Be punctual

Make sure you and any other interviewers are on time for the interview, and don't let any disturbances occur in the interview–that includes making sure you’ll be undisturbed in a Zoom interview.

7.Be flexible

Be flexible over how and when you see your candidates–don’t object to seeing them at lunchtime or during the evening. Being strict on interview times and dates can mean you don't get to meet all candidates and you might miss out on the best person for the job.

8.Don’t ask inappropriate questions

Inappropriate questions to ask an interviewee are usually inappropriate questions to ask a person full stop, yet too many interviewers do it anyway. Asking a candidate to disclose or discuss their age, marital status, whether they have or plan to have children, or anything else of a personal nature, is inappropriate and shouldn’t be relevant. After all, you’re not planning to discriminate based on their answer–are you?

If you follow all these tips, it’s still possible to hire great talent in the current market–but it won’t be easy. Positioning yourself to win in such a competitive market takes time and recruitment expertise. If you’re a little short of one or both of these, get in touch with us today–we have plenty of both, and we’ll be delighted to help you gain that edge over the competition and secure your ideal talent.

Kayley Haythornthwaite

Director

0773 880 3320

Kayley.H@sewellwallis.co.uk

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