The success of a small business largely depends upon making intelligent financial decisions. Businesses need to keep a tab on their finances to be truly successful.
When business owners are clueless about where they stand on an annual or monthly basis, they can diminish their chances of surviving amid cut-throat competition. Even though financial management is essential for a business, only 3% of business owners can read their financial statements.
This makes it even more critical to hire and recruit bookkeepers and accountants who can make a difference in your company.
But, how do you secure a top candidate for your firm?
It’s essential to have a well-thought-out strategy, as you may face vigorous competition for these professionals.
In this article, we explore various ways to hire accountants and bookkeepers.
Let’s dive in!
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How To Hire & Recruit Accountants and Bookkeepers in 2022
With accountants being a highly-coveted career choice, these professionals are likely to be in demand in 2022. Here are a few ways to streamline your search and hire an outstanding accountant for your company.
Focus on using accounting-related tests
The right employee is a valuable asset because they bring enthusiasm, fresh perspective, and commitment, apart from filling the vacant position. To hire qualified candidates, many employers conduct accounting-related tests.
These accounts payable test evaluates a candidate’s skill in recording, identifying, and managing accounts payable. A candidate who passes these tests has the required skills to deal with accounting-related matters and seamlessly work with accounts payable.
Such tests help employers test skills, such as recording transactions, reconciling accounts payable, and managing accounts payable. Such tests use scenario-based and practical questions that assess candidates’ skills to solve issues they may face.
Using this test, you can test a candidate on various accounting-related concepts, such as registering transactions and trial balances, understanding documents related to accounts payable, and preparing records.
Candidates who score well in tests are likely to excel as accountants or bookkeepers.
Create a job description that’s to the point
Job descriptions are incredibly tricky because when descriptions are not as specific as possible, you might recruit someone who is not fit for the role.
When creating a job description, focus on balancing the information you present. For instance, you can mention that you require five years of experience in a bookkeeping role and at least a master’s degree in finance, accounting, or related areas.
Though this is the essential baseline criteria, focus on outlining job-specific responsibilities and duties.
Search for similar job descriptions and take extra steps to be more specific about the skills and knowledge required to succeed in this role.
But again, it’s essential to focus on how many details you want to provide in the job description. Providing practical information can help you hire qualified candidates.
Provide a competitive salary and benefits package
Today, for companies looking to retain employees and hire the best candidate, it’s essential to provide competitive compensation along with excellent benefits packages.
To understand the current salary trend, review industry sources that help you understand the compensation structure offered to these professionals.
Providing a competitive salary package and bonuses, perks, and incentives can help attract new employees to your organization. Compensation can serve as the difference-maker for qualified candidates who are in a dilemma to join your firm.
Also, qualified candidates prefer working with companies that offer different employee benefits schemes such as paid time off, retirement, health insurance, and Flexi-employee benefits program.
Like in every situation, it’s always beneficial to conduct research when searching for a qualified accountant and bookkeeper. Rather than relying on employee referrals, conducting an online search can prove beneficial.
You can conduct an online search on job boards and social media websites to hire qualified candidates. You can even use business or phone directories and focus on hiring candidates with the right educational qualification, degree, and work experience.
When searching for freelance accountants, it’s a good rule of thumb to look for bad and good reviews. Consider interviewing candidates with good reviews because they’re more likely to pass your interview process.
You can even consider expanding your online search to out-of-state accountants that provide virtual services. Conducting thorough research can help you find candidates who can help your
business in accounting and bookkeeping.
Prepare for interview questions in advance
Today’s dynamic and hybrid-work environment requires accountants to have technical, soft, and interpersonal skills. So, when interviewing a candidate for an accountant or bookkeeper’s role, prepare for interview questions in advance.
Focus on asking questions that can help you get a good sense of their abilities. Questions like:
What do you do when you have tight deadlines and multiple projects to finish simultaneously?
What qualities make you a good accountant?
What is your knowledge of general accounting standards?
What methods do you use to calculate debt?
How do you ensure your client’s information remains confidential?
How do you minimize accounting errors?
How do you prepare financial budgets?
During the interview process, ask candidates what they do to keep themselves abreast with the latest tax laws and accounting standards.
You can assess a potential hire’s confidence, ability to work well with accounting standards and work ethics through these questions. Also, focus on asking behavioral questions to understand whether the candidate can fit the company’s culture.
Preparing questions in advance can help hire the best candidate for an accounting and bookkeeping position.
Use different hiring techniques
Try to break away from the traditional hiring process and look for new hiring methods. For instance, passive candidates who are not actively seeking new job roles may turn out to be a better option than those responding to your job advertisements.
To attract passive candidates, focus on building an employment brand that resonates with passive candidates. Examples of strong employment brands include renowned employees supporting the community and giving back through employee volunteering programs.
Once your brand becomes established and identified, strengthen your brand to reach passive job seekers. Getting awards such as “Best organizations to work with” and “Great places to work with” can help attract candidates who are not actively looking for a job.
Also, focus on understanding what your current and former employees say about your company on CareerBuilder, Indeed.com, and Glassdoor. It helps in identifying areas of improvement.
Make the application process easy
The last hurdle in finding a suitable accountant is convincing them to apply for the job role. Candidates apply to your job only when you provide a smooth application process.
Candidates do not prefer the application or hiring process that requires them to fill out many forms. Also, online applications requiring an excessive click-through or those not designed for mobile access can discourage both active and passive job seekers from applying for the job.
So, make the application process accessible by eliminating unnecessary fields from the online form. When creating an application form, create different forms for active and passive job seekers.
This is essential because asking a passive job seeker, “Why should we hire you?” may turn off the passive job seekers. Also, don’t lure such candidates with similar roles, but focus on offering jobs that provide additional job responsibilities.
The strategies outlined above can be both swift and thorough in your search for an accountant or bookkeeper. Using these strategies, a business can no longer overlook diamonds that can excel in the workplace by little polishing.
To hire accountants who make an impact on your bottom line, focus on adopting a formal hiring process, vet candidates early and contact passive candidates while conducting accounting tests.
Last but not least, make sure you document every step of the hiring and recruitment process to have solid and evidence-based reasons for deciding the future of a candidate. This can be useful in the long run.
If you’re tempted to make quick hiring decisions, keep these tips somewhere to remind you why having a strategic hiring process is essential for hiring qualified and capable candidates.
Priya Jain is a professional copywriter with 8 years of experience. She has an MBA and engineering degree. When she is not writing, you will find her teaching math, spending her day running behind her toddler, and trying new recipes. You can follow her on Twitter.