How to Speed Up Your Accounting Hiring Process

By Robert Half on October 24, 2016 at 9:00pm

The way we see it, employers and hiring managers who have the competitive edge are those who can thoroughly assess candidates yet move quickly in the hiring process to make job offers. But how can companies speed up the selection and hiring process and keep from jamming the pipeline? Here are three compelling suggestions:

1. Know what’s going on in the job market

The best tools for getting up to date on employment trends are free!

The Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance from Robert Half shows turnover is on the rise, as financial professionals realize they have more job opportunities. Not only that, companies are willing to pay a premium to get the professionals they want. Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of Canadian CFOs in a Robert Half survey said they increased the starting salaries for new hires from what they made in their previous jobs, and the average increase was 5 per cent.

2. Prime yourself for action

If you haven’t reviewed your hiring process and procedures, that’s the first step. Whether you have a new position or you expect to fill a vacant one, you need an action plan — from announcing the position, to prescreening applicants, to preparing for and conducting interviews, to making the final decision.

Read about our survey that shows how a majority of Canadian CFOs don't actively recruit for open roles, potentially losing out on talented candidates — and see the infographic, below.

Here are some questions to consider that could lead to time-saving practices:

  • Do you keep an updated list of skilled candidates you think would be a good fit for your company?
  • Have you asked your internal network for referrals or tried an employee referral program as a way to find accounting talent?
  • Does your company have a website portal that makes job seekers jump through hoops to submit their applications?
  • Have you created strong, thorough job descriptions that accurately capture the essence of your job opening and the skill sets you need?
  • Are you getting the information you need in pre-interview screenings?
  • Do you ask for references early enough so contacting them doesn’t delay the process?
  • Can you cut down any rounds of interviews and stages of approval?

When a company schedules too many steps in the process, the candidate will continue to search — and may ultimately drop out..

“Highly skilled professionals, especially those with experience in regulatory compliance, new business technology and financial analysis, may field multiple job offers in a week,” said Greg Scileppi, Canadian president, Robert Half International Staffing Operations. “Candidates with competitive skills and various options will gravitate towards organizations that not only show interest but also exhibit a well-organized and decisive recruitment process.”

Hiring managers who fail to make timely decisions face a number of consequences, most notably losing candidates.

3. Get an expert’s help with your hiring plan

Keep in mind that you don’t have to execute your hiring plan alone. Working with a staffing agency can augment your recruitment efforts, offer insight into the employment market and help you fine-tune your strategies. A flexible staffing solution that includes bringing on temporary professionals and transitioning them into permanent staff is a great way to keep work flow going and the company moving in the right direction.

The keys to a successful hiring process are timing and organization. Your plan of action needs to expedite the process in this candidate-driven market so you are constantly moving toward a rejection or a job offer. If you can make your hiring decisions as quickly as possible and start onboarding high-performing people, you can bring your company more of its most valuable assets — its people.


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