Let’s Chat About How to Attract Top Accounting Talent on a Budget

By Robert Half January 11, 2017 at 10:25am

It’s amazing what you can learn without leaving your keyboard. A live Twitter chat with the shared hashtag, #SalaryWins, recently sparked an hourlong conversation about how you can attract top talent to your small business. Participants shared insights about salaries, incentives, temporary help, staffing agencies, and more.

One takeaway is that business networking (remote or not) has value, and so does sharing good research. If you’re interested in small businesses and hiring — and have asked yourself "How can I attract top talent on a budget?" — these suggestions from the Twitter chat may help you.

Q: How much are accounting and finance salaries expected to increase?

A: In 2017, Canadian employers will see pay for accounting and finance professionals continue to rise, according to Robert Half’s latest salary data. Companies of all sizes will face challenges when it comes to hiring and retention in this candidate-driven market, and it’s important to know what’s coming.

Learn more by visiting the Robert Half Salary Centre, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for jobs in your city with the Salary Calculator, and get your own copy of the Salary Guide.

Q: What if my budget doesn’t allow me to hire accounting and finance professionals at these higher salary levels?

A: As one of the Twitter business owners tweeted, when you get to the salary negotiation phase, you should “be transparent about your hiring budget up front, [and] ask what perks someone might enjoy or that you offer.”

Consider the following:

  • Incentives: For ​job candidates, perks and nice-to-have add-ons — from professional development to added vacation days — may be the carrot that sways them to accept one offer over another.
  • Negotiation: Use your negotiation skills to find out what is important to a potential hire. It could be something that doesn’t cost you a cent, such as an enhanced job title, mentoring or the ability to work from home.

Q: Why would I work with a staffing agency?

A: A staffing agency can help you attract top talent in this tight labour market. It can help your business address challenging situations, such as system conversions, month-end closings, annual audits and budgeting. It can also help you focus your job search, find candidates that match your business goals — and save you time.

Q: Am I taking too long to hire?

A: A recent Robert Half survey shows how job seekers are frustrated by the long wait after an interview to hear if they got the job.

Small Business owners can recruit great talent with a staffing agency, saving time, money and energy.

Q: Why hire a temporary or temp-to-hire employee over a full-time one?

A: As Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends tweeted, “One benefit of hiring temporary help is not getting locked into long-term expense,” and “Another benefit of hiring temporary help is ability to test out skills and compatibility in advance.”

The percentage of the workforce represented by temporary professionals is highest at the smallest companies, according to Robert Half’s Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function report. For some companies, business is booming so quickly that staff can't keep up. For others, temps have covered busy periods like tax season for them in the past, so they’ve already been evaluated for performance and company fit and can transition to the next full-time job opening.

Whether you need to hire someone full time right now, or you’re looking to bring in accounting temps for the short term or have a temp-to-hire strategy, make sure to consider all the ways you can do so successfully. Even though one of the Twitter chat participants tweeted, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys,” there are ways for small businesses to attract top talent while you’re on a budget!

Follow Robert Half Canada on Twitter @RobertHalf_CAN to ask your questions directly.

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