CPA Practice Advisor - 22

THE STAFFING & HR ADVISOR

You May Be Overlooking Potential
Top Performers When Hiring
WITH MORE JOB openings than people looking for work, talented accounting professionals
are challenging to find. The overall national unemployment rate sits at just 3.5%, and it's
even lower, 2.0%, for accountants and auditors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor

PAUL McDONALD

Senior Executive Director
Robert Half
paul.mcdonald@cpapracticeadvisor.com

Statistics.Savvy employers have taken notice and adjusted their hiring practices. In a
Robert Half survey, 84% of human resources managers said their companies are open to
hiring and training candidates who don't meet all the skills requirements for a position.
To ensure success in an environment where available accounting
talent is limited, managers must
move away from the idea of a
new hire having a perfect resume.
Instead, focus on identifying
promising candidates who you can
develop and who fit your corporate
culture. How can you spot potential
top performers? Learn their hallmarks, as well as ways you can help
them gain the abilities required to
thrive at your firm.

CHARACTERISTICS OF
PROMISING HIRES
When looking outside the resume
and the exact requirements in your
job description, consider the following factors:
■ Soft skills - While workers can
usually be trained on an organization's accounting processes, it's
often difficult to find applicants
with the r ight soft skills for a
posit ion. Look for indiv iduals
with the nontechnical abilities
needed for your vacancy, such as a
collaborative mindset and strong
communicat ion sk ills. Gauge
soft skills by asking behavioral
interview questions, looking for
examples of problem-solv ing
and communication abilities on
application materials, and speaking
with references.
■ Transferrable skills - A Robert
Half Finance & Accounting survey

22

NOVEMBER 2019 ■

Think outside the box and be willing to train
promising individuals, and you can cultivate a team
that keeps your firm thriving for years to come.
(https:// bit.ly/32dDSaw) found
technology expertise is the hardestto-find attribute in candidates for
accounting and finance jobs. This
difficulty frequently comes into play
when businesses seek experience
with specific systems. Keep an eye
out for individuals proficient in
cloud-based systems and reporting
software. Even if their experience
doesn't match the platforms for
your opening, it can help prepare
new hires to learn the tools you and
your clients use.
■ F i t w i t h y o u r f i r m's w o r k
environment - A match with
your organizational culture often can
be the difference in whether new
hires succeed at your firm. Assess
candidates via open- and closedended questions and nonverbal
cues in interviews, as well as with
reference checks, to see how well
they'll flourish at your firm.

HOW TO DEVELOP
NEEDED SKILLS
Once you've identified and hired
promising candidates, it's time to
turn your attention to upskilling
them. Fortunately, there are many
training and professional development options you can rely on to

www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

bring your newest team members
up to speed, including:
■ Online training - This is one of
the most flexible methods of professional development. Employees can
access vendor-provided tutorials
when they have downtime at work,
for example, allowing them to
enhance their skills with minimal
impact to productivity.
■ On-site workshops and brownbag sessions - These modes of
professional development allow
you to maintain control of what the
training emphasizes. In addition,
they won't cut into employees'
personal time, which helps your
staff maintain healthy work-life
balance.
■ Mentorships and cross-training
- Hands-on learners benefit from
the ability to perform tasks with
supervision. One approach is mentoring, in which trainees are guided
through processes and decisions by
more experienced staff members.
Cross-training allows new hires to
gain insight into the firm as a whole
while learning how to perform
different roles. This process can
also help you determine how an
employee's strengths could best
be used and potential career path

■ Project work - An excellent way to
train new hires without sacrificing
product iv it y is to incor porate
learning into their workloads. For
example, if you want employees to
develop proficiency with a specific
software, assign them a project that
involves pulling historical reports
from that tool. Afterward, review
the outcome to see what they've
learned and answer any questions.
■ Financial support - For staff
members working toward obtaining certifications or advanced
education, consider offering fee and
tuition match or reimbursement,
as well as a fixed amount of paid
study time. Along with employee
development, executives associate
paying for professional certifications with improved productivity
and retention, according to separate
research from our company.
■ Interim staff - In addition to supporting high-priority initiatives and
addressing workload fluctuations,
project professionals can help train
full-time employees, including on
technology, processes and compliance mandates. Consultants also
can engage in knowledge-sharing
with your team when they transition off an initiative.
To succeed with recruitment
during the current talent shortage,
hiring managers must be flexible.
Think outside the box and be willing to train promising individuals,
and you can cultivate a team that
keeps your firm thriving for years
to come. ■


https://www.bit.ly/32dDSaw http://www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

CPA Practice Advisor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPA Practice Advisor

From the Editor: The Land of the Free
How to Get Started with Client Accounting Services
Crafting a Strategic CAS Plan
From the Trenches: Do Your Best Tax
2019 Product Review: Sales & Use Tax Systems
Marketing Your Firm: Marketing to the Home Care Nursing Industry
Marketing Your Firm: Your Bedside Manner: 3 Steps to Improve Client Trust
2019 Product Review: Hosting Service Providers
A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: The Pros & Cons of Temp vs. Seasonal Workers
A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: 6 Retirement Tips for Generation X
The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Newest Features in QuickBooks Online Advanced Speed Workflow
Guest Column: 7 Productivity Hacks for the Strategic CFO
The Staffing & HR Advisor: You May Be Overlooking Top Performers When Hiring
The Millennial Advisor: The Problem with Price
The Leadership Advisor: The Change We Can Control
AICPA News
Bridging the Gap: 3 Small Steps Toward Transformation
Special Feature: The Unseen Talent Pool
CPA Practice Advisor - 1
CPA Practice Advisor - 2
CPA Practice Advisor - 3
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Editor: The Land of the Free
CPA Practice Advisor - How to Get Started with Client Accounting Services
CPA Practice Advisor - Crafting a Strategic CAS Plan
CPA Practice Advisor - 7
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Trenches: Do Your Best Tax
CPA Practice Advisor - 9
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Product Review: Sales & Use Tax Systems
CPA Practice Advisor - 11
CPA Practice Advisor - 12
CPA Practice Advisor - 13
CPA Practice Advisor - Marketing Your Firm: Marketing to the Home Care Nursing Industry
CPA Practice Advisor - Marketing Your Firm: Your Bedside Manner: 3 Steps to Improve Client Trust
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Product Review: Hosting Service Providers
CPA Practice Advisor - 17
CPA Practice Advisor - A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: The Pros & Cons of Temp vs. Seasonal Workers
CPA Practice Advisor - A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: 6 Retirement Tips for Generation X
CPA Practice Advisor - The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Newest Features in QuickBooks Online Advanced Speed Workflow
CPA Practice Advisor - Guest Column: 7 Productivity Hacks for the Strategic CFO
CPA Practice Advisor - The Staffing & HR Advisor: You May Be Overlooking Top Performers When Hiring
CPA Practice Advisor - The Millennial Advisor: The Problem with Price
CPA Practice Advisor - The Leadership Advisor: The Change We Can Control
CPA Practice Advisor - AICPA News
CPA Practice Advisor - Bridging the Gap: 3 Small Steps Toward Transformation
CPA Practice Advisor - Special Feature: The Unseen Talent Pool
CPA Practice Advisor - 28
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https://www.nxtbook.com/endeavor/cpapracticeadvisor/november2019
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