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How to Attract Top Accounting & Finance Talent

In accounting and finance, high-caliber people are essential. These areas of a company provide a valuable service to shareholders, decision makers and other employees, and they must be ready to take on new responsibilities when the need arises. Meanwhile, today’s employers face one of the most competitive labor markets in recent memory. Accounting and finance professionals know their skills are in high demand, and they’re more discriminating than ever when evaluating job opportunities. Given these high stakes, let’s examine how your company can attract accounting and finance talent.

Review your company’s employment branding

Does your company have an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)? The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines an EVP as a “strategic statement [that] defines how a company wants to be perceived by its employees. It embodies the company’s values and ideals and is a fundamental step in defining an employer brand strategy for talent acquisition.”

In other words, it’s a way to make yourself the employer of choice and trigger a candidate’s interest by differentiating your company from the competition. Gartner has identified five main components of an EVP:

  1. Opportunity. Organizational growth, career and personal development opportunities.
  2. People. Quality of management, co-workers and leadership.
  3. Organization. Market position, quality of products and services, social responsibility.
  4. Work. Alignment between interests and the job, work/life balance.
  5. Rewards. Compensation and benefits.

If your recruiting strategy has primarily focused on offering big paychecks and a great list of benefits, take some time to flesh out the other areas of your employer value proposition.

Get to talent early

With a clearly defined EVP, your company needs a strategy for sharing it with job candidates, and the earlier you reach them, the better.

Companies of all sizes are stepping up their campus recruiting efforts, especially STEM majors, by:

  • Establishing internships and cooperative education programs well before senior year

  • Recruiting throughout the academic year

  • Sponsoring campus events to gain exposure

Improve the candidate experience

Data from Michigan State University’s College Employment Research Institute emphasizes that qualified candidates can be picky, rejecting potential employers for the slightest discretion during the recruiting process. They compiled some suggestions to enhance the candidate experience, including:

Communications

Improve communication with candidates throughout the recruiting process. Shorten the notification timeline, even if the candidate is no longer being considered. Present a well-designed career page on your company’s website. Create a mobile-assisted online experience.

Strategy

Focus on keeping candidates engaged by making benefits packages more transparent and emphasizing workplace wellness initiatives. Use social media to provide realistic job previews, on-boarding process and recruiting procedures. Re-engage past candidates to build the talent pool.

Technology

Tap emerging technologies that reduce the risk of overlooking qualified candidates. Use virtual reality to provide realistic tours and examples of job assignments.

Open up to flexible and remote working arrangements

Technology today affords accounting and finance professionals the ability to connect with co-workers and clients and get the job done, no matter where they are.

Flexible and remote working arrangements are appealing to employees. Mercer’s 2018 Global Talent Trends study found that 51% of employees wish their company offered more flexible work options and a 2016 survey from FlexJobs found that working parents rank flexibility ahead of salary. In fact, 84% of working parents said flexible work is the number one most important factor in a job.

This is a win/win for candidates and employers. Investing in technology that enables remote work environments doesn’t just make your company more appealing to job candidates. It also allows your company to broaden its candidate search, opening up your talent pool to job seekers beyond your geographic area.

Bottom line

Are you struggling to recruit accounting and finance talent at your company? You might be looking in the wrong places and at the wrong people. Incorporate the tips mentioned above, then work with a recruiter. They will help you expand your search beyond the candidates who are actively looking for a job and tap into passive candidates – those who aren’t necessarily searching out new job opportunities but would be open to a new position if the right one came along.

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Author

Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.

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