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Write the Perfect Job Description for Accountants: A How-To

The Quest for the Perfect Job Description

Some accounting and finance jobs are just a challenge to fill. You compose the job description, post an ad on job boards and spend money on promotion, but you just don’t get the quality candidates you’re looking for. The problem may not be the candidates, or even your recruiting methods, but your writeup that’s to blame. You see, writing a job description is just like writing any other advertisement – you need to know your target audience and offer them what they want in a language that they understand. Let’s talk about how to write the perfect job description for accountants.

Consider the job title

The job title should be very clear and not misleading to the candidate. Some employers create “fluff” job titles on certain roles to make the job sound less menial. Think of “analysts” who don’t analyze anything or any title that includes the words “rockstar,” “ninja,” or “superstar.” Be realistic when developing job titles. Match them to the external environment. In other words, design it so that people understand what the job entails based on the title. Who knows what an “Accounting Ninja” is, anyway?

Get specific

When a candidate reads your job description, the first question they’re looking to answer is whether the job requirements line up with their own skills and experience. Include key responsibilities, functions, duties, required experience and education. Also include any other pertinent information, like scheduling and travel requirements.

You should also clearly articulate whether the listed qualifications are simply “nice to have” or essential to the position. For instance, do you consider it a bonus if your Accounts Payable/Receivable Specialist has experience working with your accounting software, but are willing to train the right person? Or, do you require that anyone you hire has three to five years of experience working with a specific software? Unless it’s spelled out, candidates will make assumptions.

Cut the jargon

Certain accounting lingo is expected in an accounting job description – after all, you’re looking for someone who knows the business. But jargon-filled job ads may keep good candidates from applying. A study from Business in the Community and the City & Guilds Group found that 65 percent of young people didn’t understand the role they were applying for because of unclear jargon, acronyms and technical language. Over one-third of applicants were put off from job descriptions that included confusing terms. So steer clear of buzzwords and jargon that are specific to your company.

What’s in it for the candidate?

Including a salary range in your accounting job description is not required – this allows for variation based on education and experience. But, if the position offers competitive pay, say so. Also include benefits such as paid vacation days, health insurance benefits and retirement plans.

Tell them about your company

When job seekers review your job postings, the job isn’t the only thing they want to learn about. In fact, they may care just as much about your company culture and the workspace as they do the salary.

Take the opportunity to showcase your company’s products, services, history and culture. Inject the vibe of your organization into the job description. Mention the work environment, company values, growth opportunities and any other details that accurately portray what you’re all about.

Writing a good accounting job description takes time, but the investment of time pays off when a strong group of qualified candidates comes through. Rather than reading your competitor’s job descriptions and copying their mistakes, take a few minutes to reflect on the attributes of your current employees. Look at what makes your current team successful and then verbalize key characteristics in the job description.

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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