How to Find Accounting Staff to Meet Your Small Business Needs

A small business owner discusses work with his accountant

Your small business needs a good accountant in order to grow and thrive financially. The catch is hiring one in an employment market where you must compete with huge, nationally recognized companies.

The secret to reeling in great job candidates lies in properly assessing your small business needs, doing some homework on available talent and pay levels, and playing up your company's strengths. The truth is that many professionals prefer working for small companies because these firms provide more opportunities to learn new skills and take on greater responsibilities. Here's how you can help ensure these candidates find you:

Start with a solid job description

For a small business, often the candidate's first impression of your company comes from your job description, which is typically the basis of the job posting. Make it count! A well-written job description communicates your expectations and enumerates roles and responsibilities for the new hire. It doesn't necessarily have to be long, but it does need to be detailed. An effective job description increases your chances of finding the ideal candidate earlier in the searching process — and discourages unqualified contenders from applying.

Accentuate the positives

Accountants in a small company usually have much broader responsibilities than in a large firm. Roles are less rigid, and employees can more readily see the positive impact of their work — and get credit for it. Furthermore, as a small business you undoubtedly enjoy significantly less organizational red tape — another positive you can tout to prospective new hires.

Leverage relationships

Working with a staffing service that specializes in accounting professionals allows you to work alongside experts who can do the recruitment legwork for you. More critically, you'll gain access to a large base of talented people you might not otherwise find by searching on your own. These firms can also help you evaluate whether you need a full-time employee or an interim professional for your particular requirements. And ultimately, your small business needs will probably be met much faster with the help of a staffing agency.

Assess how much help you really need

As implied above, some small companies might not require full-time help. By calling on an agency that offers effective staffing solutions, you can gain access to candidates who might prefer working on a part-time or temporary basis. You can utilize these professionals only when you need their expertise. The result: reduced human resources costs and added flexibility when workloads spike. So before putting out an ad for a new full-time hire, be clear about your small business needs. Could a temporary worker fit the bill instead?

Build awareness

You can do a lot to attract people to your firm by building a strong reputation in your locale. This might mean being recognized for outstanding service, for example, or supporting a community charity. Build a friendly, supportive work environment: The positive word of mouth that candidates will spread to their family, friends and neighbors will help draw other interested applicants. In creating a wider awareness, make sure your company website is up-to-date and showcases your company culture.

Need more advice?

Visit Robert Half's Small and Mid-Sized Business Center for case studies, articles and reports on subjects tailored to your small business needs.

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