Is the Accounting Talent Pool Drying Up?

Cracked mud lies in the bottom of a dry lake bed on a bright day

Finding accounting specialists isn't easy these days. As more businesses expand their accounting and finance teams, many hiring managers are finding the talent pool is shallower than they would like. Skilled professionals are in high demand and short supply.

It's not just accounting skills that are in demand, either. Businesses are increasingly fishing the talent pool for candidates with nontechnical attributes such as leadership and business communication skills.

According to our research, it takes four weeks, on average, to hire for a staff-level accounting or finance job. It takes five weeks to hire for a management-level role. Businesses that have maintained a pipeline of potential hires are able to staff key positions sooner. And that gives them a edge over other firms competing for the same candidates.

Are you ready to start landing amazing catches? Use these tips to ensure your accounting talent pool is always filled to the brim:

Leverage your professional network

Leverage your professional network

What's better: sifting through boatloads of resumes or receiving a call from a trusted contact about a top performer looking for a new opportunity? It always pays to use your network to your advantage when hiring.

Spread the word of your search to your contacts. Think beyond people you know in the immediate area. When hiring, you want to make the talent pool as large as possible, so don't limit yourself to networking connections who live in your city. Hiring activity can vary dramatically across your state and across the country. The exact person you're hoping to bring on board could be struggling to find employment hundreds of miles away. In fact, helping to uncover candidates you would otherwise never know about is one of the main reasons to turn to your professional network for assistance in your search.

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It may sound obvious, but it bears repeating: Be sure you let your professional association connections know exactly what job opening you are trying to staff and the the qualifications you feel the ideal candidate would possess. That will make it easier for your contacts to recommend the right people to you.

Remember that a big portion of your professional network may exist online. Post the job opening on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media, if you're active on these channels. Then, encourage your contacts to share the posts with their acquaintances to increase the size of your potential talent pool. Because individual messages on social media can easily get lost among the flood of updates, continue to post news about your candidate search until the position has been staffed. Send direct messages and personalized requests to members of your online network as well — people are often more likely to respond to those than general calls for assistance.

Agree to informational interviews

Agree to informational interviews

Informational interviews — casual conversations set up by individuals looking to learn more about a certain position or industry — are an excellent, no-pressure way to connect with professionals who are serious about their career paths and want to absorb all the advice and knowledge they can.

If you're approached by someone seeking an informational interview, it's in your best interest to say yes — especially if the interviewee was referred to you by one of your professional contacts. Even though these chats aren't meant to be sales pitches for the candidates, many information seekers are actually fishing for a new job opportunity.

Reach out to a staffing specialist

Reach out to a staffing specialist

Specialized staffing agencies can be your secret weapon when trying to hire in-demand talent for your company. Among other things, a firm like Accountemps can quickly identify skilled accounting and finance professionals who can help your team manage current workloads and keep operations running smoothly while you search for a full-time hire. Here's why it's worth considering calling a staffing firm for help:

  • Staffing firms have access to a larger talent pool than hiring managers and corporate recruiters do on their own. Expert staffing specialists network with job candidates each day. At Accountemps, we also have alliances with several top professional accounting associations, which further increases the number of experienced accounting and finance professionals we have access to.
  • Accountemps staffing managers typically have backgrounds in accounting and finance, and they understand the employment and compensation trends affecting the industry. So they can help you develop staffing plans that meet your business's unique needs.
  • Bringing in an accounting professional on a temporary basis allows you to evaluate the person's on-the-job performance and fit with your workplace culture firsthand. If the arrangement is working out, you can hire the worker on a full-time basis and avoid having to wade into the accounting talent pool. Many companies are realizing that a temp-to-hire arrangement is more effective way to hire.

It might seem sometimes like the accounting talent pool is drying up, but don't give up. Making connections with your professional network, candidates seeking informational interviews and expert staffing specialists will help ensure you land new talent for your accounting team.

In need of a temporary worker? Accountemps can help you find the best match for you job openings. Learn more about the benefits of working with us to find accounting and finance professionals.

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