A good billing manager can make the difference between maintaining a healthy cash flow and chasing down client payments for weeks or even months.
This is someone who supervises your billing department, ensures accurate invoicing, reconciles accounts with the general ledger, and oversees other functions essential to most firms. That’s not a position you want to leave unstaffed, especially in this challenging economy.
To help expedite the recruiting process and increase your chances of finding a professional who will be a strong match for both the billing manager job and your organization, you need a thoughtful hiring strategy — one that reflects today’s hiring environment. Following are four tips for success.
1. Craft a solid billing manager job description
A good job posting introduces candidates to your company, and it explains in clear terms what they’re applying for and what they need to succeed in the available role.
Spell out the essentials that an applicant needs for the position. At a minimum, a billing manager should have five years of billing experience, a college degree in business or a related field, and rock-solid proficiency in Microsoft Excel. Managerial experience is usually important, though how much of that you require depends on the size of your billing team.
Beyond these standard details, your job description should outline the position’s responsibilities and required hard and soft skills. Are you seeking a candidate with experience reconciling billing accounts, hiring and training staff, and liaising with the accounts receivable and collections departments? What about leadership and interpersonal skills?
The goal is to appeal to the best talent on the market — yet spare yourself from reading a sea of resumes that don’t meet your needs. Make sure job candidates know exactly what will be expected of them, the skills and experience you require, and which qualifications are “nice to have.”
2. Make the job interview count
You’ve sorted through the resumes, and you’ve finished the phone vetting. Now it’s time to invite your top few candidates to a more formal interview. Given the pandemic, you’ll likely be doing a video interview. (Read our tips on how to conduct an effective remote interview.)
To make the best use of your and the candidate’s time, avoid questions that only confirm what you already know, such as “Do you have experience in this role?” Instead, consider open-ended questions like these:
- What do you consider the top three skills of a great billing manager?
- How do you organize and prioritize your work?
- Talk me through a time when you spotted and resolved a discrepancy in accounting records.
- Describe a billing error you made, how you fixed it and what you learned from it.
In addition to confirming a candidate’s technical abilities during the interview, you should aim to assess their soft skills and whether they’re likely to fit your organizational culture. A gifted introvert with years of experience, for instance, may not thrive in a heavily collaborative work environment with lots of team calls and group projects. Or a more immediate example: Some people simply aren’t comfortable working remotely — an obvious concern when so much of the workforce is now working from home.
Here are examples of questions designed to tease out a candidate’s soft skills and personality traits:
- What are the most rewarding — and the most challenging — aspects of managing a team?
- How has your management style adjusted to the current environment, when teams are off-site and out of sight?
- What would you expect to accomplish in the first 30 days of this job?
- How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
- In general terms, describe your most challenging client. How did you handle this relationship?
3. Research billing manager salary ranges
Never post a job, much less begin the interviewing process, without first researching the market rates and settling on the salary range you’ll offer. Whether you or the candidate broach the compensation topic first, you want to know early on whether you’re both thinking in the same ballpark.
The 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals shows that the midpoint starting salary for the billing manager role is $54,250. This is the national figure, and actual salaries may vary according to location. Use our Salary Calculator to find out what a billing manager can expect to earn in your city.
4. Reach out to a recruiter
If poring over scores of resumes doesn’t feel like the best use of your time right now, a specialized staffing agency like Robert Half can assist you in searching for and hiring a skilled billing manager. We have years of experience placing billing managers with clients on both a temporary and full-time basis.
Our recruiters — aided by their own experience in and insight into your field and geographic area — can help you craft that time-consuming job posting. They can also evaluate the experience and technical and soft skills of each candidate.
Robert Half is well-versed in helping companies hire remote workers — something many firms must do in the current environment. We can help the people we place securely access necessary data and applications, including virtual desktops. And for those who lack the necessary equipment at home, we can quickly provide tech tools to help them get to work right away.
Whether you need one person or a whole project team, and whether your needs are short-term or full-time, we can help you hire skilled professionals today!