Behind the Scenes: How Recruiters Work for You

By Robert Half June 10, 2017 at 4:00pm

Have you ever had to hire a tax accountant in the middle of tax season? Or find a director of finance within a few weeks? Those are hiring challenges that can test the abilities of even the best managers, who could benefit from knowing just how recruiters work.

Recruiting agency experts can make the process easier for managers by sharing market and industry knowledge, and identifying professionals with hard-to-find job skills, including people who are confidentially considering their next career opportunity.

Looking for finance or accounting professionals to hire? Learn how our recruiters can help.

To showcase how recruiters work at our company to help you overcome an array of challenges in finding highly skilled job candidates, we’ve collected a few case studies from the Robert Half Finance & Accounting Raleigh, N.C., team. Perhaps one of these situations will resonate with you and demonstrate how a recruiting firm can benefit your company.

Case study #1: Retail company needs tax accountant

Company: Large retailer

Recruiter challenge: Finding a tax accountant — and doing so in the middle of tax season

Robert Half solution: I called the human resources department about an operational manager job it had posted. After speaking with HR, I found out the role was more of a manual loading and unloading role, a position Robert Half does not specialize in staffing. I asked if the managers had any other needs and was told they were had a job opening for a tax accountant and wanted to go "temporary-to-hire" on the opening.

The job had been posted at the beginning of March, and it was now mid-March. I advised the human resources manager that if a strong tax accountant was to be found in the middle of tax season, the search would have to be expanded to include passive candidates being represented exclusively through our full-time placement division. The HR manager agreed and conducted a full-time search with me.

Within two weeks, my team and I identified a highly skilled tax accountant for the job, and she was hired after one onsite meeting with the company’s finance and accounting team.

Case study #2: 5 candidates in 5 business days

Company: International manufacturing company

Recruiter challenge: Staffing for a director of finance role — in just a few days

Andrew Klahr

Robert Half solution: This manufacturing company was looking to do a confidential search and wanted a recruiter to fill a high-level director of finance role very quickly.

I was determined to find five candidates to interview in five days, and I did it. My team and I got a pool of candidates together, and the first round of interviews took place in our office. The following week, the Europe-based CFO flew in, and the hire was made within two weeks.

The private equity firm that owned the company had a list of career requirements, adding more challenges. In addition to manufacturing and distribution job experience, the firm wanted Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) experience, and certifications to include a CPA and MBA. It was all hands on deck in our office to get this search done. The candidate who ended up getting the job was someone I had approached at a Robert Half-sponsored continuing professional education (CPE) event.

The business continues to grow, and we have helped them with two more placements.

Our speed to market and being networked with the right career professionals is what got this company exactly the director of finance it needed.

Andrew Klahr has been a recruiting manager for Robert Half Finance & Accounting since August 2013. He has his bachelor’s degree in Operations and Supply Chain Management from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Case study #3: The power of networking

Company: Midwest manufacturer

Recruiter challenge: Hiring a director of trade compliance — one who was willing to relocate from out of state

Dick Kuenzler

Robert Half solution: I was recruiting for a procurement manager position in North Carolina. I reached out to my manufacturing network to see if anyone might be interested in the opening, and an HR director I used to work with suggested contacting someone she knew who lived in Minnesota. I reached out, and it turns out the opportunity was not the right fit for him. But a few months later, a Robert Half office in the Midwest was looking for a director of trade compliance. One of the key requirements was having someone onsite, either already living there or willing to relocate.

Read this article: How to Hire Employees Who Make a Perfect Fit.

Again, I reached out to my manufacturing network. My new contact in Minnesota suggested I contact someone he knew in Texas. The individual was a great fit for the opening and very interested in the opportunity. Best of all, he was actually looking to move back to the city where the business had its home. He went through the interview process and was hired.

This is the power of the Robert Half network on display: A hire was made in the Midwest through Raleigh by way of Minnesota and Texas. This is just one of the reasons I love working for this company!

Dirk Kuenzler is a recruiting manager for Robert Half Finance & Accounting in Raleigh, N.C. He was a captain in the U.S. Army and worked for several years as a finance manager and director for companies like Kraft Foods, Lord Corporation and Coty.

Case study #4: The ultimate resource — the Salary Guide

Company: Nonprofit

Recruiter challenges: Helping a nonprofit hire a controller — without a set salary or skills requirement

George Atiee

Robert Half solution: This organization was working on a search for a controller and had no salary outlined or benefits factored into its employment package. Because this wasn’t a hire the nonprofit was familiar with making, no one really knew what to look for, in terms of skill set.

I arranged for a visit with the executive director to walk through Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance. After discussing the company’s annual revenues and the total budget for the role, we determined the appropriate salary range and narrowed the search to a controller with nonprofit and QuickBooks experience. Before working with me, the hiring manager had interviewed a CPA from another nonprofit — an individual not in the budget and with more job experience than was needed.

After establishing the financials of the opening, we had the interviews in our office and we were able to staff the role within one week.

George Atiee has been with Robert Half since 2014. He is also in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and has his master’s degree in accounting.

Case study #5: The value of relationships

Company: International biotech

Recruiter challenge: Staffing a payroll position — in another city

Steve Fields

Robert Half solution: When this company announced it was moving to Raleigh, I called our Robert Half team in the city where it had previously been headquartered to see how we'd helped in the past. Our team there gave me a contact name, and after connecting with the director of accounting and finance, he visited my office to meet with payroll candidates. The business had been using another firm for the opening but agreed to come to my office and meet some of my highly skilled candidates.

We staffed the payroll manager job and have since built a valued relationship. Following that initial placement, my team and I have staffed a number of accounting and finance roles for the company.

Fostering a strong business relationship has helped the biotech firm and me find professionals with the career skills needed to help the business prosper.

Steve Fields has been with Robert Half Finance & Accounting for more than 20 years. Starting with the company in Washington, D.C., He moved to North Carolina to establish the Raleigh office. He has his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Maryland College Park.

We hope we’ve shown you the benefits of working with recruiting managers like Andrew, Dirk, George and Steve. Are you ready to work with us to meet your hiring objective?

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