Posted by Lisa Amstutz on Monday, May 26, 2014 - 17:00 | Follow me
If it takes, on average, four weeks to fill open staff-level accounting and finance jobs in this job market, can small businesses compete with larger ones? Yes, they can, even with so few skilled candidates in the pool — especially if they follow these five tried-and-true accounting recruiting tips:
1. Provide a career development program
According to a survey conducted by Robert Half, employees value companies that provide opportunities for them to learn and grow. Career development programs help staff members stay motivated and keep up with accounting and finance trends.
Spotlight your career development programs when recruiting accounting professionals. Candidates at all career stages are typically more interested in a company that sincerely cares about their professional development.
Find out how professional development and training can benefit your entire organization.
2. Offer perks for your workers
If you can't compete with the deep pockets of larger businesses, you can instead offer non-financial perks to entice prospective employees. Some popular bonuses include flexible work hours and telecommuting, on-site childcare and cafeteria, and free or partially subsidized gym membership.
3. Accentuate the positives of being a small firm
Just because your firm is small doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent place to work. Small firms often provide a warmer, more family-like atmosphere than larger firms. Employees who appreciate such a workplace are more likely to want to join your company.
In addition, smaller firms typically offer more diverse assignments than larger ones. Accounting and finance professionals at small firms work on a variety of projects and on different tasks within each project. Express pride in your status as a small accounting firm to recruits.
4. Recruit on college campuses
Since entry-level accounting professionals are in demand, try recruiting them while the ink on their diplomas is still drying. The Big Four accounting firms are using this strategy and receiving commitments from bright young students by their junior year, and it works for smaller organizations, too.
But don’t wait until colleges hold their career fairs. Instead, develop relationships with accounting and finance professors and college career services department personnel. Offer internships for students so you can gauge their personality, ability and interest levels. After all, while this group of bright, young accounting and finance professionals is becoming increasingly in demand, you’ll still want to choose the ones who best meet your specific requirements.
Discover employment solutions for hiring and managing new graduates with our latest guide, Get Ready for Generation Z.
5. Tap your network
Let your network, including a specialized recruiter, know the positions for which you're hiring. Your contacts may know someone who has the technical skills for which you are looking and will fit into your company's culture. It's important to continually build your connections and maintain relationships.
Editor's note: This post was updated in 2016 to reflect more current information.