Is Your Accountant Salary Attracting Top Candidates?

An accountant and a dollar sign are silhouetted on a blue sky

As the hiring environment continues to improve in accounting and finance, employers are having difficulty finding and retaining the specialized professionals they need. They face increasingly stiff competition from other firms. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to assess whether you're offering the right accountant salary to attract top candidates to your ranks. Here's how.

Conduct a recruitment reality check
Your first order of business is to gain a better understanding of today's hiring environment. With unemployment rates for a number of accounting and finance occupations dipping below the national average, it's common for top candidates to receive multiple employment offers and see notable gains in starting salaries when they change jobs. If you hope to win these financial superstars over, you must offer an accountant salary that meets or exceeds industry standards.

Consult expert advice
To meet industry compensation standards, you'll have to know what the going rates are, of course. A valuable resource for employers is the Salary Guide from Robert Half, which covers the national average starting salary ranges for more than 375 entry-, mid- and senior-level positions at companies of various sizes. This annual guide also provides more than 135 local variances to help adjust the compensation data for markets across the United States. Use this information to determine how much you need to offer in order to attract the best accounting professionals to your firm.

Bring on the bonuses
In addition to offering the right accountant salary, consider offering further financial incentives, such as signing bonuses or anniversary bonuses. You can also show top candidates that your company recognizes success by offering merit-based bonuses, regular salary increases and other monetary rewards. Be sure to let job candidates you're wooing know about these employee rewards.

Sweeten the pot
As more finance professionals seek to establish a better work-life balance, hiring managers who don't recognize that will be at a disadvantage. Non-monetary benefits important to top candidates include:

  • Professional development opportunities
  • Flexible work schedules or telecommuting options
  • On-site childcare or elder-care benefits
  • Free or subsidized gym memberships
  • Discount programs at local entertainment venues

Feel free to get creative. Some companies even offer free weekly (or daily) professional masseuses at work or sabbaticals after a certain number of years of employment to ensure they attract and retain the right people.

Get hiring help
If you're offering a competitive account salary but you're still not seeing results, consider partnering with an accounting recruiter to find in-demand talent for your business. These agencies are knowledgeable about the latest trends and are networking experts. The best recruiters will also have alliances with reputable professional associations and a large pool of skilled candidates to draw from, helping you find exactly who you're looking for faster.