Recruitment challenges happen for different reasons.
The professionals you need are in high demand but low supply, or your company is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Either way, business can grind to a screeching halt when you don't have the right people in place at the right time. This is especially true for accounting and finance departments.
Take these steps to jump-start your hiring if the accounting talent pool seems to be drying up.
Know what — and who — you're looking for
Sure, you have a general idea of the responsibilities you want new employees to handle; you wouldn't be hiring if you didn't. But you'll stand a far better chance of attracting the right candidates (and filtering out the wrong ones) if you have an overall staffing plan and specific idea of the attributes you need from the outset. This means determining where gaps in employment exist within your company and creating job descriptions that clearly communicate the essential and desirable skills needed for each position.
Understand what motivates candidates
Once you know who you're looking for, consider what they are likely looking for in return. Resources like the Salary Guide from Robert Half can help you determine a competitive compensation package that will attract talent to your firm. Also, give some thought as to whether your workplace culture is one that keeps employee satisfaction top of mind. This is as important as money to most professionals. Do you offer the kind of work-life balance, benefits and perks that will motivate great people to want to join your team?
Use social media (wisely)
Not only has social media changed the way we watch TV, read the news and talk to our friends, it is transforming how employers overcome recruitment challenges. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can be used to promote employment opportunities to a very broad audience and connect with job seekers quickly and easily. Next-gen social media recruitment tools that can take the way you recruit candidates online to the next level are also available. However, the fast-paced, public and ever-changing nature of the Internet means there are as many opportunities to make online recruitment mistakes as there are to be successful — so tweet wisely.
Tap into talent communities
When recruiting via social media, go in with your eyes open: It is not a panacea and should be used in conjunction with (not in place of) personal outreach and networking. By joining relevant industry associations, attending networking events in your community and contributing to public discussions about your industry, you can spread the word about your business and your staffing needs. A great way to help prevent future recruitment challenges is to maintain a presence on college campuses and at career fairs and by offering scholarships, mentorships or work placements to post-secondary students.
Welcome employee referrals
Accepting staffing recommendations from members of your team can be a very valuable and reliable recruiting source for your company. After all, most employees would rather walk across a bed of hot coals than recommend a friend who is a bad fit. Setting up an employee referral program that rewards workers who suggest an individual you eventually hire with cash bonuses or vacation days, for example, can motivate your current employees to speak up when it's time to hire.
Work with a recruiting firm
Partnering with a recruitment agency specializing in placing accounting and finance professionals can go a long way in helping to overcome recruitment challenges. Not only do professional, outside recruiters generally have access to a larger pool of applicants (it's their job, after all, to continually locate skilled candidates), they also handle the administrative details, such as placing ads, evaluating resumes and conducting preliminary interviews. Best of all, you only pay their fee when they find you someone you actually hire.
Hiring the right people at the right time is one of the most important aspects of success in business. However, inexperience, lack of time and an insufficient professional network can all lead to recruitment challenges. If you find yourself experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to call in a staffing professional.