Where Are the Best Accounting and Finance Professionals Hiding?

A hand is picking up an accounting and finance figure from a group of them

Your company has a great finance job opening, but all of the candidates you approach with an offer tell you they've just accepted another job. What's more, you've posted the position on all the relevant job sites, but the resumes from skilled accounting and finance professionals aren't flowing in like they used to.

It's a familiar scenario these days. In a Robert Half survey, more than 6 in 10 (63 percent) of CFOs interviewed said that finding skilled candidates for professional-level positions is challenging. Unemployment rates in many accounting and finance fields are below average, which has led to strong competition for professionals with in-demand skills. Because of the recruiting difficulties and talent shortages, it's not uncommon for accounting and finance professionals in high-demand specialties to receive multiple employment offers.

But don't lose hope. The accounting and finance professionals you need are out there. You just have to dig a little bit deeper, and search in different ways, to find them. Here are a few suggestions to try when you find yourself wondering where all the good candidates have gone:

Ask for referrals from internal staff
Your current employees can be some of your most reliable recruiting sources. It's likely they'll refer only the best accounting and finance professionals they know, because few people would risk their reputation by recommending someone who can't do the job.

Employee referral programs are popular in many companies. These programs offer extra vacation days, cash bonuses or other perks for recommending someone who is hired and stays with the company for a specific period of time. If you don't already have such a program, consider establishing one; if you do, make sure your employees know about it.

Leverage your external networks for leads
All the social media tools now available make it easier to search for accounting and finance professionals. If your company allows it, post an update on your personal Facebook page or tweet about the job opening. Encourage your friends and business contacts to forward or retweet the information to anyone they think might be interested. You'll be more successful if you send the job announcement to groups focused specifically on accounting and finance professionals on business networking sites such as LinkedIn.

Look within your own ranks
Sometimes, the right person for the job is right under your nose. Hiring internally has plenty of benefits; the process is usually quicker, the employee often has a shorter adjustment period and the effect on morale can be positive when workers see that the company is committed to career development.

But the right accounting and finance professionals can't apply if they don't know about the position. Make sure you're effectively communicating job openings to your current employees and managers.

Partner with a specialized recruiting firm
If your efforts still aren't producing results, or if you just don't have the time to search effectively anymore, it might be time to hire a recruiter with expertise in the financial industry. The best finance recruiting firms have access to a broad pool of accounting and finance professionals – even those who aren't currently looking for a job but who might consider leaving their current position for the right opportunity.

Accounting and finance professionals with in-demand skills can be hard to find, and if you keep losing out on your favored candidates, it's easy to get frustrated. But before you throw your hands up in the air, consider changing your approach. You'll discover the right person for the job if you try a few different ways to search for new employees.