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Hiring Reliable Accountants: Five Secrets

When you face an open position in your accounting department and you sit down with your team to strategize your sourcing and selection process, do begin with the end in mind? Do you start with clear goals and a shared understanding of what the ideal outcome will look like? Or do you just launch into the process expecting to recognize the right candidate when you find her?

The truth is, an effective hiring process requires a little bit of both. On the one hand, careful planning and clear expectations can shorten the process and remove an element of risk. But on the other, it’s a good idea to leave room for intuition and keep an eye out for a cultural match who has all the right aptitudes but who also elicits a gut-level positive reaction from every member of your hiring team. Here are a few tips that can help you find a balance between tangible and intangible selection metrics.

1. Get on the same page.

Make sure every member of the team shares an understanding of this position and its role in the financial health of the company. The job description and the limits of the position should be crystal clear to all the members of your accounting department and your hiring team.

2. Agree on first round picks.

Before you send out invitations and start scheduling interviews, make sure you fully agree on the qualifications that distinguish a top-drawer resume. Will you dismiss all candidates without a graduate degree? Will you use GPA cutoffs? Will you create a check of list of specific software and accounting skill sets?

3. Standardize your interviews.

For some positions, it’s okay to let each interview unfold organically like an ordinary conversation. But don’t do this with your accounting interviews. Make sure your questions, your skills tests, your time allowance, and your interview structure (panels or individual meetings?) are the same for every candidate. Do yourself a favor and keep things simple with apples-to-apples comparisons.

4. Take accurate notes.

Either record your conversations with each candidate, take clear notes, or conduct panel interviews so you can all react to the same candidate responses in real time. One account of the proceedings may differ widely from another.

For more information on how to process and analyze the information you collect during your interviews and resume reviews, reach out to the DC financial staffing team at Cordia. If you are looking for accounting recruiters in DC, contact our team today.