Accounting and finance talent can be tough to find in the current job market. The fact that large numbers of job seekers are fielding more than one offer only intensifies the challenge hiring managers face.
Nearly 60% of workers responding to a recent Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey said they’ve received two or more job offers simultaneously. By that count, six out of every 10 candidates you extend an offer to may be talking with another company.
So how do you attract and hire the cream of the finance crop? Start by attempting to understand what drives candidates’ decision making. Here is some insight into job seekers’ motivations, along with several tips to help you stand out.
What candidates want
Workers responding to the Robert Half survey cited four top factors that come into play when they are weighing multiple job offers.
- Salary. It should come as no surprise that salary is rated above all other aspects of a prospective job, so offering competitive compensation is a must. The 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals provides salary ranges for almost 200 positions. It’s a great starting point when determining how much you’ll offer.
- Benefits. Our research shows that job seekers put a lot of weight on benefits such as health, dental and vision insurance, along with retirement savings plans that include employer contributions. Vacation and paid time off are also important, as the focus on work-life balance continues to grow.
- Potential for advancement. Today’s job seekers begin eyeing their career future from Day One. Will applicants you talk to be able to see themselves at your company two years from now? In five years? Providing opportunities for growth is essential, especially for millennials, who tend to have a strong focus on professional development.
- Commute time. Long treks to the office can seriously impact work-life balance and sour candidates on a job. Consider offering work-from-home days or flexible schedules that allow employees to bypass rush hour.
Another crucial element that impacts candidate decisions is the time employers take to hire. Almost three quarters (72%) of workers surveyed said they made up their minds within one to four days. And 14% made their decision in less than one day. Companies that potentially take longer may be out of luck. Candidates know what they want, so they’ll act fast and be off the market before you know it.
How to stand out in the current market
These tips can help you address the four priorities that survey respondents mentioned and beat out firms competing for the same talent.
- Create a well-rounded compensation package. A competitive salary coupled with desirable benefits, perks and incentives will help attract skilled professionals. Popular perks include flex time, wellness initiatives and transportation reimbursement, while incentives such as bonuses and profit sharing will grab candidates’ eyes.
- Speed up your hiring process. Companies that take a long time to recruit are bound to miss out. Have clear processes and approvals in place beforehand, and hold interviews in quick succession, ideally a couple of days apart. Additionally, stay in contact with candidates throughout the process to keep them engaged and interested, so they won’t slip off the line.
- Ensure a match with your organizational culture. An employee who doesn’t thrive in your office environment may struggle and eventually leave, so it’s key to strike a balance between talent and a good cultural fit when hiring. During the interview, for example, you could say, “Our company’s core mission is X. What does that mean to you?” Or you could ask, “What management style do you thrive under?” It’s an even better idea to publicize what your company culture is like before you’re ready to hire. Avenues include your firm’s website, social media and workplace-review sites. Most job seekers today will research your company culture even before applying for a job.
- Relax your hiring criteria. Sometimes you’ll come across an excellent candidate who’d fit in well at your company but doesn’t quite tick every box on your applicant wish list. In this case, hire for the most critical skills and offer training to help a new hire succeed in places where there are gaps.
- Be proactive. Reach out to your contacts and search for passive job seekers. These workers are less likely to be fielding multiple offers, as they’re not actively looking. For this approach to succeed, it’s crucial to maintain a rich network of connections you can call on when needed.
Because of today’s heavy demand for skilled finance and accounting talent, hiring managers have their work cut out for them. Set yourself up for success by understanding what candidates are looking for and adjusting your recruitment processes accordingly.
This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half, parent company of Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources. Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm placing accounting and finance professionals on a temporary, full-time and project basis. For career and management advice, follow our blog at www.roberthalf.com/blog.
Robert Half and its three financial divisions — Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Robert Half Management Resources — are the exclusive partner for financial staffing services through the AICPA Member Discount Program. Get the 2019 Salary Guide and save on specialized staffing services for your business. Click here to learn more!