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How to hire the best accountants in a candidates’ market

16th Jun 2022
Brought to you by
Sage new logo

Sage is the market leader for integrated accounting.

Share this content

Do you feel like there's a missing cog in your firm's machine, but finding that perfect candidate for the role seems impossible?

Finding and hiring the best talent is an increasing problem many industries are facing, and accountancy is no exception. So, how do you attract, hire & induct the best candidates for your firm?

magnet attracting people
Andrey Popov_shutterstock

In 3.5 years, GoProposal has gone from a team of 3, to 26 high performing individuals. The way we hire is quite different from the conventional process you’re used to following. 

Here are 5 tips from Heather Elkington, our Director of Operations, to ensure you’re recruiting the right people...

1) Be human

In your messaging, from the job ad through to sending over the job contract to the successful candidate, speak to people like they're humans.

It sounds obvious doesn't it?

But when we write job advertisements and emails, we feel the need to go into ‘professional mode.’ The problem with that is, most people fall into the trap of sounding robotic.

So, if you want to invite a candidate to interview, instead of setting up your email template to say:

'Congratulations on getting through to the next stage of interviews.'

Try:

'I just read your CV and I LOVED it. It'd be great to chat more about your experience and interest in the role, so I'd like to invite you to an interview...'

Do you see how that difference can make a candidate feel special, rather than just one of a 'batch' of people in the running?

2) Help them relax

During the first 5-10 minutes of the interview, your only goal should be to make them feel relaxed. They’re not going to be able to be their best self in those first minutes. They’ll be overthinking and nervous. So, start with asking them to tell you more about their career for the past 5 years. It’s an easy question for them to answer without thinking too much.

3) Don't write down their answers

While many companies use scoring systems to evaluate a candidates' demonstration of skills, at GoProposal we measure how the interviewee makes us feel. This might sound ‘woo-woo,’ but it’s simply about asking yourself different questions in response to their answers.

Do you see how asking yourself questions like;

'Did that answer seem well prepared?'

or

'Did that feel dishonest?'

Can help you better listen to your gut feeling? This way, if anything does ring the alarm, you can ask them about it in the interview to give them a chance to explain...

4) Be honest about concerns

If they say something in the interview that doesn’t ring true, ask them about it. Don’t let it fester and affect your decision, because if you give them the opportunity to explain further, more often than not, they will be able to put your concerns at ease.

And if they don’t put you at ease, and the alarm in your head still rings, you’ll be more sure of your decision not to bring them on board, and be glad you asked.

5) Get them excited

How many times have you hired someone and before you know it, it's their first day and you don't know what to do with them?

Maybe you remember your first day in your career, when you were sitting twiddling your thumbs, not knowing what to do or wanting to bother anyone.

We make sure we only have one aim for the first day of a new employee...

To WOW them.

The whole first day revolves around a simple plan to set them up for success and get them excited to be working here.

It starts with an itinerary we email to them ahead of the day. That little bit of preparation lets them know what to expect and answers common first day concerns, from dress code to the best lunch places in the area.

Finally, to end the first day on a high, we send them home mid-afternoon with a bottle of champagne.

Are you ready to attract the best accountants on the market to your firm?

From advertising your company as a great place to work before you even post the job ad, right through to the final day of probation for a new employee, there are tons more proven tips discussed in this webinar with myself and ‘The Accountants’ Mastermind, Simon Chaplin.

Heather Elkington GoProposal Simon Chaplin Accountants Mastermind recruitment webinar