​7 Common Qualities of High Performing Accounting Employees

01 February 2021 Steve Merritt

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As an accounting professional, it’s essential that you hire individuals into your team who will thrive, which in turn allows your business to grow.

The ‘right’ hire can make all the difference, just as hiring someone who isn’t exactly what you’re looking for can be harmful to your team and ultimately your success.

No business wants to spend any more time, resources or revenue than is necessary on their recruitment process.

In an ideal world, you could make the best hire the first time around – every time. Unfortunately, in real life, it’s not as simple as that.

But as an accounting industry leader, there are ways that you can mitigate hiring problems and challenges in your organisation. High on the list is only hiring individuals with certain high-performing skills.

Today, we share the 7 top qualities to look out for in your recruitment process – hire employees with these attributes to attract the success you want for your business.

1. A Great Communicator

Communication is the number one attribute all great accounting employees have; possessing great skills is one thing though not being able to communicate effectively with your team stops everything in its tracks.

In any organisation, no matter how small, the way employees interact with each other is the key to a successful team, and this has only been increased in our new physically distanced world.

Since the rise in remote working, possessing excellent communication skills has never been more critical. Sending an unclear email or miscommunicating a message over messenger bots or on the phone can cause all manner of problems for the entire team.

The most successful teams are full of great communicators – so look for this attribute as something which is just as essential as accounting skills in your recruitment process.

2. Autonomy

In a busy accounting firm, you need a team who can work independently outside of the initial onboarding period.

Your employees need to be able to manage time effectively, balance their workload and ensure that deadlines are met.

Additionally, autonomy is a contributing factor to high engagement, productivity and work satisfaction – so when you employ and encourage autonomy in your team, both you and your employees will benefit.

To find out if candidates have high levels of autonomy during the recruitment process, ask them how they feel working independently and if they have experience of working on their own - particularly from home - and look out for how confidently they talk about being self-driven.

3. Leadership Skills

Another key trait to look out for is their leadership potential.

In our ever-changing world, you must know that your team can step up when needed. Additionally, when you recruit accounting talent with leadership potential, this is a long-sighted growth strategy which can save you time and money in the future.

Leadership qualities involve a variety of soft skills including communication, confidence, delegation and being able to give and receive feedback.

4. A Positive Mindset

A positive mindset is essential in accounting firms, and unfortunately, it’s not something that can be taught easily.

Some individuals approach challenges with a ‘can-do’ attitude, are always able to look at the positive in a situation and can consistently bolster others - and these are the type of people you need in your team.

Individuals with a negative mindset will find it harder to thrive and move forward, as they find it challenging to see past obstacles. Unfortunately, their negativity can quickly spread and bring other members of the team down too.

Additionally, positive individuals have an ability to adapt to change with ease – which is going to be essential in accounting firms moving forward.

5. A Team Player

As with a positive mindset, being a team player is a crucial trait for accounting employees to have in our post-Covid world.

Be on the lookout for employees who have plenty of experience of working as part of diverse teams, as working with lots of different people and personalities is a great way to develop the skills needed to be an excellent team player.

Team players contribute by listening to their colleagues, offering a different perspective, they help to strengthen bonds and trust within the team, and they are essential when things get tough.

6. Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent individuals possess the interpersonal skills needed to help your accounting firm to thrive, and they do this in a few ways.

Building on the great soft skills we have already mentioned in this article, emotional intelligence allows accounting employees to exhibit the following:

•Self-awareness – the ability to prioritise, manage time and resilience to stress and anxiety during busy times.

•Self-regulatory behaviours – they are always in control of their emotions, and they are good at resolving conflict.

•Empathy – they can understand different members of the team, which allows them to work well with everyone.

•They can take feedback constructively – they don’t let it affect them personally, and they learn and grow from the experience.

An ideal accounting team is full of people with high emotional intelligence, and it is such a necessary trait it ranked sixth in the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills that employees will need to thrive in workplaces of the future.

7. Agility

And finally, since the enormous changes that have happened to our world due to the pandemic, flexibility is essential.

Never before has the skill of being able to work outside of our comfort zones been necessary. It is now essential for all accounting employers to be sure that their team are able to pivot to the ever-changing needs of a post-pandemic world.

Some people are great and adapting to change, whereas others find it more challenging, and some are unwilling to try.

How have employees coped with the recent changes to our world? Have they been happy to embrace new ways of working and living? Agility comes with a growth mindset, one where employees are always looking to develop and to grow, and this is the only way continued future success is possible.

Finally

If you are looking to employ new talent into your accounting team, these are the skills that you should be on the lookout for.

If you need help finding great accounting talent for your business, we can help.

For more information on how we can help you recruit the high-performing individuals you need, get in touch with us on 02 9053 0003 or email us here enquiries@hedleyscott.com.au

Steve Merritt

Managing Director | Hedley Scott Recruitment

Level 12, 64 York Street, Sydney 2000

T: 02 8053 0004 M: 0404 426 749

E: steve.merritt@hedleyscott.com.au

W: www.hedleyscott.com.au