Are Your Hiring and Recruiting Practices Hindering Your Recruitment Success?

26 October 2023 Steve Merritt

Woman recruiting

​Recruiting top talent in the accounting and finance industry is challenging. Skill shortages are rampant throughout the industry, and employee expectations are evolving. Without the right hiring and recruitment practices, business leaders can struggle with gaps in their teams for months.

Not only does this hamper the progress of your accounting and finance team, but poor hiring practices can also lead to a loss of productivity and engagement in your current team.

While some of the challenges in the recruitment landscape may be beyond your business’ control, there are certain issues business leaders can identify, and overcome with the right strategies.

Addressing common roadblocks in the hiring process, such as problematic job descriptions, inconsistent employer branding, and poor candidate treatment, could help you to fill your talent pipeline faster, and achieve your business goals.

Today, we’re going to look at the 3 most problematic hiring practices hindering your accounting and finance recruitment success, and what you can do to overcome them.

Problem 1: Poor Job Descriptions

There is one crucial resource a candidate will use to determine whether a role is suitable for their needs: your job description. A job description is often the first insight your ideal candidate will get into not just the responsibilities of the position you’re offering, but your company culture and employee value proposition. As such, you can’t afford to make any mistakes.

A job description needs to highlight the tasks and projects performed by the person in a specific position, expected performance metrics, key characteristics of your ideal hire, and the benefits you can offer as an employer.

However, it also needs to show candidates why they would want to work with your business.

Unfortunately, many businesses and accounting firms struggle to write effective job descriptions.

Many posts listed on company websites, forums, and job boards feature vague language, making it difficult for candidates to visualise themselves in a specific position. They may also highlight unrealistic expectations, or in some cases, use biased language.

One study found 60% of businesses unintentionally show significant bias in the wording of their job adverts, using masculine terms, or phrases that show a preference for candidates of a certain age or background. A poor job description can immediately deter top candidates from applying for your role, giving you fewer candidates to choose from.

Fortunately, working with an accounting and finance recruitment company, can help improve your job descriptions, using strategies like:

Clarity: Ensuring your job descriptions clearly outline the responsibilities of a role, and your expectations of new employees is crucial. Avoid using vague language, and be realistic when it comes to showing candidates what you expect from them.

Inclusivity: Eliminating any examples of bias from your job descriptions is essential to ensuring you can attract a diverse selection of potential applicants. Avoid any language that shows a preference towards a specific race, gender, or age group.

Enticing benefits: Use your job descriptions to demonstrate your employee value proposition. Show accounting and finance employees what they can get from working with your business, such as great development opportunities, or access to flexible working.

Problem 2: Ineffective Employer Branding

Now that accounting and finance employees have more options when it comes to choosing where they want to work, and which businesses they want to associate themselves with, employer branding is more important than ever. LinkedIn shows 72% of recruitment leaders worldwide say employer branding has a direct impact on hiring success.

As your business brand serves to differentiate your business from competitors to consumers, your employer brand aims to engage the right talent and convince potential candidates that they want to work with your organisation.

With the right employer branding, you can ensure you’re targeting the right audience of candidates and boost your chances of earning interest from talented applicants. Unfortunately, developing and showcasing a strong employer brand can be difficult.

Some companies fail to clarify their unique value proposition on their websites, job descriptions, and social media posts. Others don’t fully understand what accounting and finance candidates are actually looking for in the current workplace.

Here are some suggestions to ensure your employer branding supports your company to stand out:

Define Your Employee Value Proposition Aligned With Your Employer Brand

Start by defining your employee value proposition. In other words, what can you offer to candidates in terms of not just remuneration, but unique benefits and experiences? Do you offer flexible working opportunities, access to development and training experiences, or a supportive company culture?

Showcase Your Company Culture

Find ways to draw attention to the unique aspects of your company culture. You can highlight your flexible working options in your job descriptions or show employee stories on your websites. You could also ask employees to write reviews for websites, like Glassdoor.

Activate Your Advocates

Ask your team members to work with you to demonstrate the unique aspects of your employer brand. You could ask employees to post about training days and team accomplishments on social media or create videos for YouTube.

Problem 3: Poor Candidate Treatment

Finally, one of the biggest issues companies and accounting firms face, stems from a lack of focus on candidate experience. While it’s important to ensure your employees feel supported and respected when they join your team, it’s also crucial to demonstrate your commitment to staff care during the hiring and recruitment process.

If a candidate feels the hiring process was negative or unprofessional, they’ll be more likely to reject your job offer and look for an opportunity elsewhere. Up to 64% of candidates would even share their negative experiences with their contacts, advising them not to apply for the same roles.

The complexity of the hiring process means it’s easy for candidate experience to be negatively affected by a range of different issues. When sorting through a range of applicants, businesses can take too long to respond to their existing candidates, leading to frustration.

Similarly, when rushing through interviews and onboarding steps, businesses can often lose the respect of the candidates they may want to hire.

The easiest way to improve the candidate experience is to work with an accounting and finance recruitment agency on a strategy to improve the hiring process for everyone. Think about:

  • Consistent communication: A good candidate experience relies heavily on consistent and clear communication. Candidates expect rapid response times, and feedback from hiring managers, to keep them in the loop through the recruitment process.

  • Interview strategies: Disorganised interview processes have a negative impact on your employer brand, and limit your ability to attract new candidates. Ensure you have strategies in place to create a comfortable, effective interview process for everyone involved. Use scorecards to reduce bias, and train your hiring managers on how to use body language.

  • Onboarding: An excellent onboarding process is crucial to improving the relationship new candidates have with your business. Make sure you welcome your team members into your business with the right training, guidance, and consistent communication.

Upgrade Your Hiring Strategy For The Long Term

Businesses have long struggled to implement the most effective hiring and recruitment strategies in the accounting and finance industry. However, as the talent market grows more complex, it’s becoming increasingly important for business leaders to address the major challenges in their hiring strategy.

Addressing common problems like poor job descriptions, inconsistent employer branding and problematic candidate treatment can have a significant impact on your recruitment efforts. Now could be the perfect time to reflect on your current practices, and make some essential changes, so you can attract and retain the best accounting and finance talent.

Remember, a recruitment agency specialising in the accounting and finance industry can also help you to upgrade your hiring processes, assisting with everything from writing job descriptions to screening candidates.

​At Hedley Scott Recruitment our mission is to help employers with their accounting and finance talent acquisition to achieve their business goals. If you want to find out how we can help you, call us on 02 8877 8700 or contact us here.