how to hire a staff or senior accountant.

how to hire a staff or senior accountant.

share this article:

If you're on the hunt to fill a staff accountant or senior accountant position, you've probably noticed that you're far from alone. In fact, statistics from labor-insights expert Burning Glass show that there have been 84,195 postings for staff or senior accountants in the past year alone.

Given the importance of these roles — working day in and day out with your company's sensitive financial data — they should be filled with a sense of urgency. So what can you do to increase the quality of applicants while decrease overall hiring timeline? Read on to find out.

As you prep for your recruitment journey, here's a checklist of steps that will cover all your bases:

Ready for detailed insights into each of these steps? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

Tedious and cumbersome processes can slow hiring to a crawl. And when it comes to an accounting vacancy, the longer a position stays open, the greater the risk of negative impact to the department (and, by extension, the entire company). Evaluate your current process using the below diagram to determine where it could be improved for efficiency. 

2. develop a competitive compensation package

Staff accountants and senior accountants are very sought-after positions, so salaries tend to be high. That means that in order to get the attention of top candidates, you need to offer an attractive salary right out of the gate. Not sure what an attractive salary is for this role? Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide is a great tool for determining competitive compensation. To get a quick idea now, below are nationwide salary averages for senior and staff accountants by level of seniority:

senior accountant

entry-level
$64,813 – $76,792

mid-level
$80,543 – $97,754

senior-level
$84,466 – $100,078

staff accountant

entry-level
$58,416 – $70,051

mid-level
$64,290 – $77,094

senior-level
$71,481 – $85,718

What makes a competitive salary will vary from location to location. So make sure to head over to our salary calculator for the most up-to-date, region-specific compensation data. 

3. identify the top skills for staff and senior accountants

What an organization needs from their staff accountant or senior account can vary widely, depending on the company's size, industry and team structure. Get hiring managers and business managers together to determine the scope of the position: Will this person manage your business's overall financial health or strictly monitor the bottom line? Or something in between? The answers to those questions will make clear what skills and experience are necessary for a candidate to be successful.

Then, distinguish between those skills that are necessary (the "must-haves") and those that are ideal (the "nice-to-haves"). Should the right person already have their CPA credential? How about deep understanding of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act? Should they be proficient in enterprise resource planning (ERP)? What about experience in financial reporting, analysis or external auditing? Consider what you need and be up front about it in your job description.

Here are the most sought-after skills for a senior or staff accountant according to job postings over the past 12 months:

accounting

account reconciliation

general ledger

financial statements

generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

budgeting

balance sheet

4. write an eye-catching job description

The job description is your first chance to woo prospects — don't let it be your last. Stick to the below tips to write an engaging and attractive description that catches the eye.

don't write like a robot
Due to the sheer amount of information job descriptions need to contain, it's all too easy to write them as a dry litany of facts. While this style may succeed in listing all the details, it's likely to fail in getting prospects to fully read them. Robotic writing doesn't appeal to humans. What does appeal to humans is a positive, accessible tone and an emphasis on the human-oriented details of the job.

Staff and senior accountants traditionally have a lot of control in their department, so they'll want to know things like how many people they may be overseeing and how the accounting team is structured. Will they be involved in broader maintenance of the company's financial health or solely focused on balancing the books? Highlighting the person- and position-specific elements of the job invites prospects to imagine themselves in the role (and you want that).

show how this job is meaningful
Few people these days are satisfied with a punch-in, punch-out, working-for-the-paycheck mentality in their career. One of the best ways you can distinguish your company from the rest of the pack is to anchor your description in how this job will be meaningful for the applicant.

This means both calling out your company's values and social-impact initiatives, as well as emphasizing the ways in which the specific role of staff or senior accountant provide value to those efforts — like managing the bottom line so that the company can continue to give back to the community. This approach demonstrates employees at your company are part of something bigger than themselves, and it signals to prospects that they understand the important work you do.

make it easy to skim
A job description with a haphazard structure and indiscriminately placed details feels chaotic and uninviting. Making your job description easy to skim is the best way to ensure people actually take in the information you're presenting. How do you make a description skimmable?

  • avoid rambling sentences
  • keep paragraphs short
  • use bullet points for listable items

job openings for accountant roles is on track to grow 10 percent by 2026.

Crafting an eye-catching job description doesn't have to be difficult. Put these tips into practice and you'll be well on your way to sorting through a high number of applicants. For even more insights on this task, check out our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

We don't have a crystal ball, but we do have data — and that's the next best thing as far as fortune-telling is concerned. Why? Because understanding where an industry is headed and what factors are shaping its course is vital to making wise hiring choices today.

To get you started, here are a few current trends impacting the accounting and finance industry and — more specifically — the role of senior and staff accountants.

Take a look at our 2019 accounting and finance industry trend guide for a more comprehensive summary of changes impacting the industry and role.

6. choose your channels to find candidates

Staff and senior accountants are essentially responsible for the integrity of all the accounting information for an entire company. As these positions traditionally cover a lot of risk assessment for your business, any new hire will hold a consequential amount of power from day one. You see where we're going with this? A bad hire is not a risk you can take.

There are many options out there for finding job seekers, so be sure to consider all the different avenues available. Leverage your current employees' networks and start a referral program (a great way to tap those hard-to-find passive candidates) or see if there's opportunity for advancing one of the junior members of your accounting team. 

Another option is to partner with a staffing firm. By working with staffing experts who are spending every day building relationships with the best candidates out there, you gain access not only to their prescreened and vetted pool of talent, but also their deep knowledge of your industry. You can rest assured that you are doing all you can to mitigate a bad hire and maximize your time and cost efficiencies.

Get in touch with our accounting and finance experts at Randstad today to learn more about what we can do for you. Just browsing for now? Take a look at our pool of available accounting talent anytime in our Find Employees portal.

binoculars

looking to solve a hiring problem? let us help you

how to hire a staff or senior accountant.

Posted by Michael Cirigliano on Sep 24, 2019, 4:20:27 PM

If you're on the hunt to fill a staff accountant or senior accountant position, you've probably noticed that you're far from alone. In fact, statistics from labor-insights expert Burning Glass show that there have been 84,195 postings for staff or senior accountants in the past year alone.

Given the importance of these roles — working day in and day out with your company's sensitive financial data — they should be filled with a sense of urgency. So what can you do to increase the quality of applicants while decrease overall hiring timeline? Read on to find out.

As you prep for your recruitment journey, here's a checklist of steps that will cover all your bases:

Ready for detailed insights into each of these steps? Let's get started.

1. speed up your hiring process

Tedious and cumbersome processes can slow hiring to a crawl. And when it comes to an accounting vacancy, the longer a position stays open, the greater the risk of negative impact to the department (and, by extension, the entire company). Evaluate your current process using the below diagram to determine where it could be improved for efficiency. 

2. develop a competitive compensation package

Staff accountants and senior accountants are very sought-after positions, so salaries tend to be high. That means that in order to get the attention of top candidates, you need to offer an attractive salary right out of the gate. Not sure what an attractive salary is for this role? Randstad's 2019 Salary Guide is a great tool for determining competitive compensation. To get a quick idea now, below are nationwide salary averages for senior and staff accountants by level of seniority:

senior accountant

entry-level
$64,813 – $76,792

mid-level
$80,543 – $97,754

senior-level
$84,466 – $100,078

staff accountant

entry-level
$58,416 – $70,051

mid-level
$64,290 – $77,094

senior-level
$71,481 – $85,718

What makes a competitive salary will vary from location to location. So make sure to head over to our salary calculator for the most up-to-date, region-specific compensation data. 

3. identify the top skills for staff and senior accountants

What an organization needs from their staff accountant or senior account can vary widely, depending on the company's size, industry and team structure. Get hiring managers and business managers together to determine the scope of the position: Will this person manage your business's overall financial health or strictly monitor the bottom line? Or something in between? The answers to those questions will make clear what skills and experience are necessary for a candidate to be successful.

Then, distinguish between those skills that are necessary (the "must-haves") and those that are ideal (the "nice-to-haves"). Should the right person already have their CPA credential? How about deep understanding of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act? Should they be proficient in enterprise resource planning (ERP)? What about experience in financial reporting, analysis or external auditing? Consider what you need and be up front about it in your job description.

Here are the most sought-after skills for a senior or staff accountant according to job postings over the past 12 months:

accounting

account reconciliation

general ledger

financial statements

generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)

budgeting

balance sheet

4. write an eye-catching job description

The job description is your first chance to woo prospects — don't let it be your last. Stick to the below tips to write an engaging and attractive description that catches the eye.

don't write like a robot
Due to the sheer amount of information job descriptions need to contain, it's all too easy to write them as a dry litany of facts. While this style may succeed in listing all the details, it's likely to fail in getting prospects to fully read them. Robotic writing doesn't appeal to humans. What does appeal to humans is a positive, accessible tone and an emphasis on the human-oriented details of the job.

Staff and senior accountants traditionally have a lot of control in their department, so they'll want to know things like how many people they may be overseeing and how the accounting team is structured. Will they be involved in broader maintenance of the company's financial health or solely focused on balancing the books? Highlighting the person- and position-specific elements of the job invites prospects to imagine themselves in the role (and you want that).

show how this job is meaningful
Few people these days are satisfied with a punch-in, punch-out, working-for-the-paycheck mentality in their career. One of the best ways you can distinguish your company from the rest of the pack is to anchor your description in how this job will be meaningful for the applicant.

This means both calling out your company's values and social-impact initiatives, as well as emphasizing the ways in which the specific role of staff or senior accountant provide value to those efforts — like managing the bottom line so that the company can continue to give back to the community. This approach demonstrates employees at your company are part of something bigger than themselves, and it signals to prospects that they understand the important work you do.

make it easy to skim
A job description with a haphazard structure and indiscriminately placed details feels chaotic and uninviting. Making your job description easy to skim is the best way to ensure people actually take in the information you're presenting. How do you make a description skimmable?

  • avoid rambling sentences
  • keep paragraphs short
  • use bullet points for listable items

job openings for accountant roles is on track to grow 10 percent by 2026.

Crafting an eye-catching job description doesn't have to be difficult. Put these tips into practice and you'll be well on your way to sorting through a high number of applicants. For even more insights on this task, check out our guide to writing highly effective job descriptions.

5. brush up on the latest industry trends

We don't have a crystal ball, but we do have data — and that's the next best thing as far as fortune-telling is concerned. Why? Because understanding where an industry is headed and what factors are shaping its course is vital to making wise hiring choices today.

To get you started, here are a few current trends impacting the accounting and finance industry and — more specifically — the role of senior and staff accountants.

Take a look at our 2019 accounting and finance industry trend guide for a more comprehensive summary of changes impacting the industry and role.

6. choose your channels to find candidates

Staff and senior accountants are essentially responsible for the integrity of all the accounting information for an entire company. As these positions traditionally cover a lot of risk assessment for your business, any new hire will hold a consequential amount of power from day one. You see where we're going with this? A bad hire is not a risk you can take.

There are many options out there for finding job seekers, so be sure to consider all the different avenues available. Leverage your current employees' networks and start a referral program (a great way to tap those hard-to-find passive candidates) or see if there's opportunity for advancing one of the junior members of your accounting team. 

Another option is to partner with a staffing firm. By working with staffing experts who are spending every day building relationships with the best candidates out there, you gain access not only to their prescreened and vetted pool of talent, but also their deep knowledge of your industry. You can rest assured that you are doing all you can to mitigate a bad hire and maximize your time and cost efficiencies.

Get in touch with our accounting and finance experts at Randstad today to learn more about what we can do for you. Just browsing for now? Take a look at our pool of available accounting talent anytime in our Find Employees portal.

binoculars

Topics: industry:accounting & finance, phase:explore, topic:problems