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:1. make sure your hiring process is streamlined and seamless 2. find out what a competitive pay rate is for a staff or senior accountant 3. know the most requested skills for the role 4. write a job description that grabs the attention of prospects 5. understand hiring trends impacting the position and the accounting and finance industry 6. decide which hiring channels are best for finding candidates
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:
$64,813 – $76,792
$80,543 – $97,754
$84,466 – $100,078
$58,416 – $70,051
$64,290 – $77,094
$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:
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.
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.
- Demand for accounting positions is expected to grow 10 percent between 2016 and 2026.
- A healthy, expanding economy and increase in globalization are credited as driving factors in the dramatic growth.
- Advancements in tech and increased automation are expected to shift accounting positions towards more of an analytical role.
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.