Hiring on new staff can be exciting – it’s a sign that your firm is growing and will be able to take on new clients. Accounting outsourcing can of course save you a lot of the associated not-quite-as-exciting headaches that come with the hiring practice because it provides an incredibly easy and cost-efficient way to get more people working on your files.
That being said, sometimes you will need a new body in-house, and you’ll have to go the more traditional hiring route. With this traditional route come the traditional potential costs of hiring the wrong person, having to fire the wrong person, the demoralisation the wrong person can have on the rest of your staff, and of course the literal costs of hiring and training a new talent.
Let’s take a look at some methods you can use when you’re going through the hiring process to better your chances of getting the right person.
Make sure you have a firm grasp of what they’re trying to say (this goes for accounting outsourcing providers too)
Vague answers can be the enemy because they can hide a candidate’s lack of knowledge or a personality that will not jibe with your firm’s culture. It may not be an act of malice on their part – they might not have understood your question and so they were unable to give a clear answer.
So if a candidate gives you an answer that leaves you scratching your head, ask again. If needs be, think of new ways to phrase the question. If you’re still not sure you’re getting an answer you’re happy with then have the candidate come in for another interview, potentially with someone else so you can get that second interviewer’s impressions.
Two (or more) heads are better than one.
Since you’re using accounting outsourcing to free up time you should feel comfortable bringing in one or more of your established team members for final interviews. While you might be uneasy about a vague answer (like in the point above) those team members might pick up on something that makes them give the candidate a resounding no.
Remember, you’re not just hiring the candidate; you’re hiring every interaction they will ever have with the other members of your team (and with your clients, depending on the vacant position).
Check their abilities
Have candidates do some sample work (pay them for their time) using your firm’s systems and computer programs. It’s not so much about seeing if they can do things your way immediately as it is if they’re capable of learning different ways of doing things and how they follow instructions. Since your systems’ documents are written out in such a manner that new team members should be able to follow them they should be able to problem-solve their way through your typical workflows.
Read their resume before-hand.
You wouldn’t want a candidate to come into your firm without knowing anything about it. While it’s not expected for you to do as much research about them, the very least you can do is familiarise yourself with their work and educational history. At the very least it’s polite, and it’s a waste of both your time and that of your candidate for you to read the resume when you should be talking.
References are there for a reason
Check them. You have all that time freed up since you use accounting outsourcing, so use some to talk with past employers. This is perhaps the best way to gain an insight into how a candidate’s mind works and how they go about problem-solving.
You’re not going to get to know much that’s useful about a candidate if you intimidate them. Try to have the interview reflect the culture of your firm right off the bat so you can see how they integrate themselves into the “feel” of working with you.
Build in a probation period
Finally, once you do pick a candidate as being “the one” make it clear that there is a probationary evaluation period (usually these are about 3 months).
Explain that this period is not just for you to evaluate them, but also for them to see how they like working for you.
Getting the right hire is immensely important (and yes, it’s important to get the right provider when you’re looking at accounting outsourcing). This person is going to help at least minutely steer your firm’s growth purely by their presence in your offices even if they are the lowest person on the firm’s ladder.