If staffing your junior accounting position seems like a chore, and if sifting through a stack of resumes from identical “bean counter” grinds doesn’t reflect your idea of a fulfilling day, it may be time for an attitude shift. You’ll make a smarter decision and generate far better long term results for your organization if you recognize the significance of this process and the impact of this decision on your company’s future.
Move past the bean counter label. All junior accountants are not, in fact, the same. And if you can spot long term potential in a candidate and then bring this person on board and prepare her for success, you’ll be doing more for your company—and your own career—than you may realize.
1. Look for signs of personal initiative. Read between the lines, and separate your candidates into two categories—the ones who internalize company success and invest their hearts in everything they do, and the ones that just chose this career because they were seeking conformity and stability. In other words, those who love this job, and those who are here because they were pushed onto this path by outside forces.
2. Look for signs of critical thinking skill. Of course skilled accountants will be detail-oriented and will be able to drill down and focus on spreadsheets, changing regulations, and taxable deductions. But you don’t need robots—you need broad-minded employees who can recognize both small details and larger patterns within the task at hand.
3. Give candidates the benefit of the doubt. Don’t assume that all junior accounts will be nerdy, inept communicators. And don’t assume they’ll be unambitious or eternally content with a quiet cubicle and low responsibilities. During your interviews, encourage them to talk about their future goals, their expectations of stepping into management positions, and their ability to negotiate conflict and work well with others.
4. Be prepared to offer training. Your best candidate may not step in the door fully ready to take over the show. In fact, she may have very little practical experience at all—but she’ll be passionate about the work, eager to learn, and ready to roll up her sleeves.
For more on how to embrace the hiring process and do what it takes to identify the candidates you need, reach out to the DC financial staffing experts at Cordia.