Right now, the accountancy job market is active. It’s moving fast, employers know the skills they want, and those in search of a new role have – in the main – made up their mind to move quickly.
It sounds idyllic; and you’d be forgiven for thinking it is easy to find the right hire but, with high demand for niche skills, it is only those who are adaptable and can move quickly that are thriving.
Increased competition for talented people, by its nature, puts job seekers in the driving seat. If someone with the right skill set becomes available, they can very quickly have several opportunities to consider and, for a recruiting firm, this creates a problem.
Delayed decision-making, the need to seek authorisation, or a lack of time devoted to moving the stages of recruitment forward means you are highly likely to miss out on the best people. They won’t wait to see what ‘might’ happen.
If you want your recruitment to be more successful, you need to ensure your processes are robust and fit for today’s purpose:
Avoid reactionary recruitment wherever possible by future planning. For example, in 2020, we understandably saw a reduction in trainee recruitment. Fast-forward three years and you can expect to see a black hole in the number of qualified accountants available. It pays to keep a constant eye on the market and to regularly review staffing risks against your business goals. I’d suggest starting by mapping out your team and their skills versus your needs now and in the medium-term. You’ll soon be able to build a plan that gets you ahead of the game.
Adapt your style
Different situations call for different approaches, so make sure your methods stay fit for purpose. Simply offering video interviews in a pandemic isn’t enough. You need to modify the way you build a rapport and demonstrate the culture of your business. Have you adapted the job specification to reflect home-working? How do you plan to induct new employees and integrate them into your team without the opportunity to meet people face-to-face? These are questions that need to be answered before you start recruiting and employers doing this will reap the benefits.
A regular flow of clear and honest information is crucial to building trust. Show respect to each applicant by keeping them up-to-date with timings and progress and providing useful feedback. Every communication counts as you are effectively demonstrating the level of care your organisation has for its staff. Communicate consistently throughout the process and – regardless of the outcome – you will create positive advocates for your business.
Remember it is a partnership
People become valuable and loyal to a company because they’ve developed a mutually beneficial alliance. Whether the motivation is future progression, support with study or an increased salary, if you’re helping employees to fulfil their career dreams they will work hard for you to achieve yours and, over time, you will build a reputation as a highly attractive place for aspirational and talented people to work.
In a candidate-led market, you need to be decisive. Good people will vanish as quickly as they appear, so make sure it’s to join you. There’s nothing more disengaging than attending an interview, being impressed and then not hearing back for days. If you like someone, tell them before someone else does.
When times change, the way you recruit needs to change but, ultimately, good recruitment comes down to being prepared, proactive and treating people the right way.
Being fleet of foot is very important right now, but you must also remain honest and genuine in your attempts to help people achieve their ambitions in tandem with reaching your goals. That’s how you can truly build a trusting relationship, as well as a reputation as a great employer and place to work.