Are Cover Letters Outdated? Why Requiring a Cover Letter in Your Application Process May Deter Candidates from Applying

The majority of hiring managers have stopped requiring cover letters to be included with resumes. Most managers feel that cover letters have no impact on which applicants they decide to interview.

As a result, you may want to consider eliminating cover letters from your application process. Because this saves candidates time, they are more likely to apply for your roles.

Because they typically do not influence hiring decisions, you may want to stop including cover letters in your application process.

Automation in Hiring

The process of matching candidates with jobs is increasingly being done with technology. With the amount of online information available, applicant details are easily accessible. As a result, cover letters typically are not necessary.

You can learn about applicants through their social media profiles, online portfolios, websites, and blogs. This provides greater nuance and detail than a cover letter can.

Speed and Convenience

Online and mobile applications are becoming the new norm for job applications. This partly is because efficiency and effectiveness are required to attract top talent.

Requiring a cover letter may dissuade the best candidates to complete your application process. Most candidates will not spend more than 15 minutes on an application. Elimination of a cover letter can help resolve this issue.

Other Screening Methods

You may choose different methods to prescreen applicants. For instance, you might use assessment tools to validate the skills you are looking for. Or, you could request video submissions to get a feel for applicants’ personalities. This can help determine which applicants would be a good culture fit.

Make sure you use the right job titles and descriptions in your job postings. This can narrow down the list of applicants with the soft skills that otherwise may be listed in cover letters.

Tailor your job content to attract qualified applicants. These applicants have the experience, achievements, goals, and personality to excel in the role.

Get Help with Your Hiring Process

As cover letters continue to become outdated, you may want to reconsider whether should be included in your application process. The best talent does not want to spend a lot of time applying for a job. Also, most hiring managers aren’t considering content in cover letters when deciding which applicants to interview. As a result, it may be in everyone’s best interest not to require the submission of cover letters with resumes.

For help with hiring accounting and finance professionals, contact Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Reach out today.

How a Strong Company Culture Can Lead to Better Retention

Your company’s culture is one of its biggest assets. It shows what your organization stands for and serves as a guide for employee interactions.

Having a well-developed culture can encourage the best talent to work for you. Once these employees become part of your organization, they are likely to remain for an extended time.

The longer your employees remain, the higher your retention rates. This lowers the amount of time and money spent on hiring, which improves your bottom line.

Find out how you can develop a strong company culture to improve your employee retention rates.

Business Guidance  

Displaying a strong mission, vision, and values provides employees with a sense of guidance and security. It shows what you stand for as a company. This helps attract employees who align with your culture.

Employees with values in line with your company’s values tend to make better business decisions. This typically aligns with your company’s vision and business strategy.

Be sure to advertise your culture and exhibit it in everything your organization does. For instance, regularly talk about your company’s vision and strategy. Include what these topics mean for different teams. Helping your employees better understand the company can improve engagement, motivation, and retention.

Include your company values when evaluating employee performance. This can improve engagement.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Offering remote or hybrid work and a flexible schedule helps your employees manage work-life balance. Letting them handle their personal needs during the workday helps lower stress. This reduces the odds of experiencing burnout.

Your employees may desire additional paid time off (PTO), stipends for child care, or paid parental or personal leave. Providing these accommodations shows you care about your employees’ well-being.

Talk with your employees about individual accommodations they may need to fit their personal circumstances. Increased flexibility typically leads to increased retention.

Performance Recognition

Regularly thanking your employees for their efforts and results helps them feel appreciated. This tends to elevate engagement, productivity, and retention.

Performance recognition should take a variety of forms. This may include a hand-written thank-you note, verbal praise during an individual or team meeting, or a mention on the company intranet.

Regularly point out your employees’ contributions to benefit the organization. Include each employee’s specific actions, their results, and how they impacted the business. Provide bonuses, raises, or promotions when appropriate.

Looking for Accounting and Finance Professionals?

Employees want to work for companies that have a strong culture. You can promote your culture by using it to guide employees to make business decisions. You also can offer flexible work arrangements and provide performance recognition to increase the attractiveness of your workplace. All of these factors contribute to your retention rates.

If you need help adding accounting and finance professionals to your team, talk with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Learn more today.

Appreciating Senior Workers as an Asset

“Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it.” – Stephen Hawking

Do you view employee longevity as an asset? As most companies face staffing shortages due to The Great Resignation, have you revised your recruiting strategy to include attracting and retaining older workers? So many companies have a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) plan, but it may not include hiring people over the age of 50. If it doesn’t, it should. One reason is that you don’t want to be called out for age bias. Second and more importantly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 25% of the U.S. workforce is currently over the age of 55. The number of people ages 65 and older who are still working is expected to rise to 29 percent by 2060.

Outdated assumptions about older workers persist but did you know that senior employees add value to your business? According to Josh Bersin, a global industry analyst, and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, chief innovation officer at Manpower, “people over the age of 40 are more entrepreneurial, patient, have collaborative natures, and they’ve moved beyond a phase of having to “prove myself.” In their article published in the Harvard Business Review, they note that even though there is an entire media and publishing industry that glorifies youth, the scientific evidence on this issue shows differently:

  • On average, raw mental horsepower declines after the age of 30, but knowledge and expertise – the main predictors of job performance – keep increasing even beyond the age of 80.
  • There is also ample evidence to assume that traits like drive and curiosity are catalysts for new skill acquisition, even during late adulthood. That means that there is no age limit to learning things.
  • Older workers can bring cognitive diversity to the workforce to help maximize team output.

In an opinion piece published by the Boston Globe, Tim Driver – president of the Age-Friendly Institute and founder of retirementjobs.com, Jody Shue – executive director of the Age-Friendly Institute, and Alice Bonner – director of the Age-Friendly Institute state a convincing case on “why employers should recruit and retain older workers.” The article explains that “smarter organizations view their employees’ longevity as an asset: their experience, lower turnover rates, ability to foster higher customer satisfaction, and diverse perspectives are among the crucial contributions older workers offer.”

Why Hire and Retain Workers 50+

Kerry Hannon, author of Never Too Old to Get Rich, provides the business case for seeing the benefits of hiring senior workers: “The truth is experience, put simply, gives you an edge.” In an article published by Forbes, Hannon offers 10 reasons to hire and retain workers 50+, including:

  • Loyalty and stability, attitude, productivity, and mojo
  • Decision-making skills, leadership skills, essential skills, and networks
  • Cognitive capacity and collaborative
  • Mentors

“When it comes to hiring, smart employers know that it’s not about age…An innovative company wants talented people, period,” commented Hannon. And with talented employees, companies win.

But considering that one-third of available workers are 55 years of age or older, there is an economic impact, as well. As the workforce ages, so will the global economy. Many people do not have enough money in their retirement accounts, which means they need to work and want to work longer. They enjoy the mental and physical stimulus going into an office provides and like to provide value to their companies and community. If your company is struggling with unfilled jobs, it is unable to meet the demands of customers, thereby creating ongoing supply chain challenges and affecting your profits.

Driver, Bonner, and Shue note that “postponed retirements are similarly beneficial to the economy as a whole: increasing GDP, providing skilled and less-skilled labor in a tight labor market, and reducing public health costs because people are active and engaged. By working longer, older adults are more likely to remain physically and mentally active, are better able to support themselves financially, and stay four times more socially engaged (vital to good health).”

How Can Organizations Appeal to Older Workers?

Bersin and Chamorro-Premuzic offer these suggestions:

  • Give older people titles and roles
  • Offer accommodations for flexible work such as more accessible workstations, the ability to perform tasks while seated rather than on their feet all day, and a varied schedule
  • Look at pay equity by job and level, not tenure
  • Bring age diversity into your DEI programs
  • Give older workers managerial roles, supervisor roles, and mentor roles
  • Coach and teach recruiters not to discriminate by age
  • Teach younger leaders about reverse mentoring

With a strategy in place, retaining your senior workers can be as easy as letting them know you want them to stay and/or offering phased retirements, reconsidering training and education opportunities, and incorporating the advice above. To attract senior workers, find organizations, programs, networking groups, and job boards targeted to the 50+ people in your community.

Summary

It’s time to rethink any antiquated points of view regarding senior workers and shift to a more well-rounded talent acquisition strategy. What else do you need to convince you to develop a plan for retaining and bringing back senior workers to your workplace? Let Casey Accounting and Finance Resources help you pursue talented Accounting and Finance professionals with years of deep-rooted knowledge, confidence, practicality, loyalty, and stability.

Are You Offering Enough PTO to Your Finance Employees?

As the manager of a finance team, how much paid time off (PTO), you offer your employees matters. Providing a fair amount of PTO with opportunities for more helps you attract and retain the best talent. It shows you prioritize work-life balance and want your employees to have as much flexibility as possible.

Determination of how much PTO to offer can be difficult. The following suggestions can help.

Use these tips to determine whether you are offering enough PTO to your finance employees.

Defining PTO  

PTO consists of a block of time that employees can draw from throughout the year. Rather than creating categories and assigning a number of days for each, such as 7 paid holidays, 6 vacation days, 5 personal days, and 4 sick days, all of the days can be used however the employee sees fit.

For instance, most companies offer 30 days of PTO that each employee can divide up as needed. So, one of your employees might decide to take 12 days of paid sick leave, 12 days of paid personal leave, and 6 days of paid vacation. Another employee could decide on 5 days of paid sick leave, 12 days of paid personal leave, and 13 days of paid vacation.

Determining the Amount of PTO

Certain variables should be considered to decide which amount of PTO is right for your employees. For instance, you may want to offer different amounts of PTO to different types of employees. You also need to determine whether your employees should be required to use all of their PTO each year, be able to roll it over to the next year or get paid extra for the unused days.

You may want to start your new hires with less PTO and award more PTO based on the number of years your employees remain with your company. You also might want to let your employees roll over their unused days as a reward for good attendance.

Deciding How Much PTO Is Right for Your Employees

The amount of PTO you provide your finance employees depends on your business needs. It may be best to start each new hire with 30 days of PTO and provide opportunities to increase over time. This might be linked to job performance, years of loyalty, or other criteria.

Ensure your standards for awarding PTO are fair, clear, and included in the employee handbook. This helps your employees understand how much PTO they start out with and how they can earn more.

You can change your program over time to remain aligned with changing employee needs. This helps your finance team attract and retain top talent.

Want Help with Hiring?

The amount of PTO you provide your finance employees impacts how long they remain with your organization. Starting your new hires off with a fair amount of PTO and opportunities to increase helps attract and retain the best talent. This can help lower your recruitment costs.

When the time comes to hire additional employees, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources for help. Find out more today.

What College Graduates Are Looking for in Their Job Search

It’s the time of year again for college graduations! This means more accounting and finance candidates are entering the workforce.

You want to take advantage of the knowledge, skills, and ideas this new group of talent has to offer. One of the best ways to attract these job seekers is through your benefits and perks. The more your benefits and perks fill these graduates’ needs, the more likely the graduates are to want to work for you.

Offering any of the following can encourage new college graduates to apply for your jobs.

Diversity and Inclusion

New college graduates prioritize joining a company that celebrates and values the differences among its employees. These companies tend to excel at innovation and problem-solving, making them highly attractive to job seekers.

Make sure your company has employees of different cultures, ethnicities, genders, ages, and backgrounds at all levels. Showcase your employee resource groups (ERGs), cultural holiday celebrations, and other commitments to diversity and inclusion as well.

Work-Life Balance

The ability to control their time is important for recent college graduates. This is especially important for stress relief as these graduates transition from an academic setting into a professional setting.

Ensure you emphasize whether your company offers remote or hybrid work, a flexible schedule, generous paid time off, and mental health services. These benefits and perks help make your organization attractive to job seekers.

Tailored Benefits Package

Recent college graduates seek benefits that fit their current career and personal interests. These benefits may include student loan repayment, paid family or personal leave, or financial planning education.

Consider offering one or more of these benefits. The more you cater to recent graduates’ needs, the more inclined they will be to apply for your jobs.

Professional Development Opportunities

Recent college graduates want to work for an employer that provides opportunities for professional development. Because their first job serves as a stepping stone for their career, these graduates want to know what the future within an organization may hold for them.

Consider offering opportunities for mentorship, skill-building, and leadership development. The more opportunities for professional development new graduates see, the more likely they are to want to work for you.

Attractive Company Culture

New college graduates seek a company culture that blends with their personality and interests. The more these graduates feel that the culture is a good fit, the more likely they are to remain long-term.

Be sure your culture actively supports learning and growth. This should include ongoing employee recognition for their contributions and results.

Need Help Adding to Your Accounting and Finance Team?

New college graduates typically look for diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, tailored benefits, professional development opportunities, and attractive company culture when deciding where they want to work. Offering these increases the number of new graduates who apply to work for your company.

If you need help adding members to your Chicagoland accounting and finance team, turn to the experts at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Learn more today.

Workers Still Quitting. Where Are They Now and What Can Employers Do About It?

The big quit continues. Unemployment remains low. Jobs go unfilled. If workers are shuffling around and jobs are available, where did everyone go, and why is recruiting so hard these days?

The Facts

  • Many of those who quit or are considering quitting are Gen Zs. An Adobe survey of 5,500 workers found that 56% of those ages 18–24 say they are planning to switch jobs in the next year.
  • A key finding from the Lever “2022 Great Resignation: The State of Internal Mobility and Employee Retention Report” is that members of Gen Z are more than twice as likely to leave their current job (13%) as compared to Millennials (5%), Gen X (3%) or Baby Boomers (6%).
  • While the Adobe survey didn’t address Baby Boomers, Goldman Sachs estimated that the other half of employees who quit their jobs were Baby Boomers over 55 years old.
  • Steven Vaughan-Nichols, senior contributing editor of Red Ventures/ZDNet, notes the MIT Sloan Business Review, the biggest single predictor for companies losing workers by a big margin was a toxic work culture. “How big? A toxic corporate culture is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover. Other reasons that ranked higher than wages were job insecurity/reorganization; high levels of innovation; failure to recognize employee performance; and poor COVID-19 response.”
  • Finally, some employees retired or “aged out,” some just took time off, some switched to “gig” work, and others forged a new path –  a new industry or different career, or started a company, to name a few alternatives.

Employers Need to Face the Issues

Workers are in a position of power and are being offered more opportunities and choices. Employers cannot deny or delay that much of their workforce, today and tomorrow, is requesting more from them. And the pandemic wasn’t the tipping point. Workers have been wanting changes for some time.

LinkedIn conducted a survey in 2018 to understand what professionals want. The key takeaways:

  • The Hiring Dealbreakers – professionals would not work at a leading company if it meant they had to tolerate:
    • Bad workplace culture (70%)
    • Lower pay (65%)
    • Forgoing a fancy title (26%)
  • What’s Making Them Stay the Next 5+ Years?
    • A sense of belonging (46%)
    • Benefits over perks (44%)
    • Support from the top (36%)
  • Tips for Attracting, Retaining, and Fostering Top Talent Today
    • Build pride in your company (87%)
    • Maintain values in the workplace (39%)

There are numerous articles and surveys today that echo these same indicators four years later. As Baby Boomers move on, Millennials, Gen X, Y, and Z are reexamining their careers and the workplace culture and environment that fits them best.

Twenty-seven percent of 18-39-year-olds tell YPulse they have quit or resigned from a job in the last year, and of that group, 14% have left their positions in the last 6 months. When YPulse asked why they left, “My previous job was not good for my mental health” is the top response, followed by “There was not a healthy work/life balance at my previous job.”  In the face of mounting crises, Gen Z and Millennials have been changing their lifestyles to cope with stress. Wanting to go into a different field/industry is another one of the top reasons young people told YPulse they have resigned or quit a job, and in fact, 29% of employed 13-39-year-olds say they have resigned or quit a job to combat stress/anxiety in the last year. Meanwhile, 26% of 18-39-year-olds tell YPulse they have taken time off from work or school, and 19% say they have moved to a new city or state to combat anxiety/stress in the last year.

Encouraging People to Stay

The pandemic gave people a new lens from which to view their lives, work, and integration between the two. There’s a disconnect between the many job openings and workers wanting their old jobs back. With nearly half of the workforce searching or being recruited for new opportunities, Vaughan-Nichols noted the Adobe survey sheds some light on why employees will elect to continue working in their current job/company:

  • Proper company recognition.
  • Pay raises.
  • In-person and remote flexibility.
  • Improved listening.
  • Hours and schedule flexibility.

The Lever study noted that the biggest motivator for employees planning to stay in their position is salary and/or potential bonuses (46% of respondents said as much). This top-rated motivator was followed by attractive levels of paid time off and flexibility (21%) and internal mobility (13%).

Retooling Employee Retention Strategies and Rethinking Hiring Credentials

Let’s assume you have an attractive company culture, offer very competitive pay, and expanded your benefits to include PTO, caregiver leave, and better healthcare, what else will make a difference in your recruiting and retention strategies as you prepare your organization for the future of work? There are two key opportunities to consider: skills development and alternative credentials.

  • Reskilling your workforce.

Gartner, Inc.’s 2021 HR Priorities Survey of more than 750 HR leaders found that 68% of respondents cited building critical skills and competencies as their number one priority in 2021. The survey, conducted from June through August 2020, found the other top HR priorities for 2021 are: organizational design and change management (46%), current and future leadership bench (44%), the future of work (32%), and employee experience (28%).

A LinkedIn survey revealed that 76% of Gen Z workers believe learning is the key to a successful career. Learning new skills and executive mentoring are appealing to this generation and are important to their future and how the companies they work for compete. Members of Gen Z and Millennials are also more likely than other generations to ask for role changes (36% and 43%, respectively), according to the Lever report.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, HR leaders are moving away from crisis management toward focusing on what will make their organizations strong, both today and in the future, including having the right skills and competencies, building resilience and having a strong cadre of leaders,” said Mark Whittle, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice.

According to the latest LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, amid 2022’s storm of urgent priorities, skill-building and skills-based planning stand out as the most impactful places to make progress. While it’s natural to feel anxious that, for example, only 10% of HR and business executives say their organizations have a skills database with profiles for all employees, the report stated, “there’s a light in the dark clouds.”

The report goes on to say that organizations that shift to skills-based planning have a unique chance to catalyze learning culture and capitalize on emerging trends — especially the convergence of learning, talent acquisition, talent development, and the red-hot rise of internal mobility.

  • Employees who feel that their skills are not being put to good use in their current job are 10 times more likely to be looking for a new job than those who feel that their skills are being put to good use
  • 79% of Learning & Development (L&D) pros agree: It’s less expensive to reskill a current employee than to hire a new one
  • 54% of L&D pros agree that internal mobility has become a higher priority at their organization since COVID-19

 

  • Untapped Talent: The Rise of Using Alternative Credentials in Job Posts, Recruiting & Upskilling

Increasingly, U.S. workers are turning to alternative credentials to enhance and demonstrate skills and work-readiness, according to new research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), made possible by a grant from Walmart to the SHRM Foundation. SHRM’s new reports, The Rise of Alternative Credentials in Hiring, along with Making Alternative Credentials Work: A New Strategy for HR Professionals, found that nearly half of U.S. workers (45%) say they have some form of an alternative credential. Among those who don’t, about half (49%) have considered earning one.

But while employees and employers alike agree that alternative credentials bring value to the workplace and are instrumental in employee development, potential barriers to employers’ wider recognition of alternative credentials include a lack of systems that can easily identify an individual’s skills and talents, standards to recognize nontraditional or untapped talent, as well as employer reluctance to recognize a new way to validate these skills.

“Alternative credentials are key to uncovering untapped talent, especially when it comes to those job seekers who may not have the opportunity to build skills in a traditional way but have the competencies they need to succeed,” said SHRM Foundation President Wendi Safstrom. “A majority of executives, supervisors and HR professionals believe that including alternative credentials in hiring decisions can actually improve overall workplace diversity.”

Other key findings from the SHRM reports include:

  • Alternative credentials are popular with U.S. workers: more than 70 percent of U.S. workers agree they are an affordable way to gain the skills or experience necessary to enter a new job and that having a job-relevant alternative credential increases or would increase their chances of being hired for a job.
  • People who hold alternative credentials bring value to the workplace, according to executives (87 percent), supervisors (81 percent), and especially HR professionals (90 percent).
  • During a time of skills shortages, alternative credentials can uncover untapped talent. It becomes easier for diverse candidates to obtain employment (81 percent of executives, 71 percent of supervisors, and 59 percent of HR professionals).
  • Adjusting applicant tracking systems could help increase awareness of alternative credentials. Nearly half of HR professionals surveyed (45 percent) say their organization uses automated prescreening to review job applicant resumes, but only one-third of those (32 percent) say their automated system recognizes alternative credentials.

Ready to Remain Competitive?

If you are looking for ways to make your organization stand out, contact Casey Accounting & Finance Resources today. Let’s discuss the challenges you’re facing along with other hot topics in employee retention through upskilling and reskilling and considering alternative credentials in your job descriptions.

How Setting Short and Long-Term Goals Can Improve Employee Experience

Employee experience involves how and why things get done at work. This includes every touchpoint your employees have throughout their time working for your company.

A positive work environment, meaningful work, and supportive management contribute to a great employee experience. Trust in leadership and growth opportunities are important as well.

One way to elevate employee experience is through collaborative goal-setting. This provides your employees a say in what they work toward and the targets they aim for.

Collaborative goal setting encompasses the aspects mentioned above that contribute to an attractive employee experience. These are reasons why you should begin setting goals with your employees today.

Discover how collaborative goal-setting helps improve the employee experience.

Goal Setting Impacts Career Success

Helping your employees understand what they are working toward and why it matters impacts job satisfaction.

  • Having clear reasons to reach their goals gives your employees motivation, especially during difficult times.
  • Establishing the steps needed to reach their goals maps out which actions employees should take and when.
  • Setting milestones lets your employees know how successful they are in making progress toward their goals.
  • Celebrating your employees’ successes provides encouragement to continue moving forward.

Achievement of Short- and Long-Term Goals Improves Retention

Employees usually need to achieve a series of short-term goals in order to reach their long-term goals.

  • Short-term goals typically take 6 months to 3 years to attain.
  • Long-term goals typically take 3 to 5 years to achieve.
  • The more short-term goals your employees reach, the more encouraged they are to build on their successes.
  • The more long-term goals your employees reach, the more likely they are to remain with your organization.

Creation of SMART Goals Impacts Accomplishments

Work with your employees to develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals.

  • Clarify exactly what each employee is working toward, so they know when they successfully reach it.
  • Include numbers or other hard data to measure success.
  • Make sure each goal can be obtained through the steps created and within the given timeframe.
  • Tie each goal to your company goals.
  • Ensure each goal can be achieved in the established time period.
  • Schedule regular check-ins with your employees to determine their progress. Talk about where they are at and where they should be.
  • Give praise when appropriate. Provide guidance to get back on track when necessary.

Looking for Accounting and Finance Talent?

Helping your employees set and attain short- and long-term goals enhances employee experience. When your employees understand the reasoning behind the targets they are working to reach, your employees are more likely to continue making progress toward their objectives. This helps increase engagement and retention rates.

If you are looking for accounting and finance talent, talk with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Reach out to find out more today.

5 Skill Tests to Make Sure Your Temp Employees Are the Right Fit

As an accounting and finance manager, there will be times when you need to add temp employees to your team. Your permanent employees may be taking a vacation, on a planned leave, out sick, or unexpectedly no longer part of your company.

Bringing aboard temp employees can help even out the workload for your team. Because these employees come from a staffing agency, you know they are vetted and skilled in their work.

Temp employees require little training to begin producing. However, you may want to conduct skills tests to make sure these employees have what it takes to succeed in a role.

The following are five skills tests you may use to make sure your temp employees fit with an open position.

1. Reading Comprehension

The tasks required of temporary employees typically involve reading comprehension, speed, and other written communication skills.

  • Temp employees need to receive, process, and send accurate information in emails, memos, reports, and other documents.
  • Temp employees must read written instructions to perform specific tasks.
  • Temp employees have to read reports to provide overviews to their managers.

2. Writing

Emails, memos, instructions, and related tasks require strong writing skills.

  • Temp employees may be asked to write an executive summary of a manager’s report.
  • This requires the proper tone, brevity, clarity, and precision.

3. Typing Speed and Accuracy

Because temporary employees often use computers, the employees must have typing skills.

  • You want temp employees who can type at high speeds.
  • Look for temp employees with a low error rate.

4. Word Processing

Temporary office employees need to understand your word processing software.

  • Proper use of the layout and typography features is needed to format documents in line with your company’s style and brand.
  • The temporary employees should be able to create fillable forms and modify templates for communications where the format is fixed, but the information varies, such as a monthly report.

5. Spreadsheets

Many tasks that temporary employees perform involve spreadsheets.

  • Temp employees may need to create spreadsheets to perform important functions.
  • Examples include tracking customer contacts or updating information in an existing spreadsheet, such as adding monthly sales for each sales professional.

Looking for Temporary Accounting & Finance Professionals?

Adding temp employees to your team can help ease the workload. You may want to provide skills tests to make sure the temp employees are able to complete the tasks that are expected of them. Our recruiters have access to hundreds of behavioral and skill tests to predict candidate workplace performance. We also offer interactive training modules for candidates who might need a refresher or to improve their skills.

When you need to temporarily fill accounting and finance roles, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Find out more about how we can fill your temporary staffing needs today.

What’s the Price of Not Offering Mental Health Benefits in Your Workplace?

Employers might think that their employees’ mental well-being is none of their business. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The stress and isolation caused by the pandemic appear to have heightened our desire for work/life integration and exacerbated the pressure, tension, and anxiety we are all feeling.

According to Understood.org, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that depression and anxiety alone result in a cost of one trillion dollars per year in lost productivity (“Mental Health in the Workplace,” World Health Organization). A combined World Economic Forum and Harvard School of Public Health study estimated that between 2011 and 2030, the global financial impact of mental disorders will total $16.3 trillion in lost output (Candeias and Arnaud).

Nami.org notes that each year, one in five adults in the U.S. will experience mental illness, yet only one in three who need help will get it (Workplacementalhealth.org). Employees experiencing mental health issues like depression and anxiety are less productive or missing work altogether, even those working from home. This has a ripple effect throughout the organization. That’s why focusing on workplace mental well-being is important to an organization’s bottom line.

Stress Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Month

Helping employees improve their mental health is more important now than ever. April marked the start of Stress Awareness Month, and May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Since 1992, Stress Awareness Month raises awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed since 1949 and was started by Mental Health America. This year’s theme of “Back to Basics” was chosen with the goal of providing “foundation knowledge about mental health […] and information about what people can do if their mental health is a cause for concern.”

While a healthy workplace culture can’t prevent stress and mental health problems, employers can provide more resources to help employees build mental strength. Understood.org states that according to the Society for Human Resources Management, many employers are enhancing emotional and mental health benefits. Types of support can range from managing stress to treating invisible disabilities such as anxiety and depression.

According to Understood.org, the potential benefits of supporting employee mental health include:

  • Increased productivity: Research shows that nearly 86 percent of employees treated for depression report improved work performance. And in some studies, treatment of depression has been shown to reduce absenteeism and presenteeism (lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace because of an illness, injury, or other condition) by 40 to 60 percent.
  • Increased retention: In a 2019 survey of more than 1,500 employees nationwide, more than a third of the respondents said they had left a job due at least in part to mental health. Of these, 59 percent said mental health was the primary reason.
  • Decreased health care and disability costs: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, rates of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are twice as high in adults with serious mental illness.

“It’s important for managers to be trained to recognize the signs of emotional distress so they can react in a supportive rather than a punitive way,” says Jerome Schultz, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. “Some employees need people around them to say, ‘Hey, I see you might be feeling stressed. Maybe now is a good time to try some breathing exercises or go take a walk.'”

Amy Morin, author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” and Inc. contributing writer, offers eight simple ways to create a mentally healthier workplace:

  • Promote a work/life balance;
  • Discuss mental health in the workplace;
  • Offer free screening tools;
  • Talk about EAP benefits often;
  • Make wellness a priority;
  • Provide in-service events;
  • Support employees’ efforts to get help; and
  • Reduce the stigma.

Ways to Support Employee Mental Health

To help you develop some activities or events for May as well as augment your current benefits, Total Wellness Health.com offers 21 Mental Health Awareness Month Activities for the Workplace. Ideas include:

  • Host a stress reduction workshop
  • Have a well-being or outdoor event day
  • Create a different kind of escape room
  • Discuss mental health
  • Schedule an on-site yoga day or other activity day; offer workplace massages
  • Have a paint party
  • Cultivate gratitude in the workplace
  • Create a coloring area
  • Giveaway wellness items
  • Promote random acts of kindness
  • Hold a community dance party

“Employees are more vulnerable to the negative impact of stress inside and outside of the workplace if they have not built strong positive relationships at work,” says Schultz. “Help make work interesting, social, and fun, so stressed-out employees aren’t working in isolation. Workplace relationships that are positive provide a source of support – that’s hard for anything else to replace.”

Additional Resources

There are many resources available to assist companies with understanding how mental health impacts their employees. We’ve provided a few of our findings here. Note that none of the resources shared in this blog are meant to be a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment.

Recognizing and supporting your employees’ mental health with resources and stress-reducing activities is important to their well-being and productivity and should be a strategic priority for your organization.

4 Updates You Can Make to Job Descriptions to Gain More Applicants

Your job descriptions provide managers with clear guidelines for hiring, developing, and managing employees. The descriptions also clarify the job expectations for employees and support compensation, performance standards, and development decisions.

Your job descriptions are an important part of your job postings. They let candidates know the duties and responsibilities of a role and the requirements to be successful in the position.

Because your job descriptions serve multiple purposes, they need to be current. The following are four ways to can make sure the information is updated.

Implement these four tips to update your job descriptions to increase your applicant pools.

1. Position Summary

Summarize the main job duties and responsibilities.

  • Make the role attractive to job seekers.
  • Share information about your department.
  • Include who the employee reports to and whether any employees report to them as well.

2. Minimum and Preferred Qualifications

Clarify the qualifications that candidates must have to apply for the role. Include the qualifications that make candidates even more attractive to the hiring manager. Focus on the major end results of the role.

  • The minimum requirements are a shorter list of your objective criteria.
    • Include the minimum education and experience required for success.
  • The preferred qualifications are nice to have if applying for the position. A candidate without the preferred qualifications still may be hired.
    • These qualifications are on a longer list of more subjective criteria that can be discussed in more detail during an interview.
    • Examples of preferred qualifications include soft skills such as communication, attention to detail, and organization.
    • The preferred qualifications set candidates apart from those with the bare minimum qualifications.

3. Duties and Responsibilities

Include the main job functions in order of importance.

  • Be as specific as possible about the job duties and responsibilities.
  • Explain whether the employee makes recommendations to a decision-maker or makes the actual decisions.
  • Use clear action words and specific adjectives for each task. For example, “Create Excel sheets from raw data, including pivot tables and formulas such as if/then. Perform data entry to update, sort, analyze, and summarize in reports for leadership.”

4. Physical Requirements

Clarify whether there are any physical requirements to complete the work. Include whether accommodations can be made for candidates who need them.

Want Help Hiring Accounting and Finance Professionals?

Sharing clear, updated information in your job descriptions lets candidates know what would be expected of them in the role. Clarification of the position summary, minimum and preferred requirements, duties and responsibilities, and physical requirements help candidates decide whether to apply for a position. This narrows down your options when deciding who to contact for an interview.

If you need help with crafting your job descriptions or recruiting candidates that best meet the hiring qualifications, contact the experienced recruiters at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Reach out to discuss your needs today.