3 Important Business Lessons COVID-19 Taught Us

The scope of the coronavirus pandemic caught everyone by surprise. The impact has been felt by companies of all sizes in all industries. Tough decisions continue to be made regarding layoffs, policy changes, hiring, and how to keep the doors open. Fortunate companies have been able to use creativity, planning, and help from outside sources to maintain operations. The lessons we learned from coping with the unexpected can be used to navigate through other crises.

Here are three significant lessons businesses learned from the coronavirus pandemic.

Act Fast

When the COVID-19 pandemic began hitting countries, we had to go on lockdown for an extended period of time. The hospitality industry was shut down. International travel was forbidden. A significant part of the economy stopped. Companies had to make quick decisions with little information. Because employee safety was a top priority, leadership came up with remote working programs. Since business operations and revenue generation had to continue, leadership assessed their organization’s strengths and weaknesses, changed procedures and processes, created new products and services, and altered the business as quickly as possible. Overall, employers learned to be prepared for the unexpected. Contingency and crisis plans need to be top priorities going forward.

Prioritize Needs

During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, employers put the health and safety of their employees first. For millions, this meant transitioning in-office staff to work from home. Companies that had to provide employees with laptops, webcams, and headphones or increase their subscription to a videoconferencing platform faced a substantial impact on their bottom line. Employers’ second priority was survival of the business. Leadership had to discover which products and services were more profitable, which channels attracted more customers, and which campaigns resulted in more leads. The rest was put on hold. Leadership also assessed and pursued the development plans that offered a quick advantage over the competition. They learned that focus and resources needed to be shifted to the most resilient areas with revenue potential.

Reinvent the Company

A substantial number of companies had to reinvent themselves after the coronavirus hit. Leadership found new channels to interact with customers, new market opportunities, and new products to address emerging needs. They also modified manufacturing facilities, discovered new selling channels, and imagined new campaigns and promotions to promote sales. For instance, many companies that sold cleaning services, which were no longer in demand, began offering sanitation services for retail and healthcare clients. Companies had to evolve with changing customer needs to stay relevant.

Partner with a Top Recruiting Firm

The COVID-19 pandemic taught us to act fast when a crisis hits. Company needs must be prioritized, beginning with employee health and safety. Leadership must reinvent the business in order to continue filling customer needs.

Because these actions all require substantial resources, many companies turned to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources for help. Our dedicated team of professionals provided them with superior value through innovation, creativity, and initiative. Find out how our team can help your organization as well.\

2021 Accounting and Finance Salary Survey Available!

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources has compiled updated salary data for the fields of accounting and finance. With the start of 2021 now passed and the recruitment industry getting busy, having the most up-to-date information is vital!

With compensation trends changing on a monthly basis, both sides can benefit from having this information during job negotiations.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can help financial professionals who want to learn more about what salary expectations should be. We have compiled our salary survey list with updated facts and figures including job descriptions for more than 110 accounting and finance positions for the Chicago metropolitan area.

Email us today at FinancialSalarySurvey@caseyresources.com and we will be happy to share this with you.  In the “YOUR MESSAGE” section, please enter “2021 Accounting & Finance Salary Survey”.

Top Accounting & Finance Trends to Watch in 2021

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, accounting and finance professionals have dealt with significant changes to the way they work. One of the biggest was the sudden shift to working from in the office to the safety of home. This meant increased use of technology to communicate with coworkers, manage projects, and finish work. Another big change was the increased use of flexible staffing. Many employees took off work to care for dependents when schools and daycares closed. Others were unable to work because they contracted the virus. Bringing aboard interim professionals let business operations continue. Because of the efficiency that technology and flexible staffing provided, they will continue to be used on a wider scale in the new year.

Look for these four accounting and finance trends in 2021.

Cloud-Based Technology

The increasing number of remote accounting and finance professionals means more employers will implement cloud-based technology. This provides a flexible, secure way to store, share, and access real-time information among coworkers. Cloud-based technology allows organizations to efficiently operate without geographic constraints. This enhances project management functions and improves organizational communication. Accounting and finance professionals can more effectively manage large datasets to create sophisticated data analytics, detailed financial reporting, and more.

Blockchain  

More accounting professionals will have blockchain technology involved in their work. This distributed ledger uses a network of independent computers to record, share, and synchronize transactions into an unchangeable ledger—the technology strings together a transparent, fully trackable chain of events into a trustworthy, unalterable database. Accounting professionals use the blockchain to track ownership of assets, maximize internal workflows, and remain within budget. This technology aids in conducting in-depth audits and improves the traceability of events, resulting in greater accuracy of information.

Data Analytics

The use of data analytics is on the rise. They help accounting and finance professionals gain valuable financial insights, track client progress, and create accurate forecasting models. Data analytics also uncover operational inefficiencies and help make more informed decisions. This lets companies differentiate themselves from competitors.

Flexible Staffing 

More companies will have a mix of full-time and interim accounting and finance professionals. This provides both specialized expertise and the ability to scale their team without overworking permanent staff. Bringing aboard interim professionals lets businesses remain agile as they navigate economic uncertainty.

Source Top Accounting & Finance Professionals

The year 2021 will bring a multitude of changes to the accounting and finance industry. The rise of cloud-based technology, blockchain, and data analytics means greater accuracy and more informed business decisions. The use of flexible staffing lets organizations stay nimble and adapt to changing economic conditions.

When you need full-time or interim accounting and finance staff, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our consultants provide exceptional value while easing your workload, saving you time, and increasing profitability. Get in touch with us today.

The Impact of Employer Brand on Recruiting

Your employer brand plays a significant role in the types of employees you hire. When you clearly display your culture, staff, office, job openings, and other relevant information, candidates are better able to determine whether they see themselves working for you. In order to attract and retain the best talent, you must align your recruitment marketing plans with the professionals you want to hire. Currently, this includes millennials and Generation Z, as they comprise the majority of the workforce.

Here are three key strategies to focus your employer brand on recruiting millennials and Generation Z.

Revitalize Job Descriptions

Turn your job descriptions into compelling stories that engage your brand. Begin with a paragraph on how your company is changing the world. Then, create a paragraph about your team. Next, share how the open role contributes to the team and helps the company make an impact. Then, include details about the culture and location. Finally, link to your values, team site, video testimonials, and other supporting evidence showing why candidates want to work for your organization.

Involve Social Media  

Use social media to promote your brand. Since younger job seekers actively use social platforms when looking for work, be sure to advertise your openings on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These are the sites most commonly used by millennials, and Generation Z. Posting on social media validates the messages you send into the world. For instance, if you say your company values innovation, you can back it up with tweets about the tools you are developing, Instagram photos of your innovations, and video case studies on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Make Over Your Career Site

Overhaul your career site, so it is engaging, compelling, and mobile-friendly. Because younger job seekers go straight to the companies that are hiring, you need an authentic narrative to draw them in. For instance, include employee stories, photos, and videos of your office space. Also, share your company’s origin, story, mission, vision, and values. Plus, detail how you support staff with competitive compensation, benefits, and growth opportunities. Additionally, make your career site the hub of your social platforms, video content, job postings, company news, and other relevant information.

Targeting Young Accounting & Finance Professionals

Your employer brand has a significant impact on the employees you bring aboard. Because millennials and Generation Z make up the majority of the workforce, you want to cater to their interests when promoting your brand. This includes using social media to advertise openings, revamping job descriptions to make them more enticing, and overhauling your career site, so candidates want to work for you. When job seekers visualize themselves as part of your team, they are more likely to apply for a role.

When the time comes to hire accounting and finance professionals, partner with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We are dedicated to excellence through education and investing in our staff, so we provide the highest quality of performance for our clients. Learn more today.

Affirmations for Highly Motivated Workers in 2021

Looking for a little inspiration after the year that 2020 was? How about some characteristics and habits of great leaders and ways to embody them as we enter 2021? Even if you don’t manage people, you do manage YOU. So why not ditch some of the bad routines and embrace some new behaviors that will make you more productive in the workplace and have a better year.

“To be a good leader, you cannot major in minor things, and you must be less distracted than your competition. To get the few critical things done, you must develop incredible selective ignorance. Otherwise, the trivial will drown you.”

–Tim Ferriss, Bestselling Author, Host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast

Habits to Break

First, let’s look at some habits that we should leave behind in 2020.

Jodie Cook, a social media influencer, recently contributed an article to Forbes on this topic. In the article, Cook offers these habits to break in the New Year:

  1. Snoozing your alarm – it’s a waste of time. Five minutes a day add up to 22 hours of your year.
  2. Always being switched on – we hear this quite a bit, right? This “purgatory” is messing up your sleep and your mindset.
  3. Going on autopilot – familiarity often means your brain switches to autopilot — leaving the house and driving to work. Practice being conscious and present and notice what you had missed.
  4. Being too available – if you are constantly available, you’ll train others to constantly need you. Set your available hours and be strict with them. Focus on deep work for the rest of the time. Train resourcefulness, not helplessness.
  5. Living in the future – See #3. If you’re not in the present, it’s difficult to achieve what needs to be done here and now. Dreaming is good but do that in your time off when you aren’t snoozing your alarm or being too available.

Behaviors to Embrace

Entrepreneur magazine offers a great and short slideshow on the 22 qualities that make a great leader. It’s worth looking at for ideas on what characteristics of great leaders you want to study.

Great leaders are known for confidence, focus, trustworthiness, passion, drive, and innovation to name a few. Maybe you’re looking at how you can be more patient, open-minded, positive, and persistent or how to empower others, even if you don’t manage them.

If you want to communicate where others truly listen while also improving collaboration with your colleagues, study how great leaders achieve this.

“You must love what you do. In order to be truly successful at something, you must obsess over it and let it consume you. You lead by example, not because you feel like it’s what you should do, but because it is your way of life.” — Joe Perez, Founder, Tastemade

Bring back some certainty in your life by adopting the behaviors of great leaders and maybe even influence better outcomes for your colleagues, friends, and family.

Take a moment before the end of the year and jot down how you want to start 2021. Maybe it goes a little like this:

Today is January 1st and I will __________________ because I want ____________________.

This doesn’t need to be War and Peace – just intentional. Post it at your desk and in your car. Type it into your screensaver on your laptop, tablet, and cell phone. Add it to your email signature. Update it when you want to be intentional about something else. Be accountable and believe in yourself.

Have a happy and productive 2021!

Matching Up Soft Skills with Remote Workers

With some or all of your accounting & finance teams working remotely, you need employees with the right soft skills to get the tasks done. Because you cannot monitor progress when staff members work from home, hiring candidates who work independently increases your success odds. To narrow down the qualities to look for in candidates, you must know which characteristics are most valuable for remote work.  

These are five of the top skills to look for when hiring remote workers:

Communication 

Remote workers must be excellent communicators. For instance, writing emails, participating in virtual meetings, and handling phone calls are necessary to complete the work. Also, remote workers must let coworkers know where and how to reach them. Plus, they must share information and collaborate to finish projects.   

Flexibility 

Remote workers need to be flexible. For instance, not everyone’s schedules will overlap when caring for family members and juggling other responsibilities. Meetings that normally take place in the morning at the office may need to be moved to the afternoon through videoconference. This can accommodate remote workers with children who take a nap after lunch.     

Self-Management 

Remote workers have to manage themselves. For instance, they must start work on time, complete daily objectives, and finish in time to fulfill personal responsibilities. Remote workers also must prioritize work, give and receive timely information, and finish tasks on time. Plus, they need to work with little oversight, remain engaged, and reach productivity goals. 

Adaptation  

Remote workers must embrace change. For instance, rather than communicating with coworkers in person, they may use text, voice, or video chat. Also, instead of setting up meetings, most discussions are impromptu and informal. Plus, rather than focusing on work-related issues, many interactions are about personal interests.   

Accountability 

Remote workers need to hold themselves accountable. For instance, they cannot be overwhelmed by turning part of their home into an office space or managing children who are attending school virtually. Also, remote workers should report to virtual meetings on time, prepared to share what they accomplished yesterday, what they will accomplish today, and what is personally happening with them. Plus, they need to reach out for help when needed.  

 

Hire Remote Accounting & Finance Staff 

Focusing on soft skills when hiring remote workers is important. You want employees who are self-directed, work well individually and collaboratively, and complete tasks on time with little oversight. Being able to connect with remote team members daily and monitor their progress through self-reporting is important for finishing projects and reaching company objectives.  

When you need help finding remote accounting & finance workers, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We believe that a diverse workforce enhances the overall performance and success of an organization. Talk with us today. 

Importance of Stay Interviews for Employee Retention

The best time to discover what your company can do to keep employees is before they plan to leave. Knowing in advance what causes staff to stay or go is one way to reduce attrition. One of the best ways to retain team members is by conducting stay interviews. Stay interviews let you measure individual job satisfaction and engagement on an ongoing basis. This helps increase employee happiness and reduce turnover. 

Here are several reasons why stay interviews are an effective way to increase employee retention.    

Determine Job Satisfaction 

Implementing stay interviews uncovers how satisfied an employee is with their job. You can find out what is going well and what needs improvement. This lets you address issues before they grow and become out of hand. If you see a similar problem among multiple staff members, you can decide whether organizational changes need to be made.   

Guide Actionable Steps 

Because stay interviews are personalized, they provide an outline of what individual employees need to stay with the company. The information is specific and forward-thinking. Having concrete ideas for how to improve the employee experience makes it easier to eliminate major frustrations and promote retention. 

Allow Time for Improvement 

Taking the time for stay interviews provides the opportunity to implement desired changes. Because employees have not yet considered leaving, there is less pressure to immediately solve the problem. If pay, a promotion, employee training, or something out of your scope comes up, be truthful in your response. For instance, mention that salaries are frozen, or a position is not open. Or discuss adding training opportunities during the next budget cycle so your team member can upskill to secure a promotion.        

Provide Metrics 

Conducting stay interviews lets you create top-level metrics. These supplement secondary and tertiary metrics like employee satisfaction surveys and exit interviews. Reviewing an employee relationship with the company, the project team, and you as their manager shows what you can do to make the relationship better. All of these metrics make up an essential part of your retention strategy.   

Strengthen Company Culture  

Engaging in stay interviews makes the company culture stronger. Staff members appreciate having the opportunity to share their input and have it acted on when possible. This is especially important when major changes are taking place, such as a reduction in force. Individual discussions about job satisfaction help air grievances, potentially keeping your remaining team  

Hire Accounting and Finance Professionals  

Conducting stay interviews is a productive way to retain employees. Understanding what keeps them working for you or causes them to want to leave provides time to correct the issues before they lead to attrition. It is easier and more profitable to retain staff members than to hire new ones.  

When you are in the market for accounting & finance talent, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We are dedicated to excellence through education and investing in our staff so we can provide the highest quality of performance for our clients. Learn more today. 

 

Thankful for Friends Old and New

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” We often have a heightened awareness of gratitude as we move into the holiday season. Grateful for friends and family, our colleagues, and our customers. We appreciate others and we spend time thanking those who are in our lives.

But what if we all cultivated an “attitude of gratitude” that extends throughout each day, month and year versus just in time for the holidays. How would you incorporate a regular practice of gratitude into your life? After all, there is plenty of scientific evidence on health benefits when practicing gratitude.

What the Experts Say

Michael Kay, founder and president of Financial life focus offers this simple yet effective way to build expressing gratitude into your life. “Ask yourself: Who am I grateful for today? Who helped add to my success or challenged my thinking? Get in the habit of expressing your thanks as you go (it’s also far easier than saving them up until the holidays). A thoughtful email or handwritten note will go a long way in showing someone you appreciate them.”

Gail Saltz, M.D., a psychoanalyst, offers this idea to feel more grateful: “list three things for which you are grateful, big and small, on a daily basis for even two weeks can make a difference in overall mood.”

Amy Collette, an award-winning author and motivational speaker, sums it up well. “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”

Our Best Tips on Practicing Gratitude

With that in mind, we’re sharing our best ideas, tips, exercises, and apps to help jumpstart your gratitude journey by taking a few moments to focus on all that you have.

Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

We are forever thankful for the opportunity to serve our customers and assist our job seekers with their careers. We genuinely appreciate you and are grateful you have put your trust in us.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

May life’s good things be yours.

 

Financial Benefits to Virtually Onboarding Employees

During this time of the coronavirus, your employees may still be working remotely. If so, then you most likely have been virtually onboarding new hires. Even if your staff has returned to the office, it may be in your best interest to continue virtual onboarding. New hires can acclimate to the culture, their responsibilities, your expectations, and company goals. They can build rapport with management, coworkers, and the organization. You can accomplish everything in a short amount of time with significant financial savings.

Here are three ways virtual onboarding can save your company money.

Free Up Time

Virtual onboarding reduces the time needed to maintain compliance and personally train new hires. Automating the paperwork eliminates the time and money needed to mail documents that must be read, filled out, signed, and returned. Since the data is efficiently collected, there’s no need to follow up on missing documents. Maintaining the information in an online database that pertinent staff members have access to means little time spent searching for data when needed. Automation allows managers and HR staff additional time to take care of other responsibilities.

Boost Productivity

Virtual onboarding lets new hires begin producing in a short amount of time. Because they learn at their own pace, employees who quickly process, retain, and implement their training are better prepared to be productive immediately. This decreases the amount of time tasks remain unfinished as employees get up to speed on their responsibilities. Because training can be done over a virtual platform such as Zoom, staff can meet with new hires without needing to go anywhere.

Strengthen Employee Retention

Virtual onboarding increases the odds of new hires remaining with your company long-term. Since automated training provides the right information at the right time, employees are able to access modules and other resources first on the schedule, then on-demand. This prevents them from becoming overwhelmed with information. Since HR can track progress and learning milestones, managers can talk with new hires if issues show up. When onboarding is automated, the employee experience is similar for each new hire. They rapidly become familiar with their tasks and company culture, begin working on their first assignment and start contributing to the team. This increases engagement and encourages the employee to continue making a difference within your organization.

Virtually Onboard New Hires

Virtual onboarding can provide your company with significant financial savings. Automation lets managers and HR spend less time personally training employees and helping them acclimate to the culture. A reduced onboarding schedule lets new hires begin producing quickly. Strengthening engagement during onboarding encourages employees to remain with your organization for the long haul.

If you need to add accounting and finance professionals to your team, talk with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We have top candidates ready to begin virtual onboarding and to contribute to your team. Find out more today.

5 Ways Video Can Improve Your Recruitment Process

Continuously reviewing your company’s recruitment process is important; including more effective recruiting activities draws top talent to your organization. One way to enhance your recruitment process is by including videos. People are more likely to engage with a website or email if video is involved. Not only does content including video rank higher in search engines, but it also increases a viewer’s attention span. In the case of a job search, video increases the odds of a candidate engaging with your company and wanting to join your recruitment process. You gain greater access to qualified candidates then.

Increase your competitive advantage by incorporating video into your recruitment process in these five ways.

Feature Videos on Your Website

Include videos on your career page to increase candidate engagement. People visit your website to learn more about your brand and what it’s like to work for you. Use video to display company culture and employee testimonials. Give insight into office aesthetics and job responsibilities. Provide a true representation of your organization to connect with qualified candidates more effectively.

Include Videos in Job Postings

Put videos in job ads to demonstrate your expectations. Videos increase your search engine optimization (SEO), increasing the odds that your job postings show up in search results. The video may highlight a day at the office, including the work environment and job responsibilities. Candidates who view the videos can more effectively determine whether they are a good fit for the position and company culture.

Share Videos on Social Media

Create videos for your company’s social media platforms. This expands your recruitment efforts on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other channels. Your company’s followers can share videos with their networks. This increases your reach and widens candidate pools.

Create Video for Candidate Communication

Include a link to an employment video with your emails to candidates. Whether sending a response or confirmation email, your message will stand out. Your video might include a message from the CEO, instruction on next steps of the hiring process, or something else that improves communication with candidates and better clarifies your expectations. This enhances your pitch, further encouraging candidates to move forward with your recruitment process.

Include Videos for Onboarding

Use videos in your onboarding process. Customize training videos to help new hires better understand your company’s mission, vision, values, and processes. This increases engagement, performance, and longevity with your organization.

Involve Video in Your Recruitment Process

Video in your recruitment process enhances engagement with your organization. You present your brand in a compelling manner, capture candidates’ attention, enhance their experience with your company, and increase your number of applicants for a role. This provides more options when deciding which candidate to bring aboard to fill a role.

When it is time to find top accounting and finance professionals, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. As a National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) accredited firm, we are bound to a high code of ethics while serving our clients. Learn more about how we can help you today.