Are Cover Letters Outdated?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As cover letters continue to become outdated, you may want to reconsider whether should be included in your application process.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.

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.

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.

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.

What Alternate Benefits Can Employers Offer to Combat the Year-End Bonus Request

Many candidates look for employers who provide bonuses at the end of the year. Receiving additional income during the holiday season can be a great reward for employee contributions and results during the year. However, your company may not have the budget right now to provide an end-of-year bonus. As a result, you should add other enticements to encourage candidates to accept your job offers.

Choose among these benefits and perks to increase the acceptance rates of your job offers.

Paid Sick Days

Almost all candidates want paid time off to rest and recuperate when they are ill. The ability to maintain their income encourages them to stay home and avoid spreading germs in the office. This shows you care about the health of your employees. You want them to come to work rested and ready to produce. It also reduces the number of absences due to contamination among sick coworkers.

Flexible Spending Account

Many candidates appreciate the ability to put aside pre-tax money to pay for the year’s out-of-pocket healthcare costs. These may include over-the-counter medications, co-pays for doctor visits, medical devices such as crutches or blood sugar tests, or vision needs like glasses or contacts. Consider contributing $500 to each employee’s flexible spending account (FSA) to make it even more attractive.

Tuition Reimbursement

Recent college graduates are among the candidates looking for help to pay off their student loans. Many candidates finish school in debt and want to begin making loan payments. This can help them put away money to purchase a home, save for retirement, or reach other financial goals.

Employee Development Plans

A significant number of candidates want to work for employers who provide customized education and training opportunities. This offers employees additional ways to more effectively perform their work. The skills and experience gained through employee development plans promote professional growth. This helps the employee achieve their career goals and advance both inside and outside the organization.

Performance Bonuses

The majority of candidates appreciate bonuses based on their performance. This provides motivation to stay engaged and productive. Tying the reward to employee results provides a sense of ownership and control. It also helps reach individual and business goals.

Need Accounting & Finance Employees?

If your budget does not allow for year-end bonuses, consider including other benefits and perks with your job offers. Paid sick days, an FSA, and tuition reimbursement are in high demand. Employee development plans and performance bonuses can entice candidates to accept your job offers as well.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can provide you with qualified professionals when you need them. Find out more today.

How to Build Better Relationships Among Your Staff

Encouraging positive relationships among your staff is important. The more comfortable they feel working together, the more confidently they will brainstorm, develop new ideas, and voice their opinions. Open communication develops trust, respect, self-awareness, and inclusion. Developing this foundation helps your staff members more effectively create, innovate, and embrace change. It also promotes employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

Implement these tips to encourage connectivity among your team.

Train on Emotional Intelligence

Talk with your staff about the ability to recognize their own emotions to better understand what they are communicating. The development of this skill helps your staff members become more adept at identifying the emotions of their coworkers. This lets your staff more effectively fill their own needs and the needs of others.

Encourage Mindful Listening

Teach your staff to listen more than they talk. This helps them focus on what is being said and how they can effectively contribute to the conversation. Also, encourage your staff to ask follow-up questions about an issue. They can uncover more information and be better prepared to overcome an obstacle. Plus, remind your staff to show empathy when helping others. Working in a supportive environment helps with problem-solving.

Promote Boundaries

Remind your staff not to let relationship-building interfere with productivity. Although they need to provide enough time to talk with coworkers, they also need to finish their work on time. This means that social interactions should take place during break times.

Ask Questions

Ask your staff members questions about their personal life. Show that you want to learn more about who they are. Share information about your own life as well. Also, find common ground that you can build on. These topics may become the subjects of future conversations. Set an example for your staff members to follow with each other.

Express Appreciation

Let your staff know how much you appreciate their efforts and results. For instance, point out one specific action each staff member took each day to contribute to the organization. Mention what the results were and how the action benefitted the company. This encourages your staff to interact in the same manner with their teammates. Such actions promote a supportive team culture.

Looking for Accounting & Finance Staff?

The stronger the relationships among your staff members, the more collaborative your team is. This increases engagement, productivity, and retention. It also improves job satisfaction, employee morale, and your bottom line.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can provide the collaborative professionals you need to fill your team’s needs. Learn more today.

What Candidates Are Looking for When Job Hunting in the New Year

Job seekers are expecting a lot from employers in the coming year. You need to begin preparations now, so you offer what candidates are looking for. If not, they will turn to your competition for jobs instead.

Make sure you offer these key things for job seekers in 2022.

Diversity and Inclusion

Job seekers want to work for companies that prioritize hiring and honoring people with different backgrounds and abilities. It is important that candidates see themselves represented within an organization before they decide to apply. They also want to know that their unique talents and strengths will be celebrated and rewarded. If this is not the case, applicants will look elsewhere to find a workplace that values feeling like an important part of the team.

Transparency

Candidates want to see that management and leadership make business decisions in line with the company mission. Applicants want to understand why a company is hiring for a new role, expanding to a new location, or acquiring another business. Because job seekers desire to work for an organization whose vision and values are similar to theirs, candidates want to understand the direction the company is going in. Transparency builds trust, which contributes to high performance. If applicants feel they are not being given enough information about an organization, they will look elsewhere for employment.

A Top Candidate Experience

Job seekers expect ongoing communication throughout the recruitment process. They need to know that their application was received, where they are at in the process, and what the next steps are. Applicants also appreciate guidelines as to what to expect and when they should hear from you by. Otherwise, your star applicants are likely to apply with companies that provide a better candidate experience.

Opportunities for Advancement

Applicants want the ability to move up within an organization. Because career growth is so important, candidates need to work with managers who support their upward mobility. This includes offering training, coaching, mentoring, stretch assignments, cross-training, and other ways to add to skill sets. If you do not clarify career paths within your organization, job seekers will apply with other companies.

Begin Planning Your Accounting and Finance Staffing Needs

Job seekers place a high value on issues like transparency and diversity, and inclusion. They also want a top candidate experience and opportunities for advancement. Providing what applicants desire can mean the difference between hiring the best talent or settling for less.

When planning for your upcoming accounting and finance staffing needs, be sure to include Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We have vetted professionals ready to help your business move forward in 2022.