Struggling to Get Applicants? Why You Need to Examine Your Hiring Process and How Long It Takes to Hear Back

Like many employers, you may be having difficulty filling your job openings. One of the reasons may be that you take too long to respond to candidates.

Regular follow-up throughout your hiring process is important. This may include letting candidates know you received their application, would like to schedule an interview or are considering offering them a job. It also involves what the next steps in the process are and when the candidate should expect to hear from you.

Discover why regular communication throughout your hiring process is an effective way to hire the best applicants.

Respect

Responding to each candidate shows you respect their time. Applying for a job takes a significant amount of research and decision-making. Expressing interest in working for your company says a great deal about your organization. Showing appreciation is important.

Realistically, you may be unable to personally respond to each candidate. As a result, you might want to automate your responses with your applicant tracking system (ATS). This helps provide a positive candidate experience.

Candidate Engagement

Top candidates have many employment options. Following up with them throughout your hiring process helps keep them engaged. This increases the odds that your best candidates will accept potential job offers from you.

Be sure to let each candidate know when they should expect to hear from you. Also, fulfill these expectations as much as possible. If you need to extend a timeframe, let each candidate know as soon as possible.

Candidate Experience

Effectively following up throughout your hiring process improves the candidate experience. This helps set your company apart from the competition. It also helps you hire more high-quality candidates.

Even if you’re not ready to provide a job offer, share with your most desirable candidates feedback on their interviews. This encourages them to want to work for your organization.

Talent Pipelines

The more you keep in contact with candidates, the more your talent pipelines remain filled. A candidate who has a positive experience with your company but isn’t offered a job may apply for a role in the future. They also might refer other candidates to your organization.

Employer Brand

Regular follow-up with each candidate enhances your employer brand. The more you communicate with candidates, the more positive your company’s reputation remains.

Many candidates post reviews on Glassdoor and other employer review sites. They’re likely to share positive reviews when you follow up on an ongoing basis. This encourages other candidates to apply to your organization.

Want Help Hiring?

If you’re not regularly following up with candidates, you may be having trouble filling your jobs. Ongoing communication with candidates promotes respect for their time, engagement in the hiring process, and a positive candidate experience. It also helps keep your talent pipeline full and your employer brand positive.

If you need help hiring, Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can match you with qualified candidates to fill your business needs. Learn more today.

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.

Top Talent Aren’t Getting Just One Offer! Here Is How You Should Approach a Counteroffer

When hiring accounting and finance professionals, your choice candidates likely will receive counteroffers from their current managers. Because employers do not want to lose their best talent, many will provide incentives for their staff to stay with their team. This is why you need to proactively address the issue with your shortlisted candidates. Providing reasons why applicants should turn down counteroffers increases the odds of having your top candidate decide to join your team.

Follow these guidelines to encourage your top accounting and finance applicants not to accept a counteroffer from their current employer.

Reinforce Each Candidate’s Reasons for Leaving

Remind your top applicants why they decided to look for a new job in the first place. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with making more money. This is why accepting a pay increase through a counteroffer likely will not retain the employee long-term. If the staff member does not get along well with their manager, they are not being challenged in their work, or there is no room for advancement, the issue is likely to remain.

Question Whether Staying Would Make Things Change

Ask each of your shortlisted candidates whether anything would improve long-term if they remained with their current employer. In most cases, the applicants began seeking new jobs because they felt restricted or unappreciated. They may have been passed over for a promotion or not given other opportunities to grow. Although the candidates may have expressed their concerns to their manager, the issues likely went unaddressed. Odds are these problems will remain even if the applicants decide to accept a counteroffer.

Point Out the Job Insecurity of Staying

Remind your best talent that once they submit their resignation, they damage the relationship with their employer. Even if your candidates accept a counteroffer, things will remain tense at work. Their manager may wonder how loyal they really are and whether they would accept an even better offer if it came along. Their employer also may begin making plans to replace the employee as soon as possible. Or, if the company wants to eliminate positions, the team member who tried to resign likely will be let go first.

Are You Looking for Top Accounting and Finance Professionals?

When adding skilled accounting and finance professionals to your team, they are likely to receive counteroffers from their current employers. One of the best ways to discourage your potential team members from accepting these offers is by pointing out why they decided to leave their jobs in the first place. You also can ask whether things truly will change by staying. Plus, you can point out how insecure the potential hires’ jobs may be once their managers know they want to leave.

When you need to add top talent to your team, get in touch with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We have the skilled professionals you need to reach your business goals.

High-Priority Accounting Positions to Fill Outside of Tax Season

As a manager of an accounting team, you need to be ready to hire at any time throughout the year. Although there are times when your employees are busier than usual and may need temporary help, there also are times when they decide to retire, go on leave, or seek other employment opportunities. These are reasons why you should be prepared to bring aboard additional team members at any point.

Discover three types of accounting positions you need to prioritize filling.

Positions of Retiring Baby Boomers

With an increasing number of baby boomers retiring, be sure you have a succession plan in place. Keep in mind that filling the gap may be a challenge. Most baby boomers invested a significant number of years with their employer. When they leave, they take a substantial amount of knowledge, skills, and experience with company culture, coworker relationships, and the organization’s inner workings with them. As a result, make it a priority to have these employees train their successors. This is especially important if your new hires have limited work experience.

Positions of Employees Going on Leave

When your employees plan to go on family, parental, or other planned leave, be sure you have a temporary worker lined up to fill in. This can minimize disruption to workflows and production processes. Gaining a short-term worker with the skills and qualifications needed to take over responsibilities reduces the amount of downtime your team experiences.

Positions of Employees Pursuing Other Opportunities

If an employee unexpectedly quits or is let go, you need to fill the vacancy as soon as possible. To expedite the process, have a list of skills and qualifications needed to include in the job description. Set aside adequate time to create a job posting, advertise the role, interview candidates, and extend a job offer. Better yet, work with a staffing agency that specializes in placing accounting candidates. You gain access to a diverse network of qualified professionals ready to meet with you and begin performing in a short amount of time. You spend significantly less time and money finding top talent than if you recruited on your own.

Partner with an Accounting and Finance Recruiter

When your accounting positions become vacant due to retirement, planned leave, or unexpected vacancies, you need the roles filled as quickly as possible. Because these scenarios can happen at any time, it is important you have a plan for how to best proceed.

Part of your plan should include contacting Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. As a recipient of ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing Award from 2014 to 2020, which less than 2% of staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada earn, our high client satisfaction scores show our dedication to providing quality service. Contact us today to find out more.

Get Ready to Start Hiring Again

With many indicators pointing to life returning to normal, an uptick in the economy, and lower unemployment claims, companies are most certainly considering hiring employees again. The pandemic changed recruiting as we knew it with virtual interviews, Zoom training, and hiring workers who didn’t even live in the same geography. For the most part, these were all positive advancements for the recruiting world. After all, the last real revolution for recruiting was online postings, job applicants, and more advanced screening software. So, what have we learned in the last 12 months?
  • Employees can work remotely and be productive.
  • The talent pool widened when recruiting wasn’t constricted by geographic boundaries.
  • Employees are even more acutely aware of work-life balance and belonging to their organization.
  • DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) is a passionate topic when discussing talent acquisition.

Adapting Your Hiring Strategies

According to The HR Digest, the US is facing a 69% shortfall in available employees, the highest in a decade. Even though layoffs and hiring freezes will drop off, many workers used the pandemic to re-evaluate their career and life goals. With that said, what are the best ways to find talent and attract them to work for your company?

Hybrid Recruiting and Hybrid Workforce

  • Remote Work: many employees have determined that they like working remotely, at least for some portion of the workweek. Flexible schedules will continue to be the norm and should be incorporated into your recruiting culture.
  • Remote Hiring: the ability to interview candidates via video conferencing is a time saver for both employer and candidate. The technology options have improved. Personality assessments can be completed remotely. In the end, you might still want to meet the top candidates in person, but if remote work is an option, chances are you might not meet your new employee face-to-face for several weeks or months.
These are significant trends that have emerged in the last year. The hybrid workforce model will provide a greater pool of qualified candidates for talent acquisition, allowing recruiters to tap into the best talent for a position without geographic limitations.

Where Are the Best Candidates?

  • Look at your employees. The Boston Consulting Group, along with programmatic job advertising provider Appcast, found that 89% of US workers are willing to retrain to a different job role. Among the findings: Workers ages 31 to 40 and those with master’s degrees and above are the most willing to reskill. But even workers within the services sector or that require workers onsite (i.e., production and manufacturing) can adapt with access to the right training and resources. Re-skilling and up-skilling workers are positive investments for a company. Among many things, it reduces the costs of turnover and rehiring and keeps the employee’s intellectual capital at the company.
  • Look at Gen Z graduates. Many 2020 college graduates may not have entered the workforce in their area of study, and with 2021 graduation upon us, additional qualified candidates are ready to work in their chosen career.
  • Look at retirees. The pandemic forced early retirement for some very talented individuals who still have value to bring to a company. Consider this untapped talent pool for your open positions.

Committing to a DEI Strategy to Build a Diverse Team

Most company executives will tell you that their company is successful because of the employees. Happy employees are productive employees and are key to a company’s success. But employee morale has become more than just benefits. Employee engagement has shifted. People want to feel as if they belong at work that they see others just like themselves in positions from entry-level to leadership. That they are comfortable with their team, that managers listen to them. Having a DEI strategy is a big undertaking and can’t be fully addressed in a few paragraphs. Ryan Healy, founder and president of technology company Brazen Technologies, Inc., says, “Offering job opportunities to job seekers in underrepresented and underserved communities brings fresh, diverse perspectives to organizations.” According to Mariah Scout, head of DEI at webflow, and Leah Knobler, director of talent acquisition at HelpScout, DEI is everybody’s responsibility – not something that is the responsibility of one person or the HR team alone. DEI also requires a strong commitment. They go on to share the benefits of a DEI strategy to a company’s growth – “So if you’re building a diverse team that represents a diverse set of identities and experiences and abilities…you’re setting yourself up to build a product that services more people across those differences.” That’s a pretty powerful argument for DEI. Where should you start? Scout and Knobler offer these changes to your hiring process:
  • Survey your employee base to understand where the DEI gaps exist.
  • Write job descriptions using inclusive language that addresses what a candidate has done in the past that would be valuable to the company. Criteria, must-haves, and limiting jobs to certain locations may create entry barriers to hiring a more diverse workforce so you need to distinguish and understand what criteria, such as certifications, are critical to the position.
  • Ensure your interview process includes a diverse pool of candidates, right down to your final candidates.
  • Understand any hiring biases, conscious and unconscious bias, which will negatively impact the ability to make an effective hiring decision about the best person for the job.
  • Use Standardized Interview Questions and ask them to every candidate. This will help minimize and eliminate bias.
This graphic from Josh Bersin, a world-renowned industry analyst, educator, and thought leader in all aspects of HR, leadership, and HR technology, emphasizes the importance of taking action to create an inclusive culture:

Hiring Recruiting Experts

Bersin says that recruiting is the most important thing that happens in a company. “If you don’t recruit the right people, forget everything else. You can’t just train people that are the wrong fit for your company, the wrong culture fit, the wrong skill set, the wrong background,” he stresses. “Your ability to understand the organization and operate in an empowered way to find the right people is critical.” Oftentimes it is easier for outsiders to see the gaps in processes. At Casey Accounting & Finance Resources, we have years of experience evaluating recruiting programs and assessing employees’ skills for our clients. We are great recruiters who have hired great people for great companies. The future of employee engagement will include a robust strategy of competitive perks, flexible schedules, and work environments, and the implementation of DEI processes. Let us help you adapt to this new hiring landscape.

When’s the Last Time You Reviewed Your Candidate Experience?

Your candidate experience is a vital piece of your recruitment process. It’s how applicants view your brand during the hiring process. From your job description to a final offer, the candidate’s entire experience affects how potential employees feel about you as an employer they want to work for. This influences whether a candidate accepts or declines your job offer and how they convey your brand to other professionals. Since the candidate experience heavily impacts the level of talent you hire, you need it to be as positive as possible.

Consider these areas when reviewing your candidate experience.

Company Reputation

How does your company’s reputation compare to competitors’ and other company’s reputations? Candidates often take to social media to discuss their interview experiences. Many share how a negative interview experience led them to change their mind about an organization or position they liked. These candidates may recommend not working for a business they had a bad experience with. Conversely, a positive interview experience can encourage candidates to work for a company they may not have been interested in.

Job Descriptions

How accurately do your job descriptions represent the role and key details? Since your job descriptions are what encourage candidates to apply with your company, they need to be as straightforward and easy to read as possible. Include a clear explanation of the position, responsibilities, salary, benefits, perks, and company culture. Use bullet points, lists, and bold formatting to draw attention to the most important information.

Interview Process

Is your interview process as short and engaging as possible while providing the information needed to make a hiring decision? When calling candidates to set up interviews, let them know what to expect from the process. This includes whom they will speak with and how long it will take. During the interview, provide a full introduction to the company and culture. If you’re able to meet in person, give a tour of the office. Introduce each candidate to potential teammates. Leave time to answer questions. Maintain communication throughout the entire interview process, so candidates know where they’re at and what the next steps are. Keep in mind that candidates are evaluating you and the organization as much as you are evaluating them.

In this time of coronavirus and with many working remotely, consider creating a virtual tour video of the office space or photos that demonstrate the company environment and culture.

Job Offers

How well do you personalize each job offer? Rather than using email, deliver the news over the phone. This helps immerse the candidate in company culture. For candidates who aren’t extended a job offer, send a personalized email encouraging them to apply for roles in the future. They’ll be more inclined to share a positive impression of your organization and encourage others to work there.

Enhance Your Candidate Experience

Your candidate experience impacts the employees who want to work for you. Providing a positive experience filled with communication, clarity, and efficiency increases your odds of securing the level of talent needed to move your company forward.

When the time comes to find accounting and finance professionals, look no further than Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We focus on understanding your business and goals, then match you with candidates to help achieve them. Learn more today.

Now is the Time to Develop Your Recruiting Strategy During High Unemployment

In March, our work world was hit by a tornado called COVID-19. In the blink of an eye, we went from the challenge of recruiting during a 3% unemployment rate to furloughing employees, establishing work-from-home policies, embracing more technology for virtual meetings and other activities, and leading our teams with calm during a crisis.

As we talk with clients and other hiring managers, it’s clear you have your hands full adjusting and adhering to the new company and government policies and scrambling to create work environments that will minimize or prevent the spread of the virus.

As some states begin to loosen Stay Home policies and your company begins to bring employees back into the office, the last thing you might be thinking about is needing a strategy for recruiting during high unemployment. After all, won’t there be plenty of candidates to choose from?

True, but not necessarily a good thing. Let’s look at a few of business consultant Bridget Miller’s thoughts in a recent HR Daily Advisor article about recruiting during high unemployment:

  • Individual vacancies may have a higher number of applicants than usual, which may mean it will take more time to qualify applicants.
  • There may be more unqualified applicants than usual, as more people are looking for quick work to replace lost jobs. This may also mean that recruiting costs are unexpectedly higher than anticipated due to the extra work involved.
  • As time progresses, more and more applicants may have extended periods of unemployment. This does not necessarily mean they’re not great candidates for the job.
  • Skills gaps may persist, even with higher unemployment levels. This can be a frustration for employers that wish more applicants automatically meant more skills to choose from—but it may not.

Rethinking Your Recruiting Strategy

What is different this time is that COVID-19 isn’t going away which means this is unchartered territory. There are more obstacles to overcome beyond just recruiting to fill positions.

Our team has decades of recruiting experience under our belts and we have seen these cycles before. Each time we guide our clients in developing dynamic strategies and processes to bring on new talent quickly. We are positioned to overcome this latest obstacle. Let us help you implement a clever recruiting plan that sails across this new recruiting environment.

If you would like to connect and discuss further, please get in touch with our recruiters. We are happy to share our successes and strategies and welcome the chance to work with you.

Should You Rehire a Former Employee?

In today’s competitive hiring climate, you may consider rehiring a former employee. Also called a boomerang employee, this type of candidate may be more attractive than other candidates. You already know their work style, performance level, and fit with company culture. Although knowing whom you’re hiring may seem advantageous over bringing aboard an entirely new person, the former employee might be bringing along baggage that could affect their performance. In this case, you’d be better off hiring a brand-new person.

Consider these points when deciding whether to hire a boomerang employee.

Potential Cost Savings

You might spend less money rehiring a former employee. You won’t need to invest as much time vetting and interviewing them. Plus, you already know whether the person is a good culture fit. Since the former employee understands your products/services, policies, and processes, they need less time for onboarding. They may bring additional skills, experience, and ideas that require less training to perform their job duties. Because boomerang employees tend to stay longer, they’re typically more engaged and productive than a brand-new hire would be.

Issues to Consider Before Rehiring

Before deciding whether to rehire a former employee, consider the circumstances surrounding their exit. Why did they leave? Was it personal or family-related, lack of room for advancement, or an educational opportunity? Whatever the reason, it may be a factor if you rehire the former employee. What were their strengths and weaknesses? Along with reviewing the person’s file, talk with former managers and coworkers to gain insight into the person. There may be outstanding accomplishments or adverse personal qualities to consider. Why does the former employee want to return? They may have had time to develop new skills that can benefit your organization. Or, the person could be between jobs

Keys to Successful Rehiring

If you decide to rehire a former employee, follow your standard interview and hiring process. Ensure the person has the knowledge, skills, and experience required for the position. Ask interview questions as you would for any other candidate. Find out why the former employee left their most recent employer, why they want to return to your organization, and how they can benefit your team.

Consider Rehiring a Former Employee

Bringing aboard a boomerang employee may be in your best interest. Since they already understand your company culture, processes, procedures, and offerings, they need less time to acclimate. A former employee’s new skills, knowledge, and experience can add value to your team. Before rehiring, think about whether the person left on good terms, what their strengths and weaknesses were, and why they want to return.

If you need help recruiting accounting and finance candidates, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. As your trusted partner, we can find direct-hire, temporary, temp-to-hire, or contract workers who will excel with your organization. We also provide resume screening, background checking, and testing. Let us know how we can help you today.