5 strategic tips for accounting and finance recruiting

Posted 01/29/20 Team Vaco

Start the new year off on the right note by taking Vaco’s advice on the top five strategic talent solutions for the accounting and finance industry. Thanks to a strong economy, 2020 is shaping up to be a busy year! Are you ready?

Whether your company is acquiring a competitor, preparing to go public, looking for an interim controller or CFO, or simply needs a specialist to help your in-house team navigate new revenue recognition and lease accounting standards, Vaco’s accounting and finance team can help.

Here at Vaco, our senior-level industry veterans and accounting and finance recruiting specialists take a collaborative and consultative approach to help you address your most pressing challenges before they become pain points. As a forward-thinking leader, being proactive is the biggest gift you can give to your company, your team, and yourself. 

Our industry and recruiting experts, like Joslyn Osborn, Vaco partner and national director of finance and accounting placement, know a thing or two about the challenges you’re facing in today’s candidate-driven market.

“Finding and retaining talent is the number one pain point. Coping with resignations, attrition, and turnover is incredibly tough in the current hiring market,” notes Joslyn. “Other common issues we help our clients with include assisting with mergers and acquisitions, system implementations, rapid growth, audits, and new technical accounting standards.”

We interviewed Joslyn and Jennifer McCasland, Vaco Orange County managing partner, to come up with a few tips to meet your toughest challenges with confidence!

Tip 1: Keep your employees happy — hire more talent

“A lot of clients are reaching out to us to augment their staff because they’re overworked and understaffed. They realize they need help or they might lose people,” says Jennifer.

In a candidate-driven market, companies have to work harder to keep their employees happy and to maintain a great company culture. If your team feels unsupported, they’re going to look for new opportunities. 

“When clients reach out to us because they’re concerned about keeping their existing team members satisfied with the workload and the level of support they’re receiving from leadership, we know we’re working with a client who cares about company culture,” notes Jennifer.

Tip 2: Promote from within

It’s a proven fact that happy employees are more productive. A study conducted by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness increased productivity by 12% while unhappy workers were 10% less effective in their jobs. 

The best way to sow the seeds of happiness? Freely offer accolades and recognition for a job well done. Plus, happiness is contagious! When you promote from within, you’re also promoting joy. 

The warm and fuzzies don’t stop there. Internal candidates adapt more quickly to new positions, help maintain continuity, and preserve institutional knowledge. 

Of course, you’ll need to backfill the vacated position (see Tip #1) and that’s where Vaco’s direct hire or contract talent enters the equation.

Tip 3: Find subject-area experts to lay a strong foundation 

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently implemented two new generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that may impact your company and your workflow. Although the changes shouldn’t come as a surprise — they’ve been in the pipeline for a while — they’re just starting to go into full effect. 

According to Mondaq, the new Revenue Recognition Standard (ASC 606) and Lease Accounting Standard (ASC 842) can significantly impact the ability of some companies to comply with their financial covenants due to the rule changes, and may require an amendment to their credit agreements for relief.

The changes are big and it’s okay if your accounting and finance team isn’t quite sure how to navigate the new rules.

“There are times when companies simply need a subject-area expert at the strategic level who can lay the foundation and train in-house staff on new procedures. And Vaco can certainly provide that expertise,” says Jennifer. 

Tip 4: Fill gaps immediately — Find an accounting and finance recruiting agency you can trust

When faced with a vacancy, it’s tempting to wait until you’ve found the perfect candidate to fill the position. 

In the current hiring climate, however, that could take a while! Rather than creating an insurmountable backlog for the new hire or overburdening your existing employees, fill the gap immediately.

Depending on your company’s needs, Vaco can help fill gaps with short-term contract talent or find the perfect direct hire candidate for the position.

“Because our team is constantly recruiting, we have solid candidates who we’ve already met with and interviewed. When a client calls, we have a pool of candidates ready to go,” says Jennifer. “When you’re doing it in-house, you’re starting from scratch. We don’t have to start from scratch. We have people in place. We can provide readily available talent that has already been pre-screened and reference-checked.”

Tip 5: Strengthen your company culture with smart hiring practices

We can’t say enough good things about the power of company culture and its ability to help leaders build strong, efficient, and effective teams. Culture is your company’s strongest asset and finding talent that shares your corporate values helps pave the way for a successful hire. 

“Hiring for values will save you time and money in the long run. Vaco can help make that perfect match since we value service, relationships, and culture — while having a little bit of fun in the process,” notes Joslyn. “We try to help our clients develop talent solutions strategies that help retain their permanent employees and leverage effective use of consultants where appropriate.”  

Why should companies work with Vaco to find candidates with the right skills and the right values? We’ll let Jennifer take this one:

“Personalities. I think that what differentiates us is us. We’re more responsive and we truly care about and value our clients. I think we do a good job listening to our clients and really working to understand what they’re looking for. Plus, a lot of us have a background in accounting and finance. We take a consultative approach because education helps clients make the best decision for their business and helps them achieve the best outcome.”

Learn more about the challenges facing accounting and finance teams in 2020. Download the latest Vaco How-to Guide: Building Effective Accounting and Finance Teams in 2020.

Need a hand finding the right talent? We’re here to help.

Contact Vaco today!