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Attracting Top Finance Talent

Lately, I have been hearing from CFO’s throughout the country that attracting top talent continues to be challenge for most organizations. Reaching the best candidates involves thinking about your overall hiring process experience and not just the position you want to fill. Here are a few tips to help you attract top finance talent:

  1. Make Applying Easy. Finance professional appreciate systems that are efficient and want to work for organizations that are efficient as well. While online applications are supposed to make the application process easy, many do not. Be sure that your application system is well organized and asks questions relevant to finance positions. Frequently I hear from candidates who thought they were interested in a position, but after spending more than an hour responding to questions that seem more appropriate for a variety of positions other than CPA, they just give up. Your application process is a candidate’s first exposure to you and your brand – make sure you are making the right impression.

  2. Offer Valuable Interactions. As a group, accountants and other finance professionals tend to be focused and direct. Top finance candidates want to spend the interview discussing their background, the job and what they might bring to it. What they don’t want to do is make multiple trips to meet with the same people over and over again. They also do not want to spend time answering questions that do not reveal much about them or how they might fit into your culture. It is important to keep in mind that highly desirable candidates are likely employed and interviewing with more than one organization. When you bring them in for an interview, be sure that you make the interaction valuable. Do not waste any time letting them know about the opportunity you have to offer and why you are the best organization for them.

  3. Communicate Clearly and Honestly. Most candidates realize that interviewing is a multi-step process that takes time. What can really frustrate and change a candidate’s perception of your organization is your communication about the process. Employers that don’t communicate the steps in the process, or make a commitment to contact a candidate and then do not, will lose top talent. Finance processionals have a great respect for process and accountability. A potenital employer who says they will call in two days, but then takes two weeks to respond creates a poor impression. In addition, most highly skilled professionals have large professional networks. Bad word of mouth about your organization and the interview process communication might prevent some of the best candidates from even applying in the future.

The competition for top talent in finance is fierce. I encourage all employers to take a look at their overall interview experience and take steps to ensure it is a positive and efficient system. If you don’t, you might not even get a chance to interview the brightest and the best.