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Looking for Accounting Talent?

November 13th, 2015

You have a vacancy on your accounting team and you need to staff the position before your remaining team members become overburdened. Or maybe you’ve never needed an in-house accountant before, but now you do, and you want to find someone who can help your growing company make smart financial decisions. In either case, an established, reputable staffing firm can help. And in the meantime, there are several winning moves that you can make on your own. Keep these tips in mind.

Sourcing matters.

As you look for places to publish your post and cast your net, your decisions can have long-term consequences for the success of your accounting department. Don’t just post your position anywhere. Do some research first, and recognize that large national websites will attract one kind of candidate, while small, local, industry-specific sites will attract another. Think about the kinds of students or job-seeking professionals who frequent your chosen outlet. Are these the ones you want?

Don’t engage in adverse selection.

Hiring managers often make a damaging mistake: They set up barriers to entry, like thorns around a forbidden castle. They create a tedious application process, they treat candidates rudely, they conduct harsh, off-putting interviews, and they let candidates sit in the dark for weeks before providing updates. They often believe they’re “weeding out” losers and the uncommitted, but they’re actually doing the opposite. Talented candidates are in demand; they don’t have to put up with nonsense. After the tenth round of adversarial interviews, only the most desperate applicants will still be waiting in line.

Look for thought leaders.

At networking events and industry gatherings, ask for recommendations. If you hear the same name multiple times, track this person down. Look them up online and find out more about them. Sometimes it’s better to pursue passive candidates than wait for active seekers to come to you. If you discover a talented, local, ambitious potential employee somewhere within your professional community, reach out. You have nothing to lose.

Don’t miss opportunities.

Are local universities in your area sponsoring job fairs or career days? Find out and get involved. Have you visited veteran job placement offices in your area? Are you connected with university career placement services? Does your company have a prominent profile in the community? The candidate search is mutual; recognize that your best candidates are searching for you just as you search for them. Raise your profile and they’ll be more likely to see you.

Get help.

Again, your best and most efficient resource will be professional staffing and recruiting experts that can help you source, target, and pursue the accounting talent you need. Call the team at Merritt and arrange a consultation today.

Avoid Burnout on your Team

October 9th, 2015

Your employees work hard for your company. They give their absolute best, one hundred percent of the time, which challenges you to dig deep and give your best in return. Usually, this leads to an upward spiral; you draw inspiration from them and set a high bar for yourself, and they follow your example and do the same. Your customers reap the benefits, and your company grows and grows. But while your orders flow in and you observe this cycle of success, keep one important thing in mind: everything comes at a cost, and every employee has limits. Keep the cycle going by protecting your employees from burnout.

Pay attention.

Watch out for signs of stress. Ironically, the hardest working employees may also work hard to hide the signs of burnout and overload. A cheerful smile and a little extra makeup go a long way, but don’t be fooled. Keep an eye on the loaded plates of each individual employee, and before you assign new tasks, think about the projects they’re already dealing with. If you need to redistribute workloads, don’t wait for your employees to tell you so directly; they probably won’t.

Encourage the use of sick time.

Never encourage your employees to come to the office when they’re sick. This includes both physical and mental health issues, and when they feel anything from a cold to a case of generalized exhaustion, don’t just let them leave, send them home. Even subtle gestures and word choices can inadvertently encourage a culture of “heroism”, which can spread germs, low morale, and disengagement throughout the office.

Recognize different personalities and work styles.

Sometimes a case of burnout can be held at bay with fun activities that help your teams relax, socialize and de-stress. But think carefully. A mandatory weekend retreat in the mountains, a non-optional mini-golf tournament, or expecting every employee to show up at five for a sponsored happy hour at a local bar can actually make the problem worse, not better. Respect the needs of employees who recharge their batteries in their own way. Instead of group fun, consider surprising your teams by letting them leave early on a Friday. Tailor your program to your people and your specific culture.

Listen and respond.

In the meantime, keep your door and your ears open. Some employees may hide their stress, but others will let you know what they need. And when they do, you’ll be wise to listen. If they need better resources or extended deadlines, take action immediately and let them know they can count on you to help them do their jobs.

For more on how to work hard for your employees so they can keep working hard for you, reach out to the Westchester County staffing experts at Merritt.


Four Things Your Interviewer Wants You To Know

May 22nd, 2015

As you sit down across the desk from your interviewer (who may become your future boss if all goes well) you may not know exactly what they are thinking and what they want to get out of this experience. As your conversation moves forward, their expectations will become clearer, but for now, here are a five things most interviewers want you to know. This list may help clear up some of the mystery.

Your Interviewer Wants You to Succeed

Your interviewer is not trying to undermine your chances of landing this job. They are not trying to start an adversarial conversation with you, and they don’t believe that one of you can benefit only at the expense of the other. They are not trying to poke holes in your story, and they definitely are not trying to embarrass you, trip you up, or create an awkward scene. Nobody wants that. Ideally, they want both of you to enjoy this conversation and see the best in each other. In fact, they’re hoping that the interview goes so well that they can bring this selection process to an end and make a hiring decision.

The Interviewer Wants Your Help

A positive, successful conversation requires the combined effort and input of two people. The interviewer doesn’t fully expect you to take over, of course…But in a perfect world, that’s exactly what will happen. Ideally, they won’t have to keep prompting you and coaxing you to speak; instead, you’ll take the reins and start explaining how you’ve researched the company and decided that this job offers everything you’re looking for. You’ll explain what you know about the position and you’ll list all the ways in which you’re a perfect match. In the best case scenario, the interviewer will able to just sit back and listen.

The Interviewer Wants to Trust You

Before every interview you attend, regardless of your industry, imagine your interviewer as a first-time business owner who runs a corner store and needs to hire an employee to take on tasks that they are used to completing. Or just as effective, imagine them as a parent trying to choose a care provider for their young children. In both scenarios, your interviewer needs to feel a sense of deep, visceral trust in order for the interview to be a success. This trust has to come from the core, it should feel instinctive, and it should be based on a combination of intuition and body language, not just facts and credentials.

She Knows that You’re Nervous

Your interviewer knows that you’re nervous about this meeting, and that’s okay. They are perfectly willing to see past this (in fact, they expects some nerves). But they need you to do the same. Don’t worry about concealing your nervous energy…Just don’t let it control your behavior. Stay focused on the conversation and you’ll be fine.

For more on how to ace your next interview and land the job you need, reach out to the experienced job search professionals at Merritt.

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