By Jim Wong, CPA | June 17, 2014


Picture this:
Your SEC Reporting Manager, Sr. Financial Planner, or J2EE Developer has just resigned in the middle of a huge project. One of your most valued departments now has a gaping hole. It’s an understatement to say that the open position needs to be filled ASAP. More realistically, panic has probably ensued.

As the hiring manager of your company, it’s your responsibility to take control of the situation in the interim and find a quality replacement, no matter the department.

So, what are your next steps?

Instead of scrambling around and choosing the first accounting, finance, or IT resume that floats across your desk, take a second and follow these simple steps:

Get stakeholders together and agree on a profile.
Before you start to do anything, talk with all of the hiring decision makers and reevaluate the newly vacant role. Are you going to keep the job description as is? Do you see the role morphing into something new? Whatever the case may be, take a second to discuss where you’d like to tweak the job responsibilities before you start to look for a new person. Once that’s decided and everyone is on the same page, move on to the next steps of finding a replacement.

Whether your ideal full–time candidate is a senior resource with 15 years of experience, someone proficient in SAP or a 5–year–out data manager, lay out a detailed description of your ideal candidate that everyone approves.

Roadmap your search.
It’s important to organize a plan of action for your search. Consider this four–pronged approach:

  1. Network
  2. Social media
  3. Job boards
  4. Search and staffing firm

You’ve most likely been networking throughout your career. A good place to start when looking for a new hire is reaching out to your contacts for prospective referrals or resources. Asking for information from your peers in the same field is always helpful, even if you don’t end up hiring someone as a direct result. You never know when they’ll be able to offer something in the future or vice versa. That’s why, touching base and networking on a regular basis is always a smart thing to do.

Utilize social media. Most people are aware that a social network like LinkedIn is a dominating tool for the job seeker market, especially with its niche groups and forums. Starting discussions or commenting on other conversations in that space can be very successful. Not to mention, Twitter and Facebook can be beneficial, as well. Performing advanced searches with key phrases and targeted demographics can give you a large return of information. Sifting through the information may be the tedious part— but it also may be worth the time.

Scroll through the job boards. Performing targeted searches, whether they’re on Monster, Indeed, or CareerBuilder, can prove successful. This too may be time consuming, but being consistent and diligent will help.

As we all know, finding a new full–time hire can take some time. Fortunately, there are options available to help you. One great resource is a specialized search and staffing firm with former accounting, finance, and IT experts working for them. These individuals understand your needs and know who to find and where to find them. Additionally, a search and staffing firm can offer you temporary professionals to use while you’re searching for the perfect full–time candidate. Keep in mind, you’ll need the interim person to step in and hit the floor sprinting with minimal training by your company. This may require additional experience, and therefore, may end up being an individual who is over–qualified for the role.

Know your company’s “Sell”.
Make sure the person you want to hire wants to work for you, too. What is it about your company that’s attractive to job seekers? Do you have anything special to offer? Professions like accounting, finance, and IT are becoming tightening labor markets. You can’t expect every accountant or IT professional to jump at your offer. There has to be a perceived value when working for your company.

Be patient.
While it may take some time to bring any new individual up to speed with the state of your company, its processes and systems, not selecting the right fit may leave you spending more money in the long run. You don’t want to end up wasting time speaking with individuals who aren’t qualified, aren’t a cultural fit, or overall, aren’t going to succeed in the position.

Time is Money—So, use it wisely!

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