By Jim Wong, CPA | May 13, 2012

Labor markets are just that – markets. In this market, accounting and finance candidates with one to six years of experience are in most demand, but the supply is pretty low.

Demand Beats Supply
Employers are often fooled to believe there is more supply than demand when staffing for accounting and finance professionals. However, for accounting/finance professionals with one to six years of experience demand is outpacing current supply. As a result, companies need to be more realistic about their expectations. The candidate that is in most demand requires an opportunity that is extremely competitive — compensation, benefits and career path.

Compensation Reality Check 
Because some believe this is an employer’s market when in reality — for certain accounting and finance skills and experiences — it is not, the compensation tends to not match the expectations.

We recommend to companies when their compensation package is not market value and cannot give any more for their ideal candidate they change their expectations and instead develop the person.

Hire for Long-Term
To develop a person, they must have more than accounting or finance skills. We see hiring managers make the critical mistake of focusing solely on the technical skills or give too much weight and priority to the past work experience. When this happens, managers often struggle in finding all the technical experience they want for their hiring needs and often pass on outstanding “moldable” and willing candidates.

We encourage employers to give proper weight to the following three hiring criteria:

  • Technical experience
  • Culture fit
  • Career fit

Culture and career fit are extremely important for long-term hiring solutions. When evaluating potential candidates that do not meet all of your technical experience requirements ask yourself, “has this candidate demonstrated the ability to learn and develop at the rate I would like in their past?” In addition, “will the candidate’s career aspiration meet the available career path at the hiring company?”

Finally, we always believe to hire the right person they must have non-teachable traits such as character, cultural fit, and aligning visions. This works better than hiring solely on skills and experience.

If you build it they will come — and when they do arrive, we make sure to look for more than technical abilities to ensure fewer turnovers.

This article originally appeared on Clear Focus Financial Search.

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