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Strategies for Success: Overcoming Hiring Challenges

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about 2 months ago

by Eleonore Jones

Strategies for Success: Overcoming Hiring Challenges

Based on the research we conducted for our 2024 Salary Guide, we were able to see what the top most common hiring challenges were across Finance & Accounting. Here are the challenges we found and what we suggest to help you overcome them. 

Slow Recruitment/Interview Process

If your organisation struggles with a slow hiring process, you may run the risk of losing unengaged candidates or those who are looking to move quickly. Candidate drop off is more likely to happen if you don’t check in regularly; whether with their success rate, to book an interview or to talk through their application progress. The last thing you want is for them to look to  other companies (your competitors) to meet their job needs. A slow hiring process is also likely to delay operations within your business and vacant positions cost money.

Solution 

The first thing you can do is ensure your processes are streamlined by consolidating your workflows and reducing unnecessary steps. You can leverage an ATS system or other recruitment technologies to automate repetitive tasks and improve efficiency of your hiring team. 

Another alternative is to use a recruitment agency, like IN2 Consult, who are specialised in the recruitment process and will have all the most relevant technologies already in place. Their ATS systems also allow them to progress tasks such as booking meetings, referencing and interview booking at a quicker pace due to the automations already integrated in their processes.

Commitment 

On a similar vein, candidates tend to drop off if they’ve not been shown signs of commitment from the client or proper communication. Candidates need reassurance and companies aren’t always good at communicating. It’s vitally important when it comes to attracting talent and also fostering a positive relationship. 

Recruitment agencies already have systems and processes in place that ensure a constant communication stream between themselves, the candidates and the clients.

Solution

Clear communication across all levels of the process needs to be provided at all times. You should keep them informed on the status of their application, timelines and any relevant updates. It will show the candidate that you respect their time and are genuinely interested in what they have to offer. 

You should also promptly provide constructive feedback on interviews and assessments and tailor interactions with their individual needs and preferences. This means that candidates will feel valued and won’t want to look elsewhere for a role.

Staying up-to-date on all of these can be a tricky task especially if dealing with a large volume of candidates, so we suggest using an ATS system or working with a recruitment agency who can support you to manage this step.

Progression 

Progression is a delicate one as it’s not always feasible to offer due to possible limitations around internal structure, dynamics or other factors. Candidates may feel put off if there's a lack of long-term career development/progression opportunities.

Solution

You should be transparent with candidates about limitations and clearly communicate the reasons behind this. It’s important to highlight other opportunities or emphasise lateral career moves, skills development programs or exposure to cross-functional projects if applicable. 

Highlight other opportunities; whatever it is you can offer, you must show alternatives for growth opportunities and demonstrate your commitment to employees professional development. 

Uncompetitive Salary/Benefits Packages 

As I am sure you know, staying competitive is crucial especially when attracting and retaining top talent. Without proper research/consultation from a specialist, offering a salary that doesn’t quite match the market or a benefits package that just misses the mark is easily done.

Solution

Firstly you should adjust your compensation structure to include competitive base salary, performance bonuses and other incentives if feasible for your business. If not, we recommend you evaluate and enhance your benefits package to offer candidates the most in-demand benefits or try to accommodate specific ones they are after if viable. In a post-covid world this now often revolves around hybrid and flexible working. However, we strongly suggest you carry out market research on market trends and salaries so you are making the most informed decision about salaries and benefits packages.

You could go via a recruitment agency who have already done the research and know the salaries you should be offering based on roles, qualifications, specialisations and locations. Like we do at IN2 Consult, they understand the industry standards and can ensure yours are aligned to market trends.

A Candidate-Led Market

The finance and accounting market is candidate-led so clients must strongly sell the opportunity. There is a talent shortage of qualified professionals, especially those with the key skill requirements (e.g. analytical and data analytic skills) meaning you need to show your unique selling points which will help you beat fellow competitors in the talent hunt.

Solution 

As mentioned salary is always a good place to turn to but offering a competitive one isn’t always feasible. At this point you can turn to benefits and perks, training programs and opportunities for professional development (to match changes in technology and regulatory requirements that require an update on skills), all of which are highly sought out in today’s market. 

You could also consider a specialised or boutique recruitment agency as they will have access to the most relevant candidates who have the exact skills you’re looking for. Recruitment agencies like ourselves spend time finding the top qualified professionals to suit our clients who are looking for specialised skills. 

Client Marketing 

Client marketing is often overlooked. It’s imperative to set yourself apart and ensure your company reputation looks good on all channels and your employer brand is strong. 

Solution

First and foremost, if not already established, you may want to increase your brand visibility by leveraging social media, industry events and partnerships, all of which can enhance your brand presence. You’ll want to make sure that your workplace, culture, work ethic and presence in your industry is both inviting and strong as this will be visible to the candidate.

It’s important to monitor and manage your online presence; respond to reviews, address concerns and showcase a positive employee experience as this again will appeal to the candidate. If they can see a strong and positive presence online they will be able to see how this will relay into a role within your company. 

It’s also difficult to stand out amongst competitors so it’s good to set yourself apart through your unique selling point/unique value proposition. What makes your company distinct? Culture? Benefits? Growth opportunities? Why should a candidate pick you over a competitor? If you have answers to these questions you will be able to build a very strong selling point that will attract and retain the best talent for your company. 


Culture 

Culture goes hand-in-hand with brand presence and client marketing. Establishing a strong work culture and positive workplace is essential, especially if you offer a remote working style. In a remote working pattern, candidates may worry they will lose out on the social/dynamic environment and buzz that comes with office/hybrid working. Building relationships with teams/colleagues isn’t quite the same online but can be just as effective if done the right way. 

Solution

You should define and communicate your company values and reinforce these across all channels. Make sure that this is relayed into your social media presence so that candidates and possible future employees see and understand the way you work and your team culture. 

Ensure to implement regular virtual team-building activities to foster a sense of connection amongst remote employees so they don’t miss out on that social aspect. These could be done via workshops, lunch and learns, cross functional meetings, coffee breaks, event team games or online socials. Ensuring your remote employees don’t feel isolated but do feel valued within the company will elevate their employee experience and help with your employee attraction and retention. 

One last thing you could do is implement recognition programs, ensuring your employees are recognised and celebrated for their achievements. This will help create a positive work environment which is very appealing to candidates.

Hybrid Working Patterns/ Remote Work

Remote/hybrid working patterns also often bring challenges around working hours and collaboration, especially if outside of core working hours. 

Solution

If you have a fully remote system in place, we recommend you offer flexible schedules that accommodate individual preferences while also ensuring core collaboration hours. 

You should invest in and encourage the use of collaborative tools to facilitate seamless communication and project management. As a manager you should provide regular check-ins whether formal performance reviews or informal casual check-ins. This ensures your future employees that they won't feel disconnected and will feel supported. 


In Summary  

Having gone through the most common hiring challenges across Finance & Accounting, we can see that the hiring/recruitment process is no easy ride. Having the right strategies in place to overcome these is imperative to your success in hiring qualified professionals to suit your business needs and fit your company culture. 

Here at IN2 we can support you to elevate the stress and burden that comes with these hiring challenges, whether communication, salary bench-marking, professional development opportunities or brand presence, we can support you through your recruitment process, streamlining your processes and finding you the perfect finance or accounting professional to join your team. 

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