September 4, 2013

Avoid these 6 Hiring Mistakes to Land Top Finance Talent

Businessman hides from coworker behind folderWhile optimism is on the rise due to the improving state of the job market, employers are still encountering challenges when it comes to landing talented finance job candidates. As more companies begin opening their doors to new hires in 2013, how can you ensure you’re doing everything you can to land talented, long-term additions to your business?

Sure, hiring mistakes are bound to happen. Sometimes candidates make it further in the hiring process than they truly deserve to; interviews go astray in light of new candidate details;  and you may bring on a new employee only to find he/she isn’t the corporate culture match you thought. But if your company is experiencing high turnover rates or mediocre hires, you’ll be paying a big price in the long run.

Understanding what avoidable hiring mistakes are holding you back from landing top finance talent will help you make better, long-term hires for your company. Here are six mistakes to avoid in order to improve your hiring process:

1. You didn’t identify your needs. The rush to fill an immediate finance opening might leave you skipping over some of the most important aspects of the hiring process: clearly defined goals. The best hires aren’t made out of desperation to quickly fill a seat—they’re carefully selected based on a match in terms of skills, experience, personality traits, and cultural fit.

Do you need a candidate with 10 years of finance experience? What about a candidate with exceptional communication skills? You can’t find the perfect match for your company without first understanding what you need. Evaluate your company’s mission, values, and short-term and long-term goals to help identify aspects crucial to making a smarter hiring decision.

2. You didn’t appropriately convey your company culture. No company culture is quite like another. Your company may have an excellent reputation in finance, but you should never assume job candidates have a 360-degree view of what goes into working at your company. Many candidates take positions at prestigious firms to gain big-name exposure, only to find out a few months into working there that the corporate culture wasn’t what they bargained for.

Adamantly convey your company culture throughout the hiring process. Create an in-depth description for your job listing and provide insight into the office setting during interviews. This visibility will ensure your candidates understand the potentially competitive intensity or casual nature of your corporate culture. The more finance applicants understand about the position, the more likely they will be a good fit if they make it further in the hiring process.

3. Your hiring process is lacking proper candidate evaluation. Job candidates aren’t always who you think they are. Their cover letter, resume, and referrals may present them as highly experienced and motivated workers, but banking on this information alone might cause problems in the future as they may not be the perfect match for your corporate culture. This is why candidate screening and testing is an incredibly important means to effective candidate evaluation.

In what way can you measure your candidate’s aptitude for the skills required for the position? Several options include personality or aptitude testing, a question-and-answer screening process, or more effective interviewing techniques, such as a roundtable with a few executives and employees of the company.

4. You lack an online talent community. If you’re struggling to attract and connect with the best finance candidates in the industry, it’s probably because you’re not going above and beyond to interact with them. Your recruiting strategy should incorporate a talent community to accomplish this task. This is an online hub for establishing two-way communication between your company and a targeted audience of potential candidates.

Finance candidates are online looking for jobs; you just need to establish a community to reach them. Carefully choose an online platform to best reach your target audience, and focus on creating an engaging, trusting environment where you can hone in on talented finance professionals. Your talent community will allow you to passively interact with and screen active candidates, while also creating buzz for your company and job opportunities.

5. You didn’t utilize referrals. When was the last time you hired a finance candidate from a referral? If you can’t remember, it’s time to make an important change in your hiring process. The power of employee referrals is unmatched. In fact, referred employees have the highest retention rate after one year at 46 percent.

Using internal referrals helps tap into valuable connections from your employees and customers. These are trusted individuals who understand the necessary skills and experience required to thrive in positions at your company. Your connections will also have an accurate grasp of the company culture.

6. You lost a great candidate at the last minute. If great finance candidates have made it to the last round of the hiring process only to back out unexpectedly, you might have a problem on your hands. Have you been treating your candidates with the utmost respect during the hiring process? Anything less than the gold standard of customer-level service is sure to turn high quality finance talent in the other direction. It’s also important to make sure your candidates understand the competitive nature of the position they’re applying for.

Additionally, consider the art of balancing out how you sell a position and the company. Hiring managers need to focus on sharing what’s great about the position and company culture, but also be honest when it comes to highlighting other elements. Expectations, qualifications, and the more mundane day-to-day reality of the job could turn a candidate away at the last moment if not communicated throughout the process. A candidate may love your company, but he/she may not love the traveling and daily expectations required for the position.

Avoiding these hiring mistakes will help minimize challenges in the hiring process. After all, landing top finance talent for your company for the long-term is the ultimate goal.

What mistakes have you encountered during the hiring process?


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Eric Stutzke is the Executive Vice President of Finance & Operations at OneWire, the premier destination for employers to connect with high quality finance talent. Connect with Eric and OneWire on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.