An accountant is one of the crucial functionaries of a business who helps the management in preparing various financial statements and statutory compliances. As this is an important position and considering getting an accountant is crucial, employers must have the complete wherewithal of the subject and should opt for the candidates with hands-on experience in accounting standards and general practices. Thus it becomes highly imperative for the management to choose a right candidate and this guide is written exclusively for the managers to pick the suitable person.
• Prepare detailed Job Description – Accountants are of many types and hence the employer must write down the JD properly to avoid wrong hiring.
• Elaborate the Job Profile – Employer should get the complete job profile by including the responsibilities, reporting structure, key result areas etc. This would add better clarity to conduct a meaningful interview.
• Hire database from any job portal – Screening the suitable CVs by the employer himself is the best way to shortlist potential candidates. Job portals can provide large database of aspiring candidates. Short-listing can be leveraged with these databases.
• Consider referrals – Referrals from colleagues, employees or from known resources would generally give good candidates. The antecedent verification if referred candidates is much easier than other aspirants.
• Contact local accounting associations, if any – There would be certain branch or local chapters of qualified accountants associations. By contacting such institutions, employers can source competent accountants that suit the JD.
• Evaluate the credentials of the candidates – Shortlisted candidates can be put through a proper interview which can be held in 2-3 sessions than just one sitting. These sessions can be divided to assess the important credentials like communication skills, domain knowledge, aptitude and attitude.
• Frame useful questionnaire – The success of the interview depends on the quality of the questions asked. Employer need to cover not only the main topics but also certain sundry aspects which might be crucial for their type of business.
• Simulate the situations – During the interview, employer can seek for the ideas/responses from the potential candidates by simulating few accounting scenarios (good, bad & ugly). These reactions would allow the employer to guess how the candidate can react in such situations when hired.
• Choose the candidate wisely – Selection of the candidate should not be made only on the credentials of him/her but also the relevant industrial experience. When a candidate coming from a large corporation is hired for a small business, he/she may fail to adeptly apply the laws and provisions due to the inexperience in handling small businesses.
• Understand the comfort levels – It is but natural that people feel instant comfort with others through the cheerful attitude, friendly approach and effective usage of language. Employer should observe for these traits alongside of evaluating the education & experience. This would help the employer and employee in long run to build a good working relationship.
All said and done, even by conducting thorough interview, it is impossible to figure out a person’s original qualities, ideals and responsiveness which would reveal over a period of time alone. But this should not stop the employers from assessing the right candidate within the allowed time, scope and parameters.