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How to Recruit and Empower Your New Accounting Workforce

Recruiting new accounting workforce

As the world of business changes, the role of the accountant is changing too. Accountants are now facing a market of in-demand jobs in Asia. What is accounting nowadays differs from what it was not so long ago; key skills for accounting jobs are changing from hard skills only to a hybrid of hard and soft skills. Accountants must cover the basics, but they must also be strategic.


Is there a real need?

Your recruitment and selection process may be longer or shorter. It depends on your style. If you are not satisfied with new recruits in the past, think about changing your recruitment strategy. Blaming poor performers on the talent shortage in Asia may not be justified. Take a little time to analyse your recruitment strategies. Rethink how to go about finding and hiring the right people for your current needs. Help your potential new recruits with their job search by reaching out to them with formal and informal recruitment strategies.


The recruitment challenge

The simplest way to recruit and empower new employees at your SME is to hire the right people then just let them do their jobs. Use a mixture of your intuition and personal savvy to hire the right new accountants then let them get on with it. Don’t ‘micromanage’. Wait for the results you want to come then praise and reward your new hire as appropriate.

Don’t forget to keep assessing their positioning in your own company relative to the external market. Don’t forget to listen to their aspirations too.

Millennial employees may be impatient and eager for recognition. In a small business, this may require some sensitive leadership. Don’t forget to have regular informal chats with your staff.


Finding the right talent

Recruitment is highly personal. It can take time. Several rounds of interviews. Do you really have time for all this? Informal recruitment may be more effective than formal recruitment.

One Golden Rule is ‘Good people know other good people’. If you have a good accountant in your staff, and you must do, then ask them if they know anyone suitable for the role, or roles, that you are currently recruiting for. You may find this is a useful, time-saving strategy. This will help you build a high performance team.

Formal recruitment can be done by picking interns, by yourself or by using a headhunter. Interns are the future leaders of your accounting staff. Create a pipeline by implementing or revamping an intern programme.

Headhunters may cost you money, but they will save you time. A good headhunter will send you a selection of good candidates that have already been screened then let you as the employer make the hiring decision.


The Empowerment Challenge

After you recruit the right people for your current needs, empowering your key staff is the next step. When your new recruits join your company get them off to the right start. Induction can be done properly by giving them a copy of your corporate handbook on day one, or at least in week one. This will help them feel more comfortable and fit in quickly to your company culture.

You have done your job well by selecting the right people for the roles you need to fill. Developing and retaining accountants for your new workforce involves managing talent. Developing your good key staff involves upskilling as they may need to learn new skills to stay relevant and deliver value to your business. New recruits may need to learn how to use the accounting software that you currently use in your SME. They may also be able to advise you on effective work strategies from their previous experiences. Retaining good employees may involve bonding them with education packages.

Assigning mentors from your senior staff to new recruits will help them to learn the ropes and stop them from being frightened of making mistakes or constantly asking the boss for advice and guidance. Your goal as an SME leader should be to get your new recruits to the point of being autonomous workers as fast as possible. Then they can add value to your business without wasting your time and energy.

Recruiting and empowering your new accounting workforce is a key strategic aspect of your business. Business is about people.

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