How to Find Great Accounting Candidates – Free!

There are many skills an organization has to master to succeed in today’s climate, but few provide a competitive edge like the ability to hire fast and effectively.

Particularly today, with the lowest U.S. unemployment rate in 50 years, knowing how to locate and hire the best people can be the difference between success and failure.

Increasingly, there are more accounting jobs than there are great accountants to fill them. NewYorkJobs.com lists almost 10,000 accounting openings in New York alone! That’s why most companies get by as long as they can before having to hire a full-time accountant. And all good business owners know (or learn quickly!) that they should only bring on an employee when all other avenues no longer work.

Let’s assume, though, you’ve done everything you can do to keep your accounting simple so that you can manage it yourself, and the time has come that you absolutely have to hire an accountant. Or maybe you already have an accounting department and just need to expand.

What’s the most cost-effective way to find great accounting candidates?

Keep the Ones You Have!

One word before we talk about finding new employees. It’s vastly more difficult to find someone new, bring them in, train them, and bring them up to speed than it is to not lose them in the first place. Do all you can to keep your employees happy, and you’ll find yourself having to go through the hiring process much less often.

There is a number of ways to make sure your employees continue to enjoy their work, but they all ultimately boil down to two things.

Make the Work Meaningful

Everyone, ultimately, is looking for meaning. Your employees want to feel like their work matters, and they want to understand how it fits into the larger picture of the organization. Keep them in the loop on things. Communicate with them. Make sure they know that you’re available to talk — about anything. Recognize them early and often when their work is a contributing factor to the company’s success.

Make Them Feel Human

Very few people like to feel like nothing more than a cog in the machine. Let them know that you see them first as people with lives — people who exist for far more than work. Provide as much flexibility as you can so that they can work their work around their lives, rather than the other way around. The less work interferes with their lives — the more they feel valued — the more likely they’ll be to stick around.

Write a Great Job Description

You either create an environment where no one ever wants to leave (leading to your business continuing to grow) or an environment where employee turnover is high. In either case, you eventually find yourself needing to hire. The first step is drafting a great job description.

A quick Google search will provide you several days’ worth of reading on how to write a job description that gets results, and it’s critical to spend as much time as you need really getting this step right. The job description will be the first impression of your opportunity that a candidate has and if it’s not great, it might be the only impression you get.

Remember: Your candidate may have thousands of other opportunities. Yours has to stand out.

When writing the job description, imagine you have 60 seconds to sell an individual on why they should consider your opportunity. Think about what they want to know, and think about how they want to hear it. Facts alone won’t do it, but a pure sales job without any facts won’t either. Put yourself in their position. What would get you to apply for the job?

Once you’re done with the job description, run it by other people who are similar to the candidate you hope to hire and use their feedback to revise what you’ve written. Continue that review-and-rewrite process until you feel great about what you have.

Post the Job for Free

Now that you have a great job description, it’s time to get it in front of candidates. While there are countless websites offering paid posting opportunities, there are two free ones that might be all you need.

Indeed

Indeed is far and one of the most-visited job search websites in the U.S., and it’s completely free to post your job there.

From the Indeed homepage, just click the “Employers / Post Job” link at the top right corner of the page and follow the prompts. It’s very straightforward and easy to do.

Important note: Resist the urge to get cute with your job title. Candidates don’t want to have to guess when looking at job titles and might skip your job altogether if you use something like “ASC 740 Tax Ninja”. Displaying some personality in the job description is perfectly fine, but keep your job title clear, concise, and informative: e.g. “CPA with ASC 740/FAS 109 Experience”.

Indeed does offer paid options to increase your job’s visibility when candidates are searching, but definitely try out the free version first. You might get all you need without spending anything at all, and you can always decide to boost the job later if you find you aren’t getting the candidates you need. Managing your spend can be challenging, so there’s no need to spend time figuring that out if you don’t have to.

Facebook

Job postings on Facebook haven’t been around long, but they offer some distinct advantages.

For one, they’re free like Indeed. For another, they’re attached to your business page so that Facebook users who have already “Liked” your page will automatically see your job postings — people who would be much more likely to consider the opening you have. (There are also options for posting as an individual if you don’t have a business page.)

But the biggest advantage may be that posting on Facebook automatically gets your job into Google for Jobs.

Try a job-related search on Google (e.g. CPA jobs in Boston) and notice the search results. See that large block of jobs at the top of the results? Those jobs come from Google’s own collection of job postings culled from sites all over the web — from major job sites like CareerBuilder to individual employer websites.

(The major exception is Indeed. They do not syndicate their jobs to Google for Jobs, so that’s why it’s important to post with Indeed directly.)

For years now, the majority of job seekers have started their job search at Google. So if your job isn’t there, you’re missing out on great visibility.

All of the job sites that syndicate to Google for Jobs require payment for posting, but Facebook is a notable exception. Posting your job on Facebook means that your job also shows up on Google for Jobs, so it’s a great two-for-one deal — and it’s free!

Conclusion

All growing companies need to hire at some point. Don’t bring on employees before you have to, but when the time comes that you do need to hire an accountant, there’s no need to pay for it, even in a tough labor market. There are outstanding free alternatives, so explore those routes first and save your money for better things!

Mark Thomasson
Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus - a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.
Let's be inbox friends!

Let's be inbox friends!

Drop us your email to receive a weekly digest of our latest blog posts right in your inbox.

To confirm your subscription, please check your email.