How to hire for your finance and accounting teams

While accounting firms like GM Professional Accountants only hire experienced, pedigree experts to make up our accounting team, we know that many of our clients are not in a position to hire such levels of expertise.

As a result, we thought it would be helpful to turn the spotlight on financial skills testing.

If you are a software company hiring a computer programmer, you’d validate that he or she could code. If you are running a hospital, you’d validate that the next surgeon you hire knows his or her way around a scalpel.  Well, the same should be true for any team members you hire for your finance team.

There are a host of suppliers of online accounting tests, and a number of these provide specific skills tests to evaluate the abilities of a future hire to your finance team.  If you are hiring an entry level position, then your focus might be on basic numeracy skills.  If you are seeking a bookkeeper, you will need to ensure that your successful candidate knows a little more.  For more senior positions, you may want someone who knows Sage Line 50.

All of these skills can be tested.  Professional skills testing vendors provide assessments to validate candidate skills across a variety of roles, and accountancy skills testing is no different.

Hiring the right employee for your finance team, however, is not just about “hard” or technical accounting skills.  You’ll also need to evaluate how well the candidate will fit into your broader team.  There’s no point hiring someone who supports your financial balance sheet but damages your team balance sheet (and I apologise for the truly awful pun).  This is where psychometric testing can begin to play a part.  Again, mainstream skills testing vendors provide validated psychometric assessments that can be used to evaluate how well a potential hire will fit into your team.

The cost of a bad hire in the financial department can be huge – particularly for smaller firms.  Validating the ability of your potential hire before signing on the employment contract is an excellent way to maximise your chance of avoiding this!

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