The number one driver of business growth is your people. While this is not a new workforce trend, it has become increasingly imperative amidst a candidate-driven job market that’s growing more competitive despite turbulent macroeconomic conditions. In a three-year study, PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Surveyrevealed that companies face a continuous threat of losing skilled workers who are at risk of quitting because they feel empowered by their current circumstances to test the market.
Accounting and finance retention strategies will remain a focus throughout 2023, as we began highlighting in August. But equally important are smart hiring strategies to fill skills gaps. As many organizations continue to rebuild their teams following the Great Resignation, you need to hire smarter. This includes shifting your mindset when it comes to “systems requirements.”
Typical accounting and finance job descriptions might include the following qualifications:
- Modern principles, practices, and methods in accounting and financing
- Critical thinking capacity
- Results driven
- Communications skills
- Ability to deliver high-quality customer service
- Analyze financial data and draw sound conclusions
- Personal values align with company culture
- Organizational and time-management skills
- Strong numeracy and analytical skills
Most job descriptions also list proficiency in specific accounting and finance software. While systems requirements are reasonable qualifications to include, they are only one part of a comprehensive position description. Most recruiters and hiring managers know that job descriptions are designed to find a competitive pool of candidates, but rarely do applicants possess all the qualifications, skills, and expertise listed.
In our experience, placing thousands of highly qualified candidates over 20+ years in the business, systems requirements should not be a deal breaker in sourcing talent.
All too often, highly qualified candidates are overlooked for lacking a skill that can easily be learned during onboarding or professional skills development. Forgoing top candidates based on systems requirements doesn’t makes sense in today’s hiring climate.
A few other points further make the case for removing specific system experience from your criteria:
- Most modern finance and accounting systems have been updated to make them extremely easy to learn and include comprehensive on-line tutorials and learning modules.
- Today’s workforce, especially younger generations, have grown up learning new technologies and aren’t intimidated by unfamiliar software. They’re much more likely to simply jump in, learn and quickly be able to apply their learnings to their new role.
It’s more important to find someone who aligns with organizational values, can grow with the company, has innate leadership skills, and has the capacity to learn your software systems. In a candidate-driven market where attrition rates run high, building trust with new employees includes investing in their professional development with skills building that is focused on their long-term contributions to the company.