By Lauren Walker
Finding someone to fill a vacant position is one of the toughest aspects of being a manager or a business owner. For some, it causes anxiety and sleepless nights because it is such a huge responsibility. If you choose the wrong person, business productivity is not the only thing that could be affected; it could also damage employee morale and potentially reduce your revenue.
Nevertheless, hiring new people is essential for the survival and subsequent success of any organisation. After all, you cannot expect your company to be at 100% capacity if you are short-staffed. If you need to find new talent for your organisation, you should tread extremely carefully to ensure that you are making the right choice.
Finding Good Candidates for Vacant Finance Positions
Gone are the days when you have limited options when it comes to finding finance professionals you can hire for your business or organisation. Today, there are many quick and convenient ways to scout potential new employees. Here are just some.
1. Use your network
You should always utilise the power of your social network in order to source people who are qualified for your vacant finance positions. You can contact your friends, business colleagues or family members and ask them to recommend someone they know. If you have a LinkedIn profile, consider asking your contacts to help you find good candidates.
2. Search online
In today’s digital era, the internet provides the quickest and most efficient route to find people who can fill the vacant finance positions in your organisation. As well as LinkedIn, there are other specialist websites that can help you search for what you need. Some of them can even link you to candidates with specific skill sets and expertise in the financial services industry.
And of course, there’s also social media. However, remember to proceed with caution. Before you hire a candidate on the recommendation of your Twitter followers or Facebook friends, check to make sure they haven’t posted anything offensive and inappropriate; that way, you will avoid potential problems in the future.
3. Create a referral programme
Another option is to ask members of your staff for assistance. Consider setting up a referral programme whereby they can receive cash if the person they refer ends up becoming a full-time employee. This will encourage them to recommend people who are qualified and dependable.
Selecting the Best Finance Candidate
It makes perfect sense to hire someone who is skilled, talented and eminently qualified. Nevertheless, many HR managers will tell you that you should not make hiring decisions based solely on these qualities. There are other equally important factors you should consider to ensure that you’re selecting the most appropriate candidate.
To help you identify the best person for the job, here are the qualities that you should look for in a finance candidate.
1. Good problem-solving skills
As a business owner, you will obviously want someone who can help you out during challenging times. A good finance candidate is one who can find solutions to problems, no matter what the situation or whose fault it is. Unfortunately, you cannot precisely gauge a candidate’s problem-solving skills by simply looking at his or her résumé. However, there are simple ways to determine whether a candidate is a good problem-solver. You can ask them to provide examples of how they were able to overcome difficulties in their previous workplace. Alternatively, you can create scenarios and ask the candidate to explain how they would react if they found themselves in a similar very challenging situation.
2. Excellent leadership skills
If your employees have a strong foundation in leadership, this can help ease the burden on your management staff. Generally, people with good leadership skills tend to be more resourceful than others. They act without being told, even during difficult times.
In addition, many of the day-to-day tasks in the finance sector, such as general project management, require solid leadership skills. This is why even if you’re not looking for a finance manager or a supervisor, it is beneficial to hire someone who has the makings of a good leader.
3. Solid grasp of finance fundamentals
Due to the nature of this sector, you will almost certainly require someone who knows the fundamentals of finance. After all, hiring someone who doesn’t even know the difference between an income statement and a cash flow statement would be detrimental to your business.
As the “fundamentals are the building blocks of fun”, you should determine a candidate’s knowledge of the basics. If they don’t have a good grasp of finance fundamentals, it would be difficult for them to handle more complicated tasks in the future.
4. Superior analytical skills
One aspect of working in finance involves analysing figures. Day in and day out, a typical finance professional crunches numbers and studies data and financial reports to ensure that their company is not going belly-up.
When interviewing candidates, it is important to assess whether they possess good analytical skills. Furthermore, you should determine if they are comfortable analysing and interpreting financial data. It is also advantageous to hire someone who has extensive knowledge of financial analysis and business software.
5. Exceptional communication skills
In the finance sector, a simple miscommunication can lead to disastrous results. This is why it is crucial to choose someone with excellent communication skills. Whether it involves listening, writing, speaking or networking, a finance candidate who can digest information and express themselves well will be an asset to your organisation.
Whilst finding a potential new employee can be challenging, it is nevertheless a rewarding experience, especially when executed correctly. Before you make your final choice from a wide range of finance candidates, you should take your time and conduct appropriate research to ensure that you employ someone who can help your business grow and succeed.
Lauren Walker is the marketing administrator for Stellar Select, a financial services recruitment agency. The company provides the best match of mortgage and financial service candidates with employers who need their talents.