How to Avoid These Common Financial Hiring Mistakes


In a perfect world we wouldn’t make mistakes and everything would go exactly how we envisioned it. Of course, things don’t usually go this smoothly.

In a positive way, our mistakes allow us to grow both professionally and personally and we’re usually better people as a result.

When it comes to financial hiring, however, mistakes can cost us time and our company money. Here are three financial hiring mistakes we commonly see and how to avoid them.

Only Trusting Your Intuition

Sometimes in an interview we get a gut feeling about a certain candidate. Perhaps we see ourselves in them, in their work experience, or their thought processes. While there is some merit to trusting your intuition, this is actually one of the more common financial hiring mistakes we see. The better approach is to formulate a checklist in advance based on a consensus of the role’s requirements. This inserts a degree of objectivity into the process, making it easier to compare candidates across a variety of factors. We all want to work with people we like, but putting too much of an emphasis on likability can detract from other, more important, qualities.

Obsessing Over Perfection

One of the most common financial hiring mistakes is to focus on finding the “perfect” candidate. This can cause you to disregard other potential hires just because they do not have, for example, every single technical skill you are looking for. As far as financial hiring mistakes go, this can be a deadly one. While we advise that you do create a core requirements checklist, understand that people are the sum of their experiences and possess different strengths and working styles. Rather than emphasize perfection, come to a consensus on what your deal breakers are for the organization and where compromise might exist. This will streamline the hiring process and create a higher level of satisfaction when you do choose a candidate to hire.

Taking The Island Approach

It doesn’t matter what the great singer/songwriters Simon and Garfunkel said, you are not an island. One of the greatest financial hiring mistakes that people regularly make is to try and complete the hiring process alone. Besides being an additional burden on your time and energy, flying solo means that you lose the valuable feedback provided by others in your organization. By not engaging the key stakeholders, who are most impacted by the hiring decision, you also limit buy-in from them, potentially costing you the candidate of choice. Consider instead collaboratively creating a list of “must haves” for the role and getting any candidate that impresses in the interview to meet your colleagues. The result: you can move more quickly on quality hires because you have taken the time to create buy-in from the people that matter.

To save yourself time, and your company money, try to avoid these common financial hiring mistakes. Understand that an obsession with finding the perfect candidate can be a recipe for frustration. Know that by collaboratively crafting an objective list of key role requirements, you increase buy-in from those who matter, including your boss. When it comes down to it, a team that hires together is more invested in the candidate and their success, typically equaling a positive result for the company as a whole.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more great tips and advice.