Is There Buy-In and Other Questions to Ask Before Hiring Accountants


We’ve done a lot of blogs, and even a key resource, on the questions you should ask during the interview process.  But the success of a hire often depends on the questions you ask before your candidate walks through the door.

1) What does the business need now?
What are the immediate needs of the role? How quickly will your candidate need to ramp up? Do you have the support mechanisms in place to facilitate that? Don’t forget to consider soft skills in your analysis. For example, if your candidate will need to build cross-functional relationships, their communication skill set will be of paramount importance.

2) What will the business need 3 years from now? At the 5 year mark?
Ideally, your candidate will grow with the role. While the immediate future is important, you’ll also need someone who can adapt to changing business needs.

ReadThe True Cost of a Bad Hire” to understand how costly a poor hire can be.

3) Which area of the company will this hire support?
Put another way – who will your hire interact with most frequently? The kind of candidate you’re looking for will change depending on your answer. For example, are they a nuts and bolts accountant, or do they need to be a bridge between finance, technology and sales?

4) What is the natural working style of the team he/she will be joining?
Evaluate team dynamics. If your hire doesn’t mesh with the natural working style of the team – collaborative or autonomous, entrepreneurial or structured – it’s unlikely that they’ll be successful. In addition, ask yourself what each member of the team values. People with diverging core values will typically differ philosophically, potentially impacting trust and consequently productivity.

5) Is there budget for the hire?
After defining the “must haves” and “nice to haves” for the role, research how much a candidate who possesses these traits will cost you. There’s no point chasing a top level candidate if you don’t have the budget to hire them. Since exceptional talent drives a disproportionate amount of the bottom line, it’s reasonable to pay them a premium. Trying to secure a $90,000 candidate for less is a recipe for disaster. Chances are you’ll either lose them at the 11th hour, or they’ll move on to greener pastures in the near future.

6) Do I have buy-in?
There are 3 key groups/people you need to secure buy-in from before you move forward:

  • The stakeholders who are most impacted by the hiring decision
  • HR
  • Your boss

Talk to your boss about the kind of person you think the company needs to hire to succeed. Discuss possible requirements for the role and listen carefully to feedback. Review the process with HR and make sure they’re on board. Speak to each stakeholder and solicit their advice on the kind of person they think will succeed in the role. Craft a scorecard that reflects the collaborative consensus for what a successful candidate looks like.

ReadHow Better Communication Can Improve Your Hiring Process” to learn how to improve your dialogue with candidates and increase your chances of landing your hire of choice.

7)  What is our on-boarding process?
Part of laying the foundation for the success of your new hire is a well-structured on- boarding process. It creates a win-win. Your hire understands what’s expected of them, and you increase your chances of retaining them.

Key Takeaways
It’s costly to hire poorly. This is why it’s necessary to ask questions before you bring the candidate pool into the equation. Determine if you have buy-in. Assess immediate role requirements, but also what you’ll need to see from a candidate at the 3 and 5 year mark. Evaluate team dynamics and consider which area of the company the hire will support. Secure the budget you need and then move forward into crafting a great job description and recruiting top talent.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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