How Timing Impacts Your Chances of Landing a Great Finance Candidate


In 800 BC Hesiod, a Greek poet wrote, the “…right timing is in all things the most important factor.”

Variations of this phrase have been quoted by everyone from John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, to Pierre Trudeau who claimed that the essential ingredient of politics was timing. But how does timing impact your chances of landing a great finance candidate?

Do you have your eye on an all-star finance candidate that you’re thinking of bringing on board? Is it during year-end? Chances are it’s going to be difficult to recruit them. There’s an unwritten rule that you don’t leave your team during its busiest season. And while the rule is not as ironclad during quarter end, you’ll still have a difficult time landing a finance candidate who works for a public company.

Whether it’s completing their designation or their MBA, some top junior candidates can be locked into a further year or two of service if their employer has paid for their education. Leaving too soon means the candidate has to pay the employer back. As this can be $10,000-$15,000, your ability to recruit top junior employees can be limited.

Bonuses typically get paid in February or March. This can make recruiting during these two months quite challenging. If a candidate is expecting a $15,000 bonus they are unlikely to transition out until that bonus has been paid. If you can afford to wait for the candidate then do so, but if your hiring need is urgent consider offering a solution such as a signing bonus.

Your chances of landing talented candidates can be greatly impacted by timing. Year-end, bonuses and agreements that allow employees to further their education can all be obstacles to recruiting the candidate you have your eye on.