Why New Accounting Hires Fail


It can be tempting to blame your new accounting hires for their lack of success. The reality, however, is that there is plenty of blame to go around. Whether it’s a poor hiring decision to begin with, a lack of management support and on boarding, or the new hire’s interpersonal skill set, succeeding in the first three months of any role can be a challenge. Here are some top reasons why new accounting hires fail.

The Stats
According to a study by Leadership IQ, 46% of new hires will fail within the first 18 months.  But here’s the stunner – only 11% of them fail because of poor technical skills.  The remainder struggle with a variety of challenges that have their roots in poor interpersonal skills, or motivation. “Ah ha”, you might say as a hiring manager, “I knew it wasn’t me.”

But dig a little deeper and the hiring process itself becomes suspect.

The Hiring Process
Let’s face it, we’ve all done it.  Stressed with tight timelines, we’ve accelerated the hiring process.  In fact, 82% of managers admit to seeing red flags during a candidate’s interview. (from Leadership IQ). Unfortunately, the managers were too pressed for time, or lacked confidence in their interviewing abilities to heed the warning signs.

According to Mark Murphy, the CEO of Leadership IQ, typical interviews focus on hiring for technical competency, but, “coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament are much more predictive of a new hire’s success or failure.”  After all, if a new hire can’t take feedback, lacks the communication skills to move their role forward, or isn’t motivated to succeed, it doesn’t matter that they have Excel skills to spare.

Resource:  For tips and interview questions that will help you spot the red flags during your hiring process, get this resource.

The New Hire
Leadership IQ completed 5427 interviews with different hiring managers who collectively had hired over 20,000 people.  Here are the top 5 reasons that new hires fail (fail = fired, left under pressure, received disciplinary action or significantly negative performance reviews):

  • 26% coachability – the ability to accept feedback and implement it
  • 23% emotional intelligence – the ability to manage one’s emotions and understand other people’s emotions
  • 17% motivation – the grit and determination to succeed in a role
  • 15% temperament – the individual’s attitude and personality fits the job and culture
  • 11% technical competence

How to Hire Better
Here are a number of ways to hire better:

  • Focus on interpersonal and motivational areas during the interview
  • Understand that while technical competence is easy to assess in an interview, it’s a poor predictor of whether or not a candidate will be successful
  • Ensure job descriptions include key interpersonal and motivational skills designed for the short and long-term success of the candidate
  • Consider both corporate culture and team dynamics in your job descriptions and interview questions

Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ says, “If managers focus more of their interviewing energy on candidates’ coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation and temperament, they will see vast improvements in their hiring success.”  To read the whole article click here.

Resource:  This resource will teach you how to write job descriptions that attract the right talent.

Key Takeaways
The success of a hire doesn’t start when they walk through the door.  It begins with a job description that includes key soft skills, not just technical ones, and an interview process that examines a candidate’s emotional IQ and motivation.  The cost of hiring poorly can be substantial, even for small companies.  This is why it’s so important to hire well initially, rather than have to return to the drawing board 3 or 6 months down the road.

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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