Non-traditional candidates might be just what you need to bring a fresh face to your bookkeeping firm. In our last blog, we discussed the importance of hiring forward-thinking staff who can carry your firm into the future. But what do those team members look like, how do you find them, and is your hiring pool as limited as you might believe?
If you’ve been trying to fill positions at your bookkeeping firm, you may have noticed something about young applicants. Namely, there aren’t as many of them. Fewer young people are studying accounting, and Gen Z seems particularly disinterested in the field. However, don’t go raising the alarm bells just yet. There are plenty of highly skilled, adaptable candidates that can fill the gaps at your bookkeeping firm and help carry it into a new era — you just need to know how to find them.
Prioritizing Qualities Over Experience
What industry professionals are learning is that candidates with good qualities – like leadership skills and ingenuity — can sometimes be more valuable than a candidate with more experience who lacks those qualities. The job market is changing. It isn’t uncommon to see professionals with different degrees working in the same field. Regardless of their experience in that specific industry, these candidates have easily transferable skills and qualities that make them good employees for any business.
When looking at new job candidates, rather than looking solely at their degree or experience, here are some qualities that could prove valuable to scout:
- Creativity: Will this new hire bring fresh ideas to your firm? Will they be able to use their creativity to adapt to unexpected challenges?
- Tech-Savviness: How well does this potential hire utilize and learn new technologies?
- Leadership Skills: Can this candidate take charge of projects with confidence?
- Collaboration: Can this potential hire work well with a team?
- Customer Service: Is the candidate friendly and empathetic? Do they have experience in customer service or sales? Do they seem like the type of person you can trust your clients with?
Attracting and Hiring Non-Traditional Candidates
First things first: the job posting you have listed on Indeed and LinkedIn might need a fresh face. Use this space to talk about the qualities that you are looking for and the skills you think potential hires will need to succeed in the workplace. Be sure to talk yourself up too. The candidates you’re after are probably being pursued by other jobs and industries as well. Tell them what makes your firm and industry unique, exciting, and fulfilling.
Good onboarding can make all the difference when dealing with a non-traditional hire. They may have more to learn about the job environment than most, and you want to provide solid up-front support. Non-traditional hires call for non-traditional onboarding, after all. Job shadowing is also a great tool to utilize! Let your new, non-traditional hire learn by watching your expert, existing staff. Through job shadowing, they can learn both how the work gets done and why it gets done a specific way — along with some helpful expert tips from experienced professionals!
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