Interviewing accountants in a post COVID world?
The workplace is a very different place now – we’ve all accepted that. And I think we’re pretty comfortable with the fact that our work environment is ever-changing, that our roles are shifting and shaping to the new way of life. It’s incredible to think just how different working life used to be a few short months ago. All the things we took for granted – all the simple processes to get things done…having no processes at all! The freedom and the autonomy. Now, the dust is settling and the strange new way of doing things is no longer strange.
Maybe now, as we take a breath and regroup, it’s time to focus our thoughts on that task we had back in January. Do you remember?! Growth. New products. New services. Standing out from your competitors. And having the best financial year yet.
It’s still possible.
And there’s only one way to do it.
To have the most talented team possible.
This should be your only priority, and business owners should ignore this advice at their peril.
With many of the accountancy world’s most talented people reflecting on their priorities, relocating and feeling unimpressed with their current employer, now is the time to act. But, before you begin, there’s one thing you need to do. Totally rethink the way you interview.
Chances are you’ll need to perform at least one stage of the recruitment process virtually. You can find out all about that here.
The really important thing you’ll need to think about, is the questions. You can delete that page of generic prompts you used to rely on during interviews. There is no place for those anymore. Winging it and getting a feel for the person? Nope – not an option. You’re going to need to be as prepared and as engaged as your candidate.
And here are the 5 questions you NEED to ask…
1. What do you envisage to be the biggest challenge when working remotely
Working from home is no longer seen as a perk of the job and if they don’t have sufficient space at home, the right mindset or have never worked remotely before, they may not be an effective and motivated team member. Then think about how this would impact the quality of work you produce?
2. Give me an example of how you’ve been innovative and creative in solving a problem.
Your organisation NEEDS these people – imaginative, resourceful and quick to solve issues. It’s the only way your business will survive – never mind grow.
3. How do you keep yourself motivated?
Is this candidate focussed on growth? Do they value results, are they punctual, have attention to detail, are they motivated by a cause? Can they give you an example of how their self-starter attitude has benefitted an employer in the past?
4. Can you share an example of how you are committed to lifelong learning?
It doesn’t need to be a professional CPD course (we’re looking for creatives remember?) Ask them if they have volunteered for a cause close to their heart, become an unofficial team leader in their role or taken an interest in a new skill completely unrelated to accountancy? You can get some more examples like this here.
5. How are you feeling?
No, really! Get an idea of how your candidate understands the new working world and how they are reacting to it. We’ve all been impacted by the pandemic and if they suggest otherwise, perhaps that’s something to question. This very small question can reveal so much about the person.
If you need more pointers on how to snap up talent post-lockdown, we’re always happy to share our experience. Recruiting is a skill and if your focus is elsewhere at the moment, why not speak to an expert about getting the job done properly…before your competitors do?!
Call 0333 577 7787