The importance of swift decision making post interview

This is a topic we’ve decided to write about following one or two unfortunate incidents when a client has taken a little too much time to make a decision following an interview and in that period the candidate has been snapped up by another firm.

Now, it happens and we’re not going to suggest that the employers that we support and represent don’t do their due diligence and take the time to make the right decisions.

But, we are here to remind employers that their workforce is their biggest asset and prioritising making the time to process and make that decision should be a priority.

You see the problem lies in the employment market as we find it. There are quite simply more vacancies than there are qualified accountants and as such the people who you are likely to be interviewing won’t just be waiting around to take your call. In the majority of instances they will have several interviews lined up so if they have the potential to be your next employee, you need to act swiftly to retain their interest. Even if it’s just making a quick decision and releasing the time for a second interview.

And it’s not just the risk that they will be offered a position at another firm. There’s never been a more important time to retain the quality staff that you have, so as soon as the firm your candidates work for get wind of the fact that they are looking elsewhere, they’re likely to roll up their sleeves and see what more they can offer them to stay.

‘Rest assured that when a candidate on interview is offered an incentive by their existing employer to remain in post, we will always take the time to remind them that the fact they’ve had to be strong armed into making these changes isn’t good reason to stay. But on some occasions a candidate who had been really excited by the prospect of an interview who is left hanging on a decision, will decide that staying put might be the easier option, especially if they are offered a greater reward.’

Garry Howling, MD

So, our advice for employing accountants is clear, without compromising on the necessary thought you need to give to your decision, act as quickly as you can. The market is moving at pace and it’s not uncommon for high level candidates to receive offers within a week of sending us their CV. If you want to be the firm that has the best people in your teams, you’ll need to act decisively. And don’t forget that a good contract and probationary period means that even if you make a decision you later regret, there’s plenty you can do about it.

It’s a challenging time to be a leader in practice. Candidate demands are on the increase and there’s a real competitive need to offer a more agile, efficient and communicative service. Coupled with the strong negotiating position that candidates find themselves in and the challenges of recent years (pandemic, rising cost of living, interest rates – the list goes on), it’s really important that you have strong people working in your teams.

If it helps your decision making process remember the following:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. In the scheme of things wrestling over minor details when it comes to contracts, salaries and benefits wastes your time and risks the candidate withdrawing.
  • Focus on creating a great relationship with your recruiter. We’ve written honestly before about the importance of how well we are able to work together. If trust and mutual respect isn’t a priority for you, you won’t be the first to know about the highly in demand candidates in specific roles.
  • Make the time to find the right people. It can feel like a headache and it can feel like operational issues should take precedent. But your workforce strategy is the key to a future free of fire fighting and problem solving. Get the right people in place and you’ll find your firm starts to run itself.
  • Invest in your people. They are the best thing about your firm.

To work with a recruiter that’s not afraid to offer a direct approach and who is proud to act as your critical friend (as opposed to being a yes person) reach out for a no obligation call today. We have candidates ready and waiting to hear about the enticing vacancies that you have to offer.


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