Your Guide to Creating a Successful Company Onboarding Program

Starting a new job used to mean confirming a start date and hoping there was an available desk when you arrived. But now, onboarding is often a much more detailed and thoughtful process — or at least it should be. Giving newcomers the support they need upfront helps them quickly ramp up in their role and strengthens company culture by making people feel welcome and valued.

Designing and implementing a great onboarding program takes work, but it is well worth it to boost your employees’ productivity and morale. It also provides continuity between the recruiting process that convinced them to join and the reality of the job — prospects are often looking for red flags and inconsistency or disorganization is one of them.

Here are some great onboarding principles that will help employees get a running start in contributing to your business goals.

Start Before the Start Date

It’s never a good idea to ask employees to start working before their first day, but there are things you can have them do in advance that will help everyone involved.

This works well for tasks such as filling out payroll and benefits paperwork, which will get important information into your systems and prevent delays in employee paychecks and perks. Before the start date is also a good time to schedule a team lunch (virtual or in person) for the new member’s first week, and you should prepare and send a preliminary schedule for their first few days so they know what to expect.

Another benefit of productive advance communication is that it signals to your new employees that your company is organized and excited for them to join the team.

Build in Opportunities To Derive and Create Value Right Away

New employees need to get up to speed on many things quickly, but it is both overwhelming and ineffective to rely on written material you hope they’ll read and absorb. Instead, create a more dynamic learning program that includes some combination of 1:1 meetings with leaders and/or team members, workshops on topics important to the business and a clear picture of your expectations for their first week, month and three months.

At the same time, it’s important for new employees to feel that they’re adding value even as they’re on a learning curve. Identify projects they can own and deliver a piece of within their first week or two. This doesn’t mean throwing them into the deep end without support, but it does set them up for an early win that can build confidence and enable ongoing success.

Prioritize Mentorship

Everyone expects new employees to have a lot of questions, but the newest team members might not know whom or how to ask. This is why every newcomer should be paired with a more tenured colleague they can turn to with everything from “Where’s the coffee?” to “What could my career path look like here?”

Ideally, a mentor is someone with more experience both at the company and in the industry who doesn’t directly manage the new employee. The official relationship could last for a week, a month or a year, but there’s no better way to establish a positive, career-nurturing culture and integrate new employees from the get-go.

Key Questions Every Manager Should Ask in Employee Reviews

Employee reviews. A time when managers can find themselves intimidated with what questions to ask, and how to deliver meaningful feedback. Sure, while the idea is to assess an employee’s performance, identify areas for improvement and set goals for the future — the objective of these meetings is flooded with intention and purpose. And as a manager, to maximize the productivity and meaningfulness derived from these one-on-ones, you need to ask the right questions. That’s why we’ve rounded up the essential questions you should ask during employee reviews.

1. What have you achieved this year that you’re proud of?

The best way to put both parties at ease during the annual review? Starting off on a positive note. By asking this question, you’re able to shine a light on the employee’s strengths and provide validation for their hard work. Plus, this will help you when it comes to highlighting contributions toward the organization’s overall goals.

2. What were the biggest hurdles you faced this year?

Equally important to discussing accomplishments: recognizing challenges within your team. Likely you’re already aware of the key obstacles your team members have faced throughout the year, but utilize this as an opportunity to follow up. Ask the employee how they managed to overcome this challenge and if they would do anything differently. By encouraging employees to reflect on their problem-solving abilities, you can lead them to insights on how to tackle future obstacles. It also provides visibility into the challenges your team is facing, which better equips you in helping your team avoid those hurdles in the coming year.

3. What professional skills would you like to develop? How can I support you in this?

According to a Gallup survey, 61% of American workers say upskilling opportunities are an important reason to stay at their job, and 48% of workers would switch to a new job if offered skills training opportunities. So, consider this question important in the eyes of employee retention. Specifically, this question demonstrates your interest in the employee’s professional growth and shows that the organization is committed to helping them advance their career.

4. What are your goals for the upcoming year?

As a birds-eye-view type of follow-up to the previous question, ask your team members what their short- and long-term career goals are. Take time to consider if the skills they’re interested in developing align with the goals they share. If not, make recommendations for specific skills and focus areas to help them reach these goals.

5. What feedback do you have?

While the primary goal of the review is for you to provide feedback to your team members, it’s also crucial to allow time for your employee to share their own feedback with you. Often, there aren’t many organic opportunities for the employee to do so. By asking if they have any opinions or concerns, you’re demonstrating that you’re open to receiving input and are committed to improving the work culture.

Employee reviews are a crucial aspect of being a people leader — but they don’t have to be intimidating. By asking the right questions, you can ensure that employees feel valued, acknowledged and motivated to continuously improve. For more insights, check out our 2023 Q3 Accounting and Finance Employment Report.

Is it Time To Add Consultants to Your Hiring Strategy?

Today’s accounting and finance climate is fast-paced and evolving. That’s why — in order to stay ahead — companies need to be agile and adaptable. One way employers can optimize operations? By adding consultants to their hiring strategy. Hiring a consultant (or someone fulfilling a contracted position) allows businesses to bring in skilled workers for a specified time period — be it full- or part-time work. If you’re looking to achieve the following things, it’s likely time to consider adding consultants to your team.

1. Market Responsiveness

You’re likely well aware that the accounting and finance market is known to have sudden shifts — especially in today’s economy. That’s why one of the biggest benefits of adding consultants to your hiring strategy is the ability to react to those shifts. Companies that are slow to respond to sudden market changes can quickly find themselves falling behind. Consultants offer specialized knowledge and expertise that companies should use to their advantage to meet changing demands.

2. Flexibility

How can you react to changes with finite labor resources? As we enter a highly uncertain economic climate, flexibility is key. And a key benefit of working with consultants? You guessed it — flexibility. As new opportunities arise, many companies often don’t have the internal resources to handle the new work that comes subsequent to those opportunities. Without the time burden of hiring permanent staff, companies can quickly scale up their workforce efficiently by hiring consultants. This mitigates the risk of wasting resources while opening doors to expansion or reduction, as needed.

3. Diversity of Thought

When you add consultants to your team, you’re also adding fresh perspectives and new ideas. Often, employees currently immersed in a project have a harder time identifying new opportunities or approaches that might be offered from a fresh set of eyes. For that reason, companies can gain a competitive advantage by bringing on consultants.

4. Cost-efficiency

Working with consultants can be a cost-effective solution. Not only can the hiring and training of new long-term employees be time consuming, but it’s also expensive. Doing so also runs the risk of the new hire not working out. By working with consultants, companies have access to top-tier talent — without the long-term commitment and expense of hiring a full-time staff. A hybrid mix of long-term and contract employees on your team ensures you have the right talent in place. It also better allows you to complete projects on time and within budget.

Ultimately, adding consultants to your hiring strategy allows your team to be agile and adaptable. Learn more about today’s hiring landscape for finance and accounting professionals or one of our hiring experts to find the best solution for your team.

Soaring High: Accounting and Finance Roles In High Demand Despite Changing Economic Landscape

The hurdle of an accounting and finance talent shortage continues to rise as we progress through 2023 — and firms and corporations, alike, are fighting to stay in the race. With the demand for skilled professionals outstripping the supply, it’s high time that companies turn their focus to both attracting new talent and keeping existing employees engaged.

Understanding the Talent Shortage

Accounting and finance professionals have long been in demand. But in recent years, the gap between the required skilled workforce and available candidates has widened significantly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 300,000 accountants and auditors have left their profession in the past two years: the cause being a mixture of career changes and retirement. The problem of filling these open roles is being exacerbated by a shortage of new talent entering the field. We’re seeing a near 9% decrease in accounting majors since 2012, according to the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. And despite the instability of today’s economy, the scarcity of skilled professionals has been simmering beneath the surface for some time now.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 300,000 accountants and auditors have left their profession in the past two years: the cause being a mixture of career changes and retirement.

Impact on Businesses and the Industry

The effects of the accounting and finance talent shortage can’t be underestimated. Companies constantly grapple with the pressure to stay compliant with ever-changing regulations, perform detailed financial analyses, complete risk assessments and maintain strong financial reporting.

An understaffed team may lead to lower productivity, increased workloads for employees, longer hours — and ultimately an increased risk of burnout. This can result in diminished employee morale and engagement, which may further intensify the talent gap by contributing to higher employee turnover.

Getting Creative to Attract New Talent

It’s time for employers to think outside the box and adopt innovative strategies to attract new finance professionals. Here are some methods that have proven successful:

  1. Broaden the talent pool by looking beyond the traditional finance and accounting candidates. Seek out applicants who possess strong soft skills — critical thinking, communication and a strong willingness to learn. Develop and pursue a more diverse hiring strategy that considers candidates from various educational backgrounds.
  2. Take on temporary professionals. Employers continue to turn to consultants’ specialized skill sets to complete key projects and temporary assignments. In our 2023 Salary Guide, we detail that demand for temporary workers in the U.S. increased in Q3 and Q4 of 2022 from the previous year, helping to highlight the need for labor across all sectors.
  3. Invest in flexible work arrangements. This can include remote work, job sharing or flextime to cater to changing employee preferences and enhance your organization’s appeal to candidates seeking a better work-life balance.
  4. Build connections with staffing and recruiting firms. Investing in additional partnerships, including universities and colleges, can help your company secure a steady pipeline of young talent who are both seasoned or can be trained to suit your business requirements.
  5. Showcase your organization’s commitment to professional development and continuous learning. Offering financial support for certifications, designations and further education can be a major draw for ambitious, career-focused candidates.

Attracting new talent is only half the battle — retaining your skilled staff is equally essential to alleviate the challenges resulting from the talent gap.

Seek out applicants who possess strong soft skills — critical thinking, communication and a strong willingness to learn.

Retaining Your Current Employees

As indicated in our 2023 Salary Guide, “obtaining market-rate salaries” is now the number one priority of accounting and finance professionals. This change bumps the 2022 priority of “growth potential and career challenge” to the number two spot, and “flexible work schedule” to a close third. Top priorities in mind, here are some tips on retaining your finance employees:

  1. Consider compensation, which, in 2023, is king. Even with the uncertainty of the employment landscape, salaries for accounting and finance professionals are trending upwards. Plus, with the climbing cost of living expenses, this isn’t only a priority for incoming workers but current employees. Forty-eight percent of U.S. companies are planning for higher year-over-year salaries in 2023 to meet this demand, according to That’s why it’s important that, in addition to base salaries, you consider providing financial incentives for exceptional performance, such as bonuses, stock options or profit-sharing plans.
  2. Provide opportunities for growth and development. Enable your employees to grow within your organization by offering on-the-job training, skill development programs and regular performance evaluations. This not only helps them build their careers but also ensures that you’ll have a reliable pool of talent ready to fill more advanced roles.
  3. Embrace flexibility. Over the past few years, the working world has witnessed a remarkable shift as employees enthusiastically adopt flexible work schedules. Today, the irresistible allure of a hybrid work model is one of the primary factors keeping professionals loyal to their current companies. As we forge ahead in 2023, organizations must master the art of crafting sustainable flexible work arrangements to ensure their long-term success.
  4. Make employee satisfaction a top priority. Regularly gauge your staff’s happiness levels and be proactive in addressing any concerns. Consider implementing team-building activities, organizing company events and developing a mentorship program.
  5. Foster a culture of recognition and appreciation, where employees receive positive, timely feedback on their work. By recognizing their efforts and contributions, you strengthen their loyalty and commitment to your organization.

In a world where numbers tell the stories of commerce, the scarcity of accounting and finance professionals is an unfolding problem that demands attention. Companies must wield imaginative strategies to attract skilled individuals while keeping the loyalty of current professionals. How will you empower your business to tackle the talent drought head-on?

Unlocking Untapped Talent: Why You Should Hire for Potential

If you’ve posted a job listing, you’re likely aware about the emphasis on experience when hiring a new team member. However, times might just be changing as new approaches to evaluating job candidates are emerging. In the realm of accounting and finance, companies need skilled professionals who can handle financial data, interpret trends and make strategic decisions that impact the bottom line. As a manager in this industry, you know just how valuable experienced employees can be. However, you may be missing out on an untapped source of talent by focusing solely on experience. Let’s explore why hiring for potential might just be as important (if not more so) as hiring for experience in the accounting and finance industry.

1. It’s a long-term investment

Experience is valuable, but it can also be limiting. People who have been doing the same thing for years may not be open to new ideas or ways of approaching problems. By contrast, hiring someone for their potential — or hiring someone based on their skill set rather than their years of experience — can prove valuable.

When you hire someone with potential, you’re investing in their long-term growth and development. They likely have fresh ideas, are eager to learn and, ultimately, they’re more likely to take on new challenges that can benefit your business.

2. It creates diversity

When it comes to diversity, it’s important not to overlook diversity of thought. When you hire strictly based on experience, you tend to hire people with the same qualifications, with similar backgrounds. This opens the door to a lack of creative thinking and problem-solving skills within your team. But when you pursue candidates with different experience levels, backgrounds, education levels or interests, you’re more likely to build a well-rounded team that is more apt to look at challenges from a multitude of perspectives.

3. It can add unique skills and strengths to your team

Hiring for potential is not synonymous with hiring inexperienced candidates. Rather, it means hiring someone whose potentially nonlinear professional background has led to unique skills or strengths that may look different from those typically in the accounting and finance path of progression. For example, someone with experience in a different industry might bring skills (like attention to detail, for example) that can be applied to the field of accounting and finance. Or, a candidate with strong analytical skills from a different field can still be a valuable asset to your team. The key ingredient in successfully hiring for potential is looking for an eagerness and a willingness to learn.

4. It can reduce the risk of burnout

Burnout is a hot topic in today’s accounting and finance industry. If an individual has been doing the same day-to-day tasks for years, chances are they’re going to become bored or dissatisfied. But by focusing on someone’s potential, you’re hiring candidates that are eager and excited to take on the new challenges of the role. This creates a healthy culture of growth while also reducing the risk of burnout. 

Ultimately, by focusing on potential, you can build a team that is passionate to learn and eager to grow with your business. Are you currently looking to add a member to your team? Contact us today; we’re here to help you with your talent search.

Top 2023 Talent and Recruiting Trends

With the global talent shortage expected to continue into this year, companies will need to be more proactive than ever when it comes to talent and recruiting. To remain competitive and find top-tier candidates, there are certain trends that employers should consider in order to attract and retain talented professionals. Here are the top trends for companies to watch for in 2023:

1. Competitive Compensation & Benefits

Competitive compensation is no longer just about offering a competitive salary – it’s about offering a comprehensive package of benefits that allows employees to feel valued and appreciated. This means thinking competitively about all elements of your benefits package: medical coverage, retirement plans, commuter benefits, childcare support, and other perks such as wellness programs or flexible work arrangements. All in addition to compensation that aligns – or slightly exceeds – the employee’s skill level.

2. Quick Recruiting Processes

Competition for talented workers is at an all-time high; and that’s not expected to change in the near future. Therefore, you need to streamline your recruitment processes in order to move quickly when you find top candidates. Have standard work for the recruitment process, which may include using automated applicant tracking systems or utilizing social networks like LinkedIn and Indeed as part of the process. Additionally, companies should consider virtual interview strategies as part of their hiring practices in order to reduce time-to-hire and make their recruiting efforts more efficient.

3. Focus on Employee Mental Health

Employers have started to prioritize mental health – and will need to continue to do so – by proactively creating an environment of acceptance and support for employees. This could mean providing access to mental health resources through an employee assistance program or offering training on how managers can better recognize signs of stress or depression in the workplace. Additionally, it’s important that, as an employer, you’re prioritizing flexibility.

4. Emphasis on Career Growth Opportunities

Employees want meaningful work experiences with potential for advancement. In addition to competitive salary and benefits, they want a job that provides long-term career growth opportunities as well as avenues for upskilling and expanding their abilities within the organization. Therefore, employers need to create career development paths within their organization that allow employees opportunities for learning new skills or advancing into higher positions over time.

Here’s a quick guide to some essential retention tactics.

How to Combat the Productivity Slump at Work

Productivity has been on the decline, resulting in what some are deeming “curbed ambition.” But, does this come as a surprise? Since the pandemic, employees have been dealing with varying work-from-home policies – leaving them confused about expectations. At the same time, inflation has caused associates to see decreasing value in their salaries, retirement funds, and bonuses. Through all of this, however, the need for companies to continually outperform hasn’t changed. So, how can managers combat this productivity slump? Here are four suggestions. 

1. Set Clear Expectations

When employees are unsure of expectations, it can be difficult for them to stay focused and productive. Make sure that everyone is aware of the company’s goals, as well as their own individual goals, and communicate these regularly. That said, it’s important to be understanding and a bit more flexible with your expectations during this hard season. Ultimately, it’s important that everyone is on the same page.

2. Encourage Breaks

The key to working better? Working less. Well, in a way, at least. IIt can be easy for employees to get bogged down in their work and lose focus if they don’t take breaks occasionally. Encourage your team to take a break every hour or so, even if it’s just for a few minutes. This will help them stay fresh and motivated, and they’ll be able to get more done in less time.

3. Facilitate Collaboration

Encouraging collaboration among team members can also help boost productivity. When employees work together, they can share ideas and help each other out with problem-solving. This can lead to a more efficient and productive team overall. Think about what individuals would work best with certain members on your team.

4. Celebrate Successes

When your team achieves success, make sure to celebrate! This will encourage them to continue working hard and put forth their best effort. A little recognition can go a long way in motivating employees.

As the economy ramps back up, you may find the best way to increase productivity is to add additional members to your team. Contact us today to see how we can save you time, cost and uncertainty while optimizing your company’s performance in the recruitment process.

For Managers: How To Avoid These 3 Interview Mistakes

Interviewing a candidate can be a daunting task. But what if it didn’t have to be? At the root of it: you want to ensure you’re doing everything you can to find the best possible candidate. However, to make the process smoother and more efficient, there are some interview practices you need to avoid. This article will help you avoid those bad interview practices — steering you towards a process that is more enjoyable for you, and for the candidate.

Don’t Make the Interview Process Unpleasant for the Candidate

Interviews are a window into what working for your company is like. They’re also the candidate’s first experience with the company. Therefore, it’s crucial that you leave a good first impression.

  • Consider alternatives to in-person interviews: The digital world is here. And with it comes the opportunity to make the interview process more conducive to a candidate’s busy schedule. Especially if the candidate is currently working full time, consider making the interview process virtual – you might even be opening the doors to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to make an in-person interview.
  • Respond to the candidate regardless of your decision: Failing to respond – or ghosting – a candidate is unacceptable. Plus, word travels fast: you don’t want to lose out on future candidates because of a bad-interview reputation. Instead, be sure you inform candidates whether or not they will be advancing to the next interview.

Don’t Ask Questions That Are Biased or Ignore Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

In addition to illegal questions to avoid, it’s important that you’re considerate of something that 76% of candidates find important in potential employers: diversity and inclusion*.

  • Properly pronounce their name: The first step in creating a positive interview environment: ensure you’re pronouncing the candidate’s name properly. Sounds simple, but a mispronounced name for the duration of an interview is something that people remember – and not in a positive light. Instead, if you’re unsure, simply ask “Am I pronouncing that correctly?”
  • Ask each candidate the same questions: Doing so will help you avoid bias in the presentation of your interview questions – establishing a fair foundation to base your decision off of.

Don’t Forget To Make the Conversation Two-Sided

Hint: interviews aren’t only for the benefit of the employer. It’s important to make the candidate feel that this interview process is mutually beneficial.

  • Share information and allow the candidate to ask you questions, too: Interviews are two-sided. That means you need to talk about what the company culture is like and how the team operates. This will help candidates determine if the company is the right fit for them.
  • Avoid being artificial: It’s important to be professional, but also real. Talk openly and honestly about the company culture, but avoid overselling. Candidates are human; if you’re overzealous and make big promises about what it’s like to work at the company, often they’ll see through it.

Managing Hybrid Staff: 4 Insights for Success

Many companies are making the switch to hybrid, and as a manager, understanding and adapting to this new style of work is essential. How can you successfully manage a hybrid workforce? Here are four tips to help you out.

Be Flexible

You’re likely familiar with the fact that your employees — and their work preferences — don’t fall under a one-size-fits-all category. The good news? Knowing what types of hybrid workers you have in your organization can be a huge advantage. So, how can you determine employee preferences and personality types?

One way is to send out a simple survey. Ask your associates questions regarding in-person versus remote work preferences, hybrid work concerns, and opportunities they’re looking forward to. You’ll likely find that your employees fit into a few distinct categories: those that are happy with a hybrid schedule, those that are unsure about the change, and those that crave help with potential hybrid challenges.

Additionally, consider asking team members to take a workplace-based personality test. This list of the top employer-used personality tests might be a good place to start. Understanding the different personality types on your team will propel you to a more efficient way of working; once you know what workstyles are complementary to each other, you can have confidence in task assignment and navigating team synergy.

Be Strategic

If you know what types of hybrid workers are on your team, it’s time to be strategic. The importance of deadlines, expectations and accountability is heightened when considering a hybrid environment. Setting clear priorities for what work should be done in-person and what work should be done remotely is key to optimizing your team’s time.

Be Inclusive

Exclusivity is the enemy of hybrid work. That’s why it’s essential to be mindful of those who are working remotely while others are in the office. Ensure all-team meetings are held online, and create dedicated channels for team-wide and company-wide communications. That way no one misses a memo.

Also be sure to encourage communication and collaboration. To combat feelings of isolation, facilitate team-building activities such as social events or group lunches. This will help employees feel more connected to one another and foster a sense of teamwork.

Watch for Signs of Burnout

As employees adjust to the new routine of a hybrid workstyle, it’s important to be mindful of the key indicators of burnout. Worried about your team finding a healthy work-life balance? Here’s how to handle employee burnout and prioritize wellness in your workplace.

Elevating Employee Productivity During the Summer

How do you balance the relaxing nature of the summer season with the financial goals of the company? Here are the top three things that companies can do to encourage employee productivity during summer.

Set goals that stimulate employee productivity

When it comes to setting goals for employees, it’s important to think about things that will stimulate productivity. One way to do this is by setting goals that center around task importance and the diversity of the tasks at hand.

Task Importance

There’s a stark difference between completing tasks that feel mindless and those that greatly contribute to company wellbeing. The outcome of this difference? Job satisfaction. If you’ve heard the quote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” you’re likely familiar with this concept. Helping employees see the ultimate goals that a string of tasks are working toward can be highly motivational and lead to greater productivity.

Assignment Diversity

Having a diverse set of assignments allows for employees to engage different parts of their brain, and utilize different skill sets – both of which stimulate productivity. How, exactly? Ultimately, task variety reduces boredom. So, think about each employee and the different tasks and assignments you can be implementing into their schedules.

Square-away the yearly calendar during the slower season

With tax season out of the way, it’s time to take advantage of the summer work lull. This is the perfect time for you and your team to review the goals that were set at the beginning of the year. Also, evaluate what still needs to be done before January, and create a plan for the remaining months of the year. This is the perfect season to inspire your employees to tackle tasks that may get in their way come tax season.

This is also the time to encourage your associates to pursue development objectives. If there are any trainings or certifications they could complete that would benefit their careers – and the company – this is a great time for them to do so.

Support flexibility for your employees

Flexibility goes a long way. The potential summertime lull in workload is matched with an uptick in associates’ personal lives. The busyness of having children out of school for the summer coupled with vacations and long weekends causes employees to cherish flexibility in their work schedules during this season. So, how can you help? Think about creative ways to provide flexibility in employees’ schedules. Perhaps they can work an extra hour Monday through Thursday and take Fridays off. Also be sure to encourage them to use their paid time off. Flexible schedules help your employees feel appreciated in addition to providing a healthy work-life balance.

If you’re driving a team’s productivity this summer, be sure to read up on adopting an agile mindset.