The Top Skills Accounting Firms Are Looking for in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the way recruiting, finance and accounting firms do business, in ways we hadn’t anticipated. Employees and employers all around the world adjust to working-from-home and managing-from-home.
However, it’s still a competitive hiring market for top candidates. For example, public accountants are a lifeline for many companies. They’re helping their clients navigate compliance requirements and unpredictable cash flows. Skilled professionals are making career changes, even during COVID-19, and retention is paramount. For businesses with a lean staff, losing one skilled professional, or adding the wrong professional could be a serious blow. So, what are the top skills accounting firms should look for in the new year?
Tech Skills in Accounting
If you’re searching for a candidate to join your remote team, they must be tech-savvy, great communicators, and capable of learning new systems independently. They should be familiar with cloud-based systems, IT security protocols, and comfortable using collaborative digital tools. Candidates must have basic IT skills to solve computer and networking problems independently since they won’t have hands-on help from an IT department.
It’s easy to be impressed by a candidate’s skills on collaborative platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, but keep in mind those programs are more user-friendly than accounting software. Excel, QuickBooks, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and similar applications are the industry standards, and you should assess candidates’ skills with this in mind.
Soft Skills in Accounting
What good is an Excel wiz if they can’t collaborate with the rest of your team? Especially now, soft skills like creativity, resilience, and flexibility are just as important as technical expertise. During the interview process take the time to vet the candidate for soft skills so that onboarding them is easier.
The need for these soft skills isn’t just driven by the pandemic. As AI becomes an integral part of accounting and finance jobs, there will a greater need for human skills that cannot be replaced by an algorithm.
A mix of full-time and contract candidates is a strategy many companies have been using to find experts while scaling their team. This allows for companies to remain agile throughout the pandemic by hiring the right professionals for each project and team. Predicting the future has never been harder. But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that uncertain times reward companies that are innovative and flexible.
If you want to hire the best candidates for the future, review the candidate’s technical and soft skills, and dig into their goals. Goals highlight what motivates your candidate and how they see themselves in your organizations. Candidates succeed when they are given growth opportunities, so find a candidate with goals that your organization can support in 2021.
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