5½ Questions You Should Ask Your Recruiter

5½ Questions You Should Ask Your Recruiter

June 9, 2020

Not all recruiters are created equal.  There is no certification process for our wonderful profession – heck, a person with zero qualifications can hang a shingle and call themselves a recruiter.  Alternatively, a skilled and well-trained recruiter can bring you great value over the expanse of your career.  How do you tell the difference?

Here are five-and-a-half questions that we believe will give you great insight into any recruiter you are considering partnering with.

QUESTION #1:  What is your philosophy of recruiting?

Hopefully, your potential recruiting partner will not start quoting Nietzsche.  By “philosophy”, what you’re really getting at is whether they are the kind of recruiter who merely “fills jobs” or is someone who values developing long-term relationships.  The best recruiters LISTEN to your big picture goals: where do you want to be in five years, a decade, and beyond?  Watch out for the transactional recruiter only focused on placing you in a job so they can collect a fee.  You deserve a true-professional supporting your ideal career path.

QUESTION #2: What is your success rate?

You will be surprised how many recruiters do not know their success rate.  In my opinion, not knowing your success rate as a recruiter is like a baseball pitcher who doesn’t know their ERA.  I sure would not want that pitcher on my team.

For comparison, over the past decade the annual success rate at Accountants One has never dropped below 90%.  Our data shows that the industry average is around 60%.  You deserve a recruiting partner with a strong track record of success.  After all, you do not want to wind up in the wrong job at the expense of poor recruiting practices.

QUESTION #3:  What kind of placements do you usually make?

This is where you find out what a recruiter’s specialties are, the roles and businesses that seem to be their sweet spots.  The more specific they can be with these experiences, the better your chances of finding a recruiter who “majors” in your niche.

If you are an Accountant, you deserve a recruiter who specializes in Accounting and Finance, not a generalist, or worse, a recruiter who normally works in another industry.  Again, the ideal recruiting relationship should be beneficial for your entire career.  Having a specialist in your industry can be extremely helpful – not only for future job changes, but salary data, industry trends, and career coaching.

QUESTION #4:  What does your client list look like?

Again, this is your opportunity to check for alignment.  If you are talking to a recruiter who works with all small companies, but your career path is in the Fortune 500, then you are misaligned.  Now, please note that confidentiality is incredibly important to a quality recruiter.  They may not be able to name drop without an NDA in place, but asking the question is important as you make the decision to align with a truly professional recruiter.

QUESTION #5:   What do you like to do when you are not recruiting?

This may seem like the most off-the-wall question, but it may be the most important one. If you are in for the long haul with a recruiter, you really should like them.  When the phone rings, you WANT to talk to them, you WANT to schedule a catch-up lunch.

Choose someone who you truly connect with and feel comfortable being around.  You do not have to tell them your life story, but isn’t it nice when you can openly discuss common interests and swap stories with someone, rather than just “do business” and move on?

QUESTION #5 ½:  Do you have a job that fits me today?

This question only gets a ½ because, frankly, it is not that important.  Remember, great recruiters work on multiple jobs every week.  What is the chance that you get the one job that a recruiter is working on at this precise moment in time?  Pretty low.

So much more important to build a relationship with someone who truly listens to your career goals and is capable of ethically and confidentially exploring career options with you.

Accountants One is here to answer your questions.  All of them…and we’ll have a few that help us learn about your career goals and philosophy as well.    Feel free to call us at 770-395-6969 so we can discuss how we might partner with you on your career journey.

Six Ways an Exceptional Recruiter Can Help You Create the Career You Desire

Six Ways an Exceptional Recruiter Can Help You Create the Career You Desire

May 21, 2020

Recruiters are:
a) Annoying
b) Worthless
c) A valuable resource for people exploring their career goals

Almost anyone can call themselves a “recruiter.” This leads to a great deal of market confusion. The short definition of a recruiter should be “a highly trained professional who engages in ethical and confidential long-term relationship building with the purpose of creating value.” The most important skill of recruiter should be the ability to listen.

The bad news is that there are plenty of unethical, poorly trained recruiters out there who are more motivated by their own pocketbook than your career.

The good news is that there are gifted, highly professional, and well-trained recruiters who understand that their job is to focus on your long-term career goals. A true recruiter is invested in your career – helping you reach your goals.

Do you want to be a CFO? Perhaps a Partner in a CPA firm? Maybe your ideal work experience involves putting in 30 hours per week from the comfort of your lake house. A great recruiter should be able to LISTEN and align you with opportunities, not pressure you into a role for the sake of their enhanced commission check. The truly ethical and professional recruiter should understand exactly what you want out of life and how your career intersects with your goals.

So, how do you find a GREAT recruiter? Well, it is a bit like finding a GREAT lawyer – you don’t look for a brilliant attorney when you need legal advice. Before you need a lawyer, you invest time in relationship building. You ask your friends, read reviews, and develop a rapport by phone (or even better, in person). Then, when you inherit a fortune from your long-lost aunt, you have someone in place to help you navigate the process.

Working with a true recruiter will raise your odds of achieving the career goals you have set for yourself. Here are just a few ways in which an exceptional recruiter can help you create the career you desire.

Recruiters provide access to more opportunities: Job boards will only get you so far. A true recruiter will look across their firm’s matrix of multiple opportunities to see where you best fit. A recruiter should have a clear picture of you and your aspirations as well as your skillset. They should also provide you with insight – where they see you, what kind of roles they’d seek out for you, and what concerns they see.

Recruiters make your search easier: The best time to look for a job is while you have a job, but often, it is a time management AND political challenge to do so. With an exceptional recruiter, you’ve got someone doing the legwork for you. While you are busy with in your current role, your recruiter is actively confidentially exploring the market for you. Look for a recruiter who will understand the nuances of your situation and honor them.

Recruiters can be your copilot: A good recruiter will help you manage the meticulous process of getting from here…to there. They should be able to offer guidance on career growth, while also being a resource for updating your resume, social media best practices, career growth strategies, and specific interview techniques. They should also be invaluable as you talk about compensation.

Recruiters know your greatest strengths: We all have differentiators that set us apart –those gifts that make you exceptional. A great recruiter will go far beyond your resume, digging into the value you bring to an organization. You may be surprised what you learn about yourself.

Recruiters provide a bigger network: Recruiters already have connections in place, so when you align with a rock-solid recruiter, you get plugged into opportunities that would never have come your way otherwise. It’s fair game to ask a recruiter (before you build a relationship) who their clients are, what their matching process looks like, and what their approach to maintaining relationships with job seekers is.

Recruiters are in for the long haul: Well, the best ones are. We believe this is one of the most important traits of a recruiter. Most people today aren’t satisfied with merely making a living. Instead, we’d all prefer to cultivate a career. Recruiters understand that, even if you have a job you love, at some point in your career you may want (or need) to explore other opportunities. A top-tier recruiter will maintain a relationship – providing value on your timeline. A good recruiter makes sure you’re never starting over at square one. Instead, you’re climbing the ladder, at your pace, toward the rewarding role you value most.

So, while anyone can call themselves a recruiter, there are some definitive qualities you can look for – and some concrete questions to ask – to ensure you’ve connected with someone who truly will have your best interests at heart.

By the way, the answer to the question in our headline? It’s C.

At Accountants One, we aspire to embody these qualities each and every day. If you’d like to learn more about how we can support your next search, and your career, give us a call at 770-395-6969.

Three Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Virtual Job Interview

Three Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Virtual Job Interview

May 18, 2020

We are happy to report some positive economic news. More and more companies are re-engaging us to assist with filling positions. Our clients are hiring more now compared to just a month ago. This is a great indicator of how the next few months will go if we continue to progress.

Whether you’re unemployed or looking to make a career transition, our expert search professionals have helped to compile a few tips that will help you put your best foot forward at your next virtual interview. Boost your virtual interview skills and overcome the unique video interview challenges so you can get back to work.

1. Plan and prepare for an “if things go wrong” scenario.

Preparation is the key to increase your chances for an impressive and memorable interview. Don’t let technology issues stand between you and your next opportunity! Make sure you have charged your technology and tested your network. Prior to your scheduled time, ensure that you have an alternative form of communication in case a technology issue arises. If you are using your laptop, make sure your cell phone is on silent. If you are using your cell to take the interview, make sure you stabilize your device for fewer distractions.

If possible, secure a quite location with a simple background and good lighting. Practice with different locations around the house prior to know what works best. If you have children, we recommend to be completely transparent at the beginning of the interview. Let the manager know that there may be some light background noise. If a noise interruption does happen, we recommend that you apologize to the interviewer and mute your microphone to quickly take care of the situation.

2. Have two or three stories ready.

Strong work stories that show the value you’ve brought to previous employers in the past are good indicators of how you may bring value to their company. Prepare 2-3 work stories about how you improved a process, saved the company money, added value, affected the bottom line, or overcame an obstacle. How you communicate these stories with the manager will also give him or her an insight into how you work and the environments you’ve worked in before. Using the STAR method when telling stories will give you a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question. By discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing, you will give a very thorough explanation and demonstrate your communication skills.

3. Treat your digital interview like an in-person interview.

Stand out by treating your digital interview just the same as an in-person interview. Be punctual, dress for success (top and bottom), build rapport, and be authentic. Practice keeping your eyes on the camera and smiling. It’s important to feel comfortable maintaing natural eye contact and proper body language. These non-verbal cues will help the interviewer gauge your interest in the interview and ultimately the role. Have your resume pulled up and ready to email, if needed.

Our team suggests to have your prepared questions and take any notes by hand so that you can still remain present in the interview without having to quickly change between screens on your desktop. As always, it’s important to follow up. Send a thank you note to the manager to let them know you appreciated their time and are very interested in joining the team.

Ultimately, as a job seeker the goal of the interview – virtual or not – should be to build a connection and share your interest, technical knowledge and application.

Please direct any interview questions to clientservices@accountantsone.com.

Guide to Successful Interviewing

Guide to Successful Interviewing

Prior to every interview your recruiter will go over in detail such areas as corporate culture, company benefits and salary. This sheet covers some additional items to keep in mind.

Before

  • Research the company
  • Prepare several good questions
  • Know how to get there — if necessary, make a trial run
  • Dress for success — and the level you wish to achieve
  • Refrain from:
    • Wearing perfume or cologne
    • Chewing gum
    • Anything else that may be a distraction or disruption
  • Arrive early
  • Turn off pager and/or cell phone
  • In a folder or briefcase:
    • Have several clean copies of your resume
    • A list of business references — to submit if requested
    • Any letters of recommendation — to submit if requested

During

  • Pay attention to your demeanor during the interview:
    • Keep hands out of your pockets
    • Make eye contact
    • Have a positive and upbeat attitude
    • Avoid nervous habits (e.g., nail biting, clicking of pens)
  • Listen to what the interviewer is saying, and respond accordingly
  • Remember to highlight the areas your recruiter advised you to
  • Focus the initial interview on what you can bring to the company

After

  • Call Accountants One immediately and tell us how it went!
  • Send a handwritten Thank You card to the person who interviewed you
Resign with Grace (your career may depend on it)

Resign with Grace (your career may depend on it)

The impression you leave during your resignation process can have a significant impact on your future recommendations. In this age of mergers and emails, the business community is getting smaller and more connected everyday. Negative impressions can easily be passed through the grapevine. Your boss today may be your vendor tomorrow.
Resign only after receiving and accepting a written job offer

  • If you are job hunting while still employed, keep it quiet:
  • Only in rare cases should you tell your boss:
  • when you both agree that the company holds no future for you.
  • when you are moving to and seeking a job in another city.
  • Arrange interviews during lunch, or before or after work.
  • Check if your company has regulations specifying how much notice is required.
  • Prepare a letter of resignation:
  • explain your reason for leaving.
  • suggest a termination date.
  • express appreciation to your boss and the company for the help and opportunities you have received.
  • Arrange a meeting with your supervisor when you have decided on the date you will leave.
  • Verbally inform him/her of your decision and present your letter of resignation.
  • Providing a two-week notice is preferred, executives may need to provide a month in which to find a replacement.
  • You may be asked to help interview replacement candidates, usually alongside a company executive. Do so with a positive attitude, no matter what your reason for leaving. Keep your statements short and positive.

How to Resign

  • Don’t use a job offer as a means of manipulating your employer into giving you a raise.
  • Don’t speak against the company you are leaving, either within it or outside. Don’t burn your bridges behind you. You never know when you’ll need to be in touch with your former employer so don’t burn your bridges behind you.
  • Don’t brag about your new job to your coworkers.
  • Don’t let your job performance slide; continue to be cooperative and hardworking.
  • Don’t tell company secrets after you leave.
  • These suggestions will help ensure a smooth departure and positive recommendations.

Sample Letter of Resignation

January 1, 2014
Ms. Jane Doe
ABC Company
123 Main Street
Anywhere, GA 30001

Dear Ms. Doe:
I have accepted an offer with another firm and have decided to tender my resignation effective today, with my final day being Friday, January 12, 2014. It has been a pleasure working with you, and representing ABC as your Accounting Manager. I thank you for all you have done for me.

Please contact me at any time if I can be of any assistance in helping with a smooth transition.

Sincerely,
(Name)

Private vs. Public: Questions To Consider Before Making the Switch to Industry

Private vs. Public: Questions To Consider Before Making the Switch to Industry

April 17th, 2019

First off, congratulations! With April 15 behind us you can take a deep breath and relax now that busy season is finally over!

We encourage you to take time for careful self-reflection before choosing to make a career change. Sure, there may be aspects about public accounting that you love and others that you wish you could change, but how you answer these questions will reveal a lot about yourself. A little introspection goes a long way.

Private vs Public