Accountants One, an Atlanta-based Accounting and Finance recruiting and staffing firm with a 90% success rate, announces President and CEO Dan Erling to speak on innovative hiring and retention strategies at August business event.
May 6, 2019
Accountants One announced President and CEO Dan Erling to speak at a hiring seminar for high-profile Atlanta executives this August.
The event will feature Dan Erling, CEO and author of MATCH: A Systematic, Sane Process for Hiring the Right Person Every Time. MATCH is a system of best practices that virtually guarantees companies hiring success. The principles found in MATCH are based on over a decade of data collection accumulated over thousands of hires. Erling collected the strategies that great companies utilize in consistently recruiting, hiring and retaining great people. Using a twelve-month trailing audit, Accountants One has never dropped below a 90% success rate. Learn more about the MATCH process.
An A/R Director for a national distribution company commented, “one of the things that sets Accountants One above other recruiting firms is the willingness to come on-site and understand corporate culture. Their team asks great questions and truly gets to know the hiring managers and their needs. We appreciated the flexibility in available hiring options to bring the right candidates onboard for long-term retention.”
During the session, Erling will discuss his perspective on leading the charge to get the right people on the bus, making objective people decisions every time, ensuring that your team is conducting in-depth interviewing and reference calls, testing your hiring ROI and defining cultural questions.
“What has been your company’s hiring success rate over the past year?” asked Erling. “That’s a tough question. If you need to make a difference in your hiring success rate, you should implement MATCH. Few things impact a business more than the quality of its people.”
The event is taking place on Thursday, August 15th from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm at Roam Dunwoody. Check in begins at 7:30 am. Tickets are $200 and will include two reservations – one for an executive and a guest of that executive, breakfast, lunch and a MATCH book. Event registration is available here.
About Accountants One
Accountants One was founded in 1973 with a long-standing commitment to honesty, integrity, and confidentiality. This dedication to excellence attracts an outstanding community of Atlanta-based candidates. While there are many search firms throughout the Southeast, our distinction as an accounting and financial recruiting firm separates us from our competition. This, combined with our passionate dedication to customer service makes the Accountants One difference. Learn more at accountantsone.com.
The behavioral interview is the best tool for predicting success in the hiring process. In the hands of an organized hiring team, behavioral questions virtually guarantee a successful hire. Once an effective candidate pool has been established, a strong hiring team will systematically move through those potential hires using behavioral questions.
Behavioral questions focus on past behaviors. These are inquiries into the candidate’s past, demanding much more than a yes/no response. Answers to behavioral questions require story-telling and reveal strengths and weaknesses. Well-designed behavioral questions tie back to key technical skills and competencies as captured by the hiring team.
I’ve included two examples below – the first focused on technical skills and the second focused on soft skills. I am hopeful that these examples help to show the value of behavioral interviewing questions.
Behavioral Questions concerning Technical Skills–Excel Guru Needed
Here is an example of a behavioral question focused on a technical skill — Excel proficiency:
“Tell me about your experience writing formulas in Excel.”
Do you see how phrasing the question in this way will lead to the candidate telling a story about their level of experience? A traditional (less revealing and less effective) non-behavioral interview question might be, “can you write formulas in Excel?” There is not as much to be learned from that question.
Here is another behavioral question focused on technical skills in Excel:
“Describe a project where you created VLOOKUPs. What was the outcome of that project?”
Can you see how much the behavioral question will reveal about a candidate’s technical skills in using Excel?
Behavioral Question concerning Soft Skills — Capable of working under strict deadlines
What about a soft skill such as hitting deadlines? Here is a very revealing behavioral question:
“Tell me about the last time you missed a deadline and the implications of that missed deadline.”
When asked a question in this way, the person being interviewed is required to reveal stories related to their work style, processes, and even their understanding of how deadlines affect an organization. This is incredibly valuable data in determining whether the person will be successful in the role.
Behavioral interview questions give us a framework to evaluate the past behaviors of a candidate. Since past behavior is the greatest predictor of future action, this approach gives us the best way possible to predict the success of a candidate. And while this approach does require time and energy in setting up and managing a systematic process, when compared to the value of an effective hire, I believe the return on investment makes it worth every moment.
Your company needs to hire. Bill in purchasing knows someone who is looking. Not exactly the right fit, but Bill can vouch for him, after all, they have “ hung out” several times. After a cursory interview Bill’s friend is hired.
Hopefully you have never worked for a company where you experienced this scenario.
Hiring from a narrow candidate pool is extremely risky. Occasionally it will work; however, more times than not, this leads to an expensive mishire.
Please understand, there is nothing wrong with the inclusion of Bill’s friend in the interview process. The problem is in the single data point. In an effectively managed recruiting plan, a multi-person candidate pool is needed for the sake of comparison.
Finding multiple candidates is especially hard in a market like the one we have today. When unemployment is low, recruiting is difficult. But in order to hire exceptional people and stay competitive, a strong organization must work to create an effective candidate pool.
Strategies for Building a Talent Pool
When starting a pool, it is essential for the hiring team to cast as wide a net as possible. Once you have a large enough group of potential candidates, the organization should strategically and ethically funnel through the candidates based on technical skills and competencies. The ideal is to arrive at 3 candidates, all equally qualified for the role at roughly the same salary, but with different strengths and weaknesses.
It takes massive time, energy and resources to effectively bring together a pool of candidates. However, the pay-off is immense, as it allows the hiring team to compare apples to apples. Further, it raises the odds that the new hire will be successful.
To create a strong candidate pool, the hiring team must be resourceful. Tools can include job boards, a strong referral program, social-media, and networking events. Direct recruiting is also an excellent way to increase a candidate pool. At the risk of sounding self-serving, a good recruiting firm can bring tremendous value here.
So, in conclusion, creating a candidate pool is essential in managing a strategic recruiting plan. By filtering through a group of candidates, your goal is to find three strong finalists – matching corporate culture, technical skills and salary.
Who knows, perhaps Bill’s friend is the perfect candidate? By strategically building an effective candidate pool, you will be sure of your decision.
Recently, I was interviewing a Controller exploring new opportunities. She had been with the same company for many years, and I asked her about references. She replied, “just look at my LinkedIn testimonials. Those should be fine as references.”
I had to tell her that, while such testimonials were a terrific validation of her capabilities and professionalism, they are insufficient as legitimate references for a job opportunity.
A reference can help align the right candidate with the right job, but it must be more than just a few favorable thoughts shared on social media by an acquaintance or colleague. Effective references are honest assessments of a candidate’s character, work, and the outcomes resulting from that work.
Some argue that references are worthless. After all, why would anyone connect you with a person who would speak negatively?
That statement is true in the hands of an amateur. But in the hands of a professional, referencing is a hugely valuable exercise where true insights can be shared, strengths and weaknesses explored. Yes, it is even true that in a reference call, a professional dialog can occur leading to the realization that the person being discussed would not be the right fit for the role.
Exceptional recruiters know how to derive value from the reference checking process. They don’t go with ‘check a box’ queries, but behavioral questions that get to the essence of the candidate’s defining qualities. The desired approach allows the recruiter to unearth a sense of story about the candidate, revealing behaviors and qualities that will help define how they will fit into not only the available role but also the company culture.
Further, the savvy recruiter asks for references across the spectrum – peers, subordinates, bosses. And ideally the candidate will be reference checked in these three areas at each point in their career growth. In an executive search this can result in a dozen references – where upon a clear picture should start to emerge.
This is especially true when behavioral questions such as this are posed:
“When I am conducting your reference, I will focus both on your strengths and weaknesses. What do you expect your references to tell me?”
“When I inquire about areas where you need to improve, how do you think they will respond?”
For elite recruiters, the days of questions like “On a scale of 1-10, how are their people skills?” are a thing of the past. The questions take a more anecdotal, narrative approach, inviting references to recollect situations and stories about the candidate that provide an accurate sense of who they are, what motivates them, and how they engage to get results. For example:
Tell me about a time Rick had to deal with a difficult client.
Tell me about a time that Janelle had to overcome challenging circumstances to deliver for a client.
Tell me about Lin’s approach to working with his colleagues.
Rather than terse, one-word answers, this approach allows for references to expand on the qualities of the candidate, opening possibilities for dialogue that will truly help the recruiter determine which candidates are best to share with their client.
These questions are best asked in a 360° fashion – to supervisors, colleagues, and subordinates alike, across the spectrum of the candidates’ interactions – to get a full picture of how the candidate works and how they respond to different situations. While it might sound like a cliché to say, “What one has done in the past is likely what they will do in the future”, it stands as a strong litmus for measuring someone’s approach to their work. For recruiters and employers, it’s a smart business move to make this assumption, as it’s the most accurate way to evaluate talent.
The information gleaned from the references is then shared with the client, either before or after the candidate interviews with their prospective employer. Ideally, the responses offered by the references serve to reinforce positive attributes of the candidate, while providing a consistent picture of any areas that need improvement.
The ultimate outcome for this whole process is to gain a clear, encompassing understanding of the behaviors, character traits, and work habits of the top candidates vying for a specific job. As an employer, it gives you confidence that you have a keen awareness of who is onboarding with your company. As a prospective employee, it gives you assurances that the company hiring you knows exactly who they are getting, so you will truly be a Match.
So, while LinkedIn recommendations can be a very positive tool, they are far from the defining referral that one seeks when a job opportunity arises. The best recruiters know this and will work with you – candidate and client alike – to ensure that references are leveraged to create the most ideal match possible.
If you’d like to learn more about how Accountants One helps companies and candidates find their ideal MATCH, contact Dan Erling of Accountants One at 770-395-6969 or email@example.com
Accountants One would like to give a special thank you to all who took part in our CPE this morning, ‘Negotiating M&A Deals: Keys to Success in a Hot Market’. This super-star panel of Deals Professionals gave more than 60 Atlanta area CFOs, Controllers, and VPs great insight into the state of today’s market, M&A strategies, tips on how to maximize a deal, and more. Sponsoring companies, Bennett Thrasher, Bravaldo Capital, Maynard, Cooper & Gale, and Accountants One were excited to see such a large interest in this topic.
A special thank you to our speakers, sponsors and to Holder Construction for graciously hosting. For more information on future CPE events, please be sure to visit our Upcoming Events page at www.accountantsone.com/category/upcoming-events/.
Please access the available resources below for sponsoring company overviews, speaker profiles, and presentation materials.