How to Win the post-COVID Battle for Chicago’s Top Accounting & Finance Talent

Posted by Josh Schneider on 5/11/21 9:22 AM
Josh Schneider
Find me on:

Chicago Executive Recruting Firm

Thanks to recent, remarkable successes in vaccination rollouts, a growing number of Chicago businesses are reopening their doors and ramping back up. This surge in activity is, of course, a reflection of optimism that the U.S. economy is in recovery mode. As organizations prepare for strategic growth, we are seeing a spike in demand for accounting and finance professionals.  

That’s not surprising.

 What is surprising to some is the speed with which the hiring landscape is rebounding from COVID-driven stagnation to a growing talent shortage. Today, active accounting (controllership, SEC reporting, and technical accounting) and FP&A job seekers are not only interviewing with numerous employers; they’re frequently choosing from multiple offers. It’s a good news/bad news scenario for CFO’s and other hiring managers needing to strengthen their accounting and finance teams.

The good news: finding great candidates isn’t the problem (yet). The bad news: those great candidates will not wait around for interview, decision, or offer delays. (They don’t need to.) Today’s hiring managers cannot afford to stay in wait-and-see mode.

Unfortunately, we’re already seeing wonderful, reputable employers lose top candidates (yes, candidates, plural) simply because they’re working under obsolete market assumptions. Every step in the process must move briskly and decisively. I’ll break it down this way:

  • Initial screening: Do you have a process in place for immediately acknowledging receipt of resumes or applications? You need to.
  • Interviewing: Are you willing to schedule the earliest possible interview, and coordinate same-day interviews when multiple executives are involved in the process? Can you commit to no rescheduling, last-minute changes, late starts, or other miscommunications or inconveniences to the candidate? Too often, stellar employer brand messages are undermined by simple bureaucratic mishaps. I empathize: if you’re like most hiring managers you’re probably juggling too many high-priority responsibilities (that’s why you’re hiring). But hiccups in the process that may feel completely reasonable to you run the risk of creating an impression that you are disinterested, disorganized, or worse, disrespectful.
  • Offers: This is a test of your decisiveness. Would you be surprised if I told you that the candidates I’m currently presenting to Chicago employers are receiving excellent offers within one day – and sometimes a few hours – of their final interviews?  They are. That is the practice against which you’re now competing – and the standard against which candidates are now evaluating you.

If you’d like to know more about SkyWater Search Partners and how our Accounting & Finance team can help you attract and hire today’s top candidates, please reach out.


More From The SkyWater Blog

Topics: Human Resources, Recruitment, Executive search, Chicago