Execs: Takes at least a month to fill accounting positions

For already-stretched accounting departments, waiting a month for help might seem like an eternity. Yet, a recent survey found it can take at least that long for employers to hire for open positions. Chief financial officers interviewed said it takes an average of four weeks to fill a staff-level role and five weeks to bring a new manager on board.

Chief financial officers were asked, "On average, how many weeks does it typically take to hire for an open staff-level accounting or finance position?" The mean response was four weeks.
 
Chief financial officers also were asked, "On average, how many weeks does it typically take to hire for an open management-level accounting or finance position?" The mean response was five weeks.
 
The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a specialized financial recruitment service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. An independent research firm conducted the study, which was based on interviews with more than 1,400 chief financial officers from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with at least 20 employees.
 
"Even in this cautious hiring environment, managers need to focus on their staff levels," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Human Resources Kit for Dummies. "Operating with a team that's too lean could cause firms to lose out on future business opportunities and lead to employee burnout."
 
Having a nimble hiring process in place is critical to securing top employees, according to Messmer. "Professionals with in-demand skills always have options, and firms that don't move quickly to secure these individuals risk losing their top choices to other opportunities."
 
Robert Half Finance & Accounting offers managers four tips to make the hiring process as efficient as possible:
  1. Stay front and center. Don't delegate the hiring process. You know best what you want in an employee. Avoid delays or, worse, potential hiring mistakes by remaining closely involved in the process from beginning to end.
  2. Stick to the game plan. Before résumés start coming in, develop a method for evaluating them consistently. Using the job description as a base, make note of key criteria you're looking for from applicants, and search for those same attributes in each résumé you receive.
  3. Get help. Specialized recruiters can help you pinpoint your needs. And, their networks provide access to people you might not locate on your own, including professionals who might not be actively looking but would make a change for the right opportunity.
  4. Don't delay. When you identify strong applicants, don't procrastinate. Top performers are in demand in any market. By moving too slowly, you risk losing your first choice – and extending the hiring process.
 
About Robert Half Finance & Accounting:
Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half International, has more than 365 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalf.com. Follow the company on Twitter at twitter.com/roberthalffa.
 
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