Posted Tuesday February 5, 2019


9 in 10 Executives in Canada Say it's Challenging to Find Skilled Candidates for Professional-Level Positions

CFO Survey Also Reveals Hiring for Finance Roles Can Take a Month or More

The current hiring environment is making it difficult for companies to attract top talent, which may be causing delays in the overall process. In a new survey of CFOs in Canada, more than nine in 10 (92 per cent) said it's challenging to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions. As a result, respondents said their search could take a month or more – four weeks, on average, to fill a staff-level accounting or finance position and five weeks to hire for a management-level role.

"It's a competitive labour market, and organizations should make recruitment an ongoing priority, even if they are not actively looking to fill an open role," said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. "Cultivating relationships with a strong roster of potential candidates and being flexible with hiring requirements will ensure that when additional support is needed, talent is readily accessible."

"Consider engaging a staffing firm, which will have deep networks and the ability to uncover the most in-demand professionals," added Scileppi. "Recruiters significantly minimize the time it takes to find the right fit, and can help companies quickly land their top candidates, especially in a tight hiring environment when the best people may have multiple offers."

Seven tips to streamline the hiring process:

Sharpen the job description. Accurately describe the skills needed for the position, but focus on three or four crucial responsibilities that top applicants must possess.

Reconsider rigid requirements. A laundry list of needed skills and credentials risks eliminating excellent candidates who might require only a little additional training.

Seek soft skills. Communication, attention to detail and enthusiasm for ongoing learning are attributes that help indicate long-term potential and an organizational culture fit.

Predetermine hiring parameters. Make sure all approvals for the position are in place with a flexible compensation range so an offer can be made quickly to a top candidate.

Consolidate interviews. Coordinate schedules with internal interviewers. If you need to bring back the candidate for a second round, aim to do so the next day.

Stay in touch. Candidates can lose interest in the position if kept waiting. Be proactive when providing updates, and respond promptly if they have further questions.

Work with a recruiting firm. Recruiters can help with time-consuming aspects of the hiring process and present skilled candidates for consideration in a timely manner.

About the Research: The online survey of CFOs was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from more than 300 CFOs at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

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