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Survey: it takes more than a month to fill accounting positions.

For already-stretched accounting departments, waiting over a month for help may seem like an eternity. Yet, a recent survey by Robert Half Finance & Accounting found it typically takes even longer than that for employers to hire for open positions. Chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said it takes an average of five weeks to fill a staff-level role and six weeks to bring a new manager on board and six weeks to hire for an open management-level accounting or finance position.

"As the economy rebounds, employers need to ensure they have adequate staffing levels to take advantage of emerging business opportunities," Kathryn Bolt, president, Robert Half International's Canadian operations, says. "Overtime, companies running with teams that are too lean risk overextending and burning out their employees."

According to Bolt, having a nimble hiring process in place is critical to securing top talent. "The most sought-after professionals always have options and companies need to move quickly to attract and retain the market's top candidates." The following are tips to make the hiring process more efficient:

1. Stay front and centre. 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 resumes 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 resume 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 may 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.

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Title Annotation:News and views
Publication:CMA Management
Date:Jun 1, 2010
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