A firm welcoming a new employee to the team.

Top 3 tips for recruiting quality employees

As an outsourced bookkeeping services firm, we understand that our people are everything. They are key to our brand, our customer service, our production … everything. Recruiting quality employees is tough, and we’ll admit that hiring our first couple employees was very difficult. We made some mistakes, and learned some lessons along the way, as you can see here.

Recruiting talent requires that you, the recruiter, prepare thoroughly. You need to know your business in and out, as well as know precisely what you’re looking for in prospective candidates. Here are three tips that will help you recruit quality employees.

1. Know who you want to hire. Guess what happens when you hire staff before you know who you are as a company and what you stand for? You end up hiring people that don’t fit your company culture. That’s hardly surprising. You don’t even have a culture!

It’s time to show some leadership. Step one: Be self-aware. Define your business, your goals, your values and your principles. This will help you determine who you want on your team.

Once you know who you want, you need to attract them, and this takes a bit more work. After all, you want to hire the cream of the crop, right? We did, too. Yet, when we started hiring, we only managed to attract the bottom of the barrel. Why? Take, for example, a person who’s got their mind set on a traditional accounting career. What companies would they want to work for? Probably the large accounting firms. They looked at us and dismissed us offhand. What were we doing wrong? We weren’t selling it right.

2. Make a strong pitch. In our initial quest to hire employees, we weren’t highlighting how we differed from those large, prestigious accounting firms. Now, when hiring, we’re super clear about who will thrive here. If you’re interested in taxes, audits and reviews – nope. We do bookkeeping. We teach our clients about financial metrics in order to empower them. We’re not traditional … aka if you are, you’re not a good fit.

Now, imagine an accounting professional that’s become tired of the traditional accounting role. They want to add value to companies daily, and they want to work with many companies because they like variety. And, maybe they still harbour a secret desire to start their own business or be a CFO one day. Are they a fit for Legacy? Yep. Absolutely. But, how will they know that?

Well, being aware of who you are as a business and what sort of person you’re looking to hire is a level of self-awareness that needs to permeate the entire hiring process. Traditional job postings are quite dry – a little about us followed by a job description, expected wages and more. Make sure that your job description communicates who you are and who you’re looking for in a creative and engaging way that’s unique to you.

3. Hire full time. At Legacy, we don’t hire people on a part-time basis, and here’s why: if you hire someone on a part-time basis, how committed are they going to be to that job? The truth is they can’t possibly sustain themselves on a part-time job. That means they probably have a second job. And, if not, there will still be other demands on their time: family, personal projects and more.

Now, we’re not judging, but as employers, we can’t lie to ourselves. If we’re not ready to commit to providing a liveable wage to our employees, then they won’t feel obligated to commit their all – their 100 percent to us. It’s simple, and let’s be honest here, it’s perfectly reasonable.

Our philosophy is that we’re not interested in hiring people that aren’t 100 percent committed, so we simply don’t do part-time hires. You may not share this philosophy, and we get it. Taking on an employee is a big risk. It may even cause you to lose money in the short term. But, if you’re not ready to take the risk and if you’re not financially ready to commit to hiring full time, then should you be hiring?

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