Simple Steps To Recruit Finance Professionals

Simple Steps To Recruit Finance Professionals to Work for You

Hiring the right professionals is crucial for the success of any business. From telecommunications to manufacturing, to retail products and banking, businesses across all market sectors need exceptional financial talent to increase revenues, reduce costs, efficiently navigate through investments and merger and acquisition activity, and intelligently deal with increased government regulation. Even though recruiting exceptional financial talent is difficult, the following simple steps will help.

Step 1: Create a Success Profile

Along with developing job descriptions, it is important to create a “success profile” of what you consider to be the ideal finance professional. You probably have a basic idea of the responsibilities and job skills you want the potential employee to handle, but you’ll have a much better chance of recruiting the right candidates (and avoiding the wrong ones) if you have a success profile laid out in advance. Make sure you specify the attributes you’re looking for including knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors.

Step 2: Understand What Motivates Possible Candidates

Once you have a good idea of who you’re looking for, it’s time to consider what the ideal candidate will want in return. A positive, motivating work environment is as important to most employees as compensation. Does your workplace offer perks, benefits and work-life balance that will attract and motivate top-notch finance professionals?

Step 3: Seek Employee Referrals

Your employees can be a very reliable and valuable recruiting source. A lot of companies have an employee referral program in place that rewards employees who recommend someone that the company ends up hiring with a reward like cash bonuses or extra vacation days.

People like to work with people they know, like and trust. Not only will you get a good referral, but you increase the likelihood of keeping both employees longer.

Step 4: Tap into Social Media

If you’re not utilizing social media to its fullest, it’s time to put up a company LinkedIn profile, especially if you’re trying to recruit a finance professional. When it comes to job searches, the active job seekers spend a lot of their time networking on sites like these.

Step 5: Network

By joining business associations, going to networking events and consistently contributing to public discussions regarding your industry, you’ll be able to get the word out about your company and your recruiting needs. It’s also a good idea to take part in career fairs and maintain a presence on college campuses. These types of venues give businesses the opportunity to offer job placement, mentorships and scholarships to college students.

Step 6: Hire a Recruiting Firm

A lack of time, inexperience or inadequate professional network can all result in recruitment challenges. If you’re facing any of these challenges, it’s time to contact a recruitment agency. Reputable professional recruiters have access to a substantial pool of applicants and they also handle the key administrative details, including placing ads, reviewing resumes as well as carrying out preliminary interviews. On top of that, you only pay the recruiter’s fee once they find someone you end up hiring.

I can help you find the right financial professional for your team. Contact me today to learn more about my process.

When to Stop Outsourcing and Hire Instead

In my last post I shared the pros and cons of outsourcing. But how do you know when to stop outsourcing and hire instead? Small business owners who are on the path to success know that they can’t do everything by themselves. Hiring employees could mean the difference between stagnation and growth. The three reasons why you should consider hiring an employee instead of outsourcing are below.stop outsourcing


When you outsource your work to a contractor or freelancer, you end up competing against other clients for their time. Something that you need done right away could end up taking weeks if the contractor has other projects ahead of yours.

On the other hand, employees are committed to your company for the time that you’re paying them. You manage their priorities as it relates to their work assignments. Your highest priority work will be done in the order that you see fit.


Small business owners generally compete on quality more than they compete on price. Therefore, outsourcing to a contractor can be risky. Contractors don’t have a stake in your business and are often looking to complete the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. They may also provide lower quality workmanship if they believe that you’re not going to extend the contract term.

As you consider hiring employees, it’s important to understand the tasks that they’ll be responsible for. Assess their ability to complete the tasks in an efficient way and maintain the level of quality that your customers are used to.


Outsourcing sometimes puts your company at risk, especially if you need to provide classified or sensitive items to the contractor as part of the project. Although it’s easy to forget, information is still stored somewhere in the brain and you don’t want the contractor to recall your sensitive information when they’re working for your competitor.

Stop Outsourcing

You should have enough work to keep your employees busy for the hours you’re your paying them. Otherwise, they’ll become complacent and may end up using work time to run personal errands, come in late or leave early.

Giving employees meaningful work that keeps them busy is not only rewarding for you, but it provides the sense of contribution to the success of your business. It gives them a chance to celebrate the wins and at the same time feel confident in their own abilities to accomplish great things.

When to Hire Employees in Your Small Business

You’ve worked real hard to improve your business, run it efficiently and have finally reached your capacity. Growing your business requires more than your efforts and making a decision to hire employees is often the right route to go. Before you put an ad on Craigslist, you need to articulate the job role, crunch the numbers and have a plan in place.hire employees

Articulate the Job Role Before You Hire Employees

Assess your current situation before you make a decision to hire. What areas of your business can you hand off to another person?

Generally, the first role that business owners fill is administrative. It’s good practice to have someone that can act as a hub for requests, office tasks and communications. This role is more than answering the phones and scheduling. Someone in this position could be given the responsibility to do light accounting, simple marketing pieces, advertisements, payroll and coordination. Administrators and personal assistants are usually multi-talented and can free you up to work on your business.

Whether you employ an administrator or not, it’s critical that you have clear job descriptions to get the most out of your staff. Set the expectation that the role will grow over time. Communicate that you expect your employees to take ownership of issues and resolve them, even if it’s not specifically in their job description. When you see positive ownership spirit, reward it accordingly.

Crunching the Numbers

After you’ve identified the role, you’ll need to determine what the market will bear for the tasks and where you’ll find the money in your budget. You can find general salary estimates from sites like and Bureau of Labor. Remember that you’ll need to consider the minimum wage, payroll tax, required benefits and worker’s compensation in your analysis.

After you have an idea of salary requirements, you’ll need to estimate return on investment. With all of the time you gain back, how many more clients will you bring into your business? How many more units can you sell? Try to estimate how much extra business would be generated by getting the help you need. Then, write down your goal and make sure to revisit it later down the line.

Employee Types

You don’t have to hire a full-time employee immediately. Especially, if you’re having a hard time finding the budget allocation. Consider hiring someone part-time and then migrating to full-time as you see the return on investment. Outsourcing, freelancing and temporary hires are great alternatives as well.

In either case, you’ll need to invest time in the hiring process and then train the employee to proficiency. You’ll also have additional paperwork and records to keep track of, so be sure you’re prepared.

Ultimately, you may need to ask yourself if there are other ways to gain efficiencies, like using software to automate certain tasks or simply getting more organized. If you choose to hire employees, make sure you hire the right person with the right skills, experience, and education for the right job.

Are you making plans to hire? I can help you plan and make the most out of your time and money if you contact me today.

Why Are Your Business’s Checks Bouncing?

As a successful business owner, you never want to run into a situation where you end up with a cash flow problem. checksThere is nothing that can ruin your credibility with suppliers faster than handing over a check that bounces. You’ve hired an office manager to handle your finances, but you’re spending money that she doesn’t know about. Then, she pays the bills thinking there’s money in the bank only to discover that those checks are bouncing. This causes embarrassment, leads to extra fees and may even lead to business failure.

Accountability is key. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your checks don’t bounce:

  • 1. Get an accounting system that you can access and review online or on the go.
2. Put processes in place so that you know when the system is up-to-date and check it with regular frequency.
3. Communicate with your office manager, especially if you’re making expensive or high volume purchases.

Accounting Systems

It’s essential to have an accounting system in place that can be accessed at any given time. That said, a system is only as good as the people that are operating it. This means that it’s absolutely essential that anyone within the company who has power to write a check needs to make sure that the amount being spent is posted as quickly as possible. The information provided by the accounting system needs to be up to date so that the correct financial decisions can be made every time.


One way to make that happen is to set up a process of posting and checking that everyone strictly adheres to. Setting up specific days for posting checks written and accounts received means that you should be able to tell the current state of your business account at a moment’s notice. It will also prevent you from making financial decisions based on out-of-date information. This is especially true when making a large financial purchase that could end up throwing everything out of whack very quickly.


Perhaps as important as having an accounting system and an updating process in place is keeping the lines of communication open. As the business owner, you may feel that you have total authority to spend as freely as you like, but doing so without telling the manager puts them in a difficult spot. After all, it is they who will have to field the calls from disgruntled suppliers who have just received a check from you that bounced. If they are unaware that you have made a major purchase that dropped the account balance below what the system shows, they will be unable to explain what the issue is.

Don’t Bounce Checks

It is absolutely impossible to run a successful business if you are not aware of your finances at all times. Writing checks without any forethought will hurt you in a number of ways. You will end up drowning in bank fees and more importantly will lose the trust of the people that you purchase from. You may just find that suppliers will move you to COD status, or may even decide that your business is not worth dealing with. The ripple effect that comes from writing bad checks may very well be enough to close it down permanently.

How to Be in the 20% of Businesses that Succeed

No one starts a business with the express purposes of failing, yet an alarming number of business owners will eventually end up closing their doors permanently. In fact 80% of start-ups will close within the first 18 months. It makes you wonder what the businesses that succeed do differently from those that fail. While the location of your business and what you offer can play a major role, there are 9 other elements that you should consider.

Nine Ways to Succeed


  1. Know your core values and beliefs – Starting a business that you don’t really believe in is a major problem. Some people make the mistake of starting a business based on a current product or market trend, only to find that they don’t really believe in what they are pushing. It is hard to be passionate about something you don’t really care for. If you’re passionate about your business, then take some time to develop and know your core values and beliefs.
  2. Understand your business purpose – Why did you choose to start this business? If you can’t answer that question, you are in trouble. Everything in life has a purpose, and you need to know what that means for your business in order to succeed.
  3. Define your target customer – Poor market research can doom a business before it even gets off the ground. If you don’t take time to know your target market, failure will be sure to follow.
  4. Define where you want your business to be in 3-5 years – A business plan is absolutely essential before you start a business, but it’s also important to continue to plan for the future. Having a clear goal to focus on will help you make more informed decisions.
  5. Determine how you’ll get there – Would you ever hop in your car and head to a specific destination without first having a road map to follow? Of course not. If you want to get from Point A to Point B without becoming lost, you need to know how to navigate that road. Create a plan to achieve your goals.
  6. Prioritize the big things you must do – Being a business owner means wearing many hats and juggling all kinds of tasks. It’s tough to do, but it gets a whole lot easier if you prioritize by level of importance.
  7. Assemble a team and/or outsource – If you do all of the juggling on your own, you will eventually drop something. Stick to what you do best in the business and get qualified help to do the rest.
  8. Develop a marketing plan – This goes hand in hand with finding your target audience. Once you know who they are, you need to find them, let them know who you are and where they can find you.
  9. Remember why you started your business and live your life – If you can follow the steps outlined above, you will be well on your way to success. At that point you can start to leave trusted individuals in control of more and more aspects of the business. It will still be yours, but you will have reached the point where you can step away a little and start to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I can help you build comprehensive processes and a solid team that will breathe life back into your business. Contact me when you’re ready to get started.

Intentional Compensation for Small Businesses

Intentional compensation is key to running a successful business and It’s more than just numbers on a check.

Intentional Compensation

Creative Commons License: Photo Courtesy of Infusionsoft

Intentional compensation may include profit sharing, commissions, bonuses, health and medical benefits, paid time off, company functions, prizes, giveaways and more.

As the economy improves, more and more small businesses need to consider how they’re paying employees and the messages that they’re sending based on their compensation structure.

Intentional Compensation

You can still fail as a business if you don’t say thank you in your employee’s paycheck even if you do all of the right things in terms of leadership, culture, and communication. When you implement intentional compensation, your message clearly conveys that winning is rewarded and losing isn’t. What are your actions telling you? Are you compensating the people who you value accordingly? Your actions speak louder than words. You can say you value productivity and innovation, but when you don’t demonstrate that in your compensation system, you simply aren’t being truthful.

Reward What You Want Duplicated

Know what you value and reward only what you want duplicated. Employees will naturally gravitate to actions that increase their pay. Always be intentional when considering the three compensation structures I outline below:

Salary—Fixed salary positions reward employees for showing up. They’re great for attracting talent , but they don’t necessarily motivate them to go beyond minimal requirements. In fact, they do just the opposite with very rare exceptions. These rare gems are the employees with fixed salary positions who bear the brunt of the entire team’s workload. While team members chat, go for breaks or long lunches, these workers produce and bring extraordinary value to the company. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen one stay long. They often get frustrated or burn out because often we reward our most productive employees with more work instead of more pay. No wonder they run for the doors!

Profit Sharing—Profit sharing provides a certain percentage of the company’s profits as a bonus to employees monthly, quarterly, or annually. The key to this type of compensation is to ensure that employees know how they specifically contribute to the revenue by either increasing profits or decreasing expenses. This bonus is not something that employees should expect to receive, but rather something that they earn based upon their contributions to the company’s revenue.

Commission—There are many different commission structures that you can implement. Salary plus commissions deliver a small guaranteed salary and a percentage of every sale. Most commission plans are set up this way. Draw plus commissions provides a set amount of money each pay period. It’s very much like a loan since commissions aren’t received until the draw is repaid. The downfall of the draw plus commissions plan is during the launch of a new product. Because the product isn’t proven, sales reps might feel discouraged if the draw balance rises significantly. In that scenario, it’s a good idea to evaluate whether you want to allow for a reduction in the draw balance to allow the employee to receive commissions. Both the salary and draw plans pay for performance and work well when implemented with intention.

Changing Compensation

It’s never a good idea to reduce the pay of your employees. It’s demotivating and often leads to reduced productivity. If performance is poor, then work with the employee to improve upon it or let them go. You’ll see a better return on your dollar if you pay for a superstar rather than get a great deal on mediocrity.

What kind of commission structure do you offer your employees? Let me know in the comments and be sure to include your company’s name if you’re hiring!

12 Elements of a Good Hiring Strategy

In our last post we uncovered the mystery of a good marketing plan. We learned that every product or service has a life cycle. The life cycle is made up of four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and the declining stage. By knowing which stage of the life cycle your product is in you can make educated decisions on when or where to spend your marketing dollars. As your business grows, it’s likely that you’ll need to hire a team to help you continue to grow. A good hiring strategy will not only save you time, but it will also save you money.

The process of interviewing and hiring the perfect candidate is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and energy to proceed with the interview process. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have a good hiring strategy in place. The right person will bring positive attitudes and infectious hard work to your business. When you find out that someone is a good fit before you hire them, you’ll save yourself thousands of dollars in lost productivity and opportunity.

Good Hiring Strategy

Image Credit: Jay from Cudahy.  Creative Commons License

12 Elements of a Good Hiring Strategy

There are 12 elements to a good hiring  strategy that Dave Ramsey writes about in Entreleadership. They are:

1. Pray—Ask God to send the person that should do the work that needs to get done.

2. Get Referrals—If you have a culture that we’ve been talking about in the last few posts, your best people will want their brightest friends to come work with them. Create a referral program to ensure that employees who refer great candidates are rewarded.

3. Pre-interview— Your first interview should be a 30 minute call to get to know the candidate. Spend 20 minutes listening and 10 minutes talking. Listen more than you talk, and keep the pre-interview to exactly 30 minutes. You can follow up later in another interview.

4. Review the Resume and Call References—Review the candidate’s resume for formal training that’s applicable to the position that you’re hiring for.  The resume is a great place to begin a conversation. Check references to be sure the candidates truly are who they say they are.

5. Use the DiSC Test—The discs personality test will assess relational intelligence, which is the ability to work well with others to achieve shared goals. The D stands for dominance. A dominant person will get work done, and is quick to act and make decisions. The I stands for influencer. Influencers are fun and outgoing, and are often concerned about their team members. The S stands for steady. Steady people are loyal, stable,  love people, and are concerned about how everyone feels. They are great as team players, understanding, and will be with you until the end. The C stands for compliant. Compliant employees are very analytical and factual. They may seem rigid, but they have a high level of competency. Your organization needs some of every personality in order to be successful.

6. Like the Candidate—If you’re going to be working everyday with the candidate, you need to like them. Don’t force yourself to work with people you don’t have anything in common with.

7. Look For Light—When you start talking about the position keep your eyes on the candidates. As the candidates start to talk, notice if their eyes light up. Does the mere thought of getting to do the work fire them up? If not, it’s likely that all they want is a paycheck, and you won’t be able to keep them happy.

8. Review Personal Mission Statement and Budget—Candidates should have a statement that shows how the position that they are accepting is part of their dream. They should also be able to pay their bills on the wage that they are making. Someone who can’t pay their bills will be constantly worried about them and consequently will be very stressed out. They will be a drain on your business.

9. Review Compensation—As you progress in your interviews you’ll go deeper into compensation and benefits. Candidates who start the interview process discussing money are  looking for a job. Not an opportunity to do work that matters. You want the candidate who cares about the work.

10. Write Down Key Results—Write down what winning looks like in the open position before you post it. It should clearly communicate what the position entails.

11. Interview the Candidate’s Spouse—Invite the candidate and the candidate’s spouse to dinner. During the dinner you can solicit the spouse’s input on whether or not they think their spouse is a good fit for the position. You can also assess whether or not the spouse is completely nuts. If that’s the case, you should probably stay away from the candidate.

12. Implement a Probation Period—Ensure that you have a probation period where both the candidate and your company has time to observe and ensure a true fit. At this point you have little obligation to any candidate, and they have little obligation to you. After ninety days, the candidate is truly a team member and you should take working with them very seriously.


Image Credit: Bill Strain. Creative Commons License

Implementing a  good hiring strategy will ensure you get the best candidate for your open position. How many people are you hiring this year?