Hiring Bookkeepers During The Great Resignation – Right Now – Expert Advice from a Top Recruiter

Hiring bookkeepers, or frankly many other roles at this time, is hard. Every outlet from CNBC to Wikipedia is talking about this phenomenon.

But let’s face it. This isn’t new. Even Forbes says:

“There is one word that keeps surfacing in these discussions: belongingness, the feeling of being accepted or approved by a group or by society as a whole. It is a fundamental human need that is essential to an inclusive culture where people feel valued and have respect for other lived experiences.”

This post is coming from the heart. My heart. Raw. Real. Hats off, or should that be gloves off? Or, “opening the kimono” as one of our clients said? Whichever. This is my experience – my reality. And I hope it helps you.

Belonging and Significance

My reality asks why this is even a discussion. A sense of belonging is a fundamental need of the human race. At least it is according to Alfred Adler, an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology.

While I was a psychology major in college, I learned more about Adler through my work with Positive Discipline. I was introduced to the phrase, “belonging and significance.” And my reaction was, “well, duh!” More on that here.

Putting People First

I was recently interviewed for an article where I declared that:

The foundation of recruiting great talent is your culture. It doesn’t matter how fancy of a recruiting system you have, if your company isn’t a place where people feel happy and satisfied, they won’t come work for you—or they won’t stay. So, we’ve worked to build a culture where our employees feel good about working with us.

A sense of belonging and significance. It seems so simple. And, simple does not always mean easy. Yet, I challenge you. This should be the easiest thing you have ever done as a business owner.

Do the right thing

We continue to hire great people who are drawn to the flexibility and “people first” practices that our culture is based on. We don’t talk about work-life balance—we talk about work-life integration. That means we understand when our employees need to care for a sick child at home or take a day off for self-care. And not only do we understand, we also support them.

Can that work for everyone? No. And I get that. But life happens. And allowing your employees the time off to deal with life… well, that speaks volumes.

OK – On to the tips!

Be yourself: Selling who you are

What makes your company unique? Why are you a best place to work? And don’t just say that you are a great employer – show it! “Talk is cheap.” So says scripture… and the pop stars. Show them; don’t tell them. They’ve heard it before.

Leverage social media, or videos on your website, or better yet – both! Yes – all of the above. Tell a story about a “day in the life” of the role you are trying to fill. Let your employees’ stories shine. Today, people want more than a paycheck. They are looking for a lifestyle.

Be honest: Stay true to what you can do

We can’t pay as much as some of the other companies hiring bookkeepers – or recruiters for that matter. I always list how much each position pays in our job ads—as I don’t want to waste anybody’s time. (Especially mine.) Our company has a lot to offer, so we target the people whose values match ours.

Hiring people who love our culture and personally mirror our core values leads to low turnover, high client satisfaction, and most importantly, employee happiness.

Be specific: Know what you want

When I write job ads, I focus on the highlights (read: expectations) of the job. Are you good at – and ENJOY — solving puzzles (“Do you have a knack for identifying hidden objects? Or finding the 0 in a sea of O?”) If you don’t, you will likely self-select out.

I also promote near the top of our ads that we’re “people first” and “technology forward.” If those sentiments aren’t meaningful to you, you will likely move on.

Leverage technology: it will make your life easier

An applicant tracking system (ATS) will not be your holy grail. And it makes the hiring process far more efficient and will save you a ton of manual work (a.k.a. TIME.) Once we have applicants, the backbone of our recruiting process is our applicant tracking system.

An ATS – especially one that has job distribution features – makes the recruiting and hiring process much more efficient and effective by allowing you to better organize feedback and collaborate with your team on every hiring decision.

Pro tips:

  • Aim for employee referrals as your #1 source of hire. Get creative around a referral program.
  • Always be recruiting. Employee retention is consistently re-recruiting your current employees.
  • Be a great place to work. Your perception is not necessarily their reality.

Want help deciding if outsourcing or hiring bookkeepers is right for you? Contact us today!

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