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Hard and soft skills are required to succeed with your company. Being able to communicate, collaborate, and manage time while fulfilling the technical requirements of an accounting role are among the elements that drive your business forward. Knowing how to match critical accounting skills with soft skills leads to increased productivity, engagement, and output from your team. Follow these guidelines to hire accountants with the hard and soft skills needed to keep your business competitive.

How To Identify The Individuals You Need For Your Team

1. Required Soft Skills

The top three soft skills for accountants are problem-solving, adaptability, and time management. If your company has less than 500 employees, they may need to wear multiple hats and be able to manage their time and organize well. If your organization is bigger, employees may have more specialized job functions that require the need to adapt to changing conditions and work with others to solve problems. Senior leadership roles typically rank problem solving, oral communications, and adaptability as the most important soft skills. Those skills are necessary for leaders to grow their career and support the employees they manage. Employees with stronger soft skills have better odds of being promoted to leadership roles than employees with greater experience but weaker soft skills. Other top soft skills include ambition, confidence, friendliness, charisma, and articulation. Enthusiasm, determination, flexibility, efficiency, and focus rank high as well.

2. Necessary Critical Skills

Critical skills are necessary to complete accounting functions. Proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite, especially Excel, along with other accounting software such as Great Plains, QuickBooks, SAGE, SAP, CaseWare, tax preparation software, and Audit Command Language are required.

3. Identify Soft Skills During the Hiring Process

Conducting interviews and additional screening before extending a job offer helps to determine whether a candidate has the necessary soft skills.  Interviews, reference checks, and, personality assessments, work samples, and reviewing social media pages is will assist in determining a candidate’s personality, work style, knowledge, and skills. Additionally, job simulations as part of the interview process may be designed to see how well a candidate would perform in the role.

4. Identify Critical Skills During the Hiring Process

Evaluate each candidate’s critical accounting skills by asking key interview questions. For instance, “Which enterprise resource planning systems have you used?” The candidate should be a master of Excel and have experience with ERP systems. Also, “Describe a time when you took the lead on implementation.” Determine how well the candidate put processes into place and was able to address issues that may have come up. Plus, “What is your experience with developing business metrics?” Find out exactly how involved the candidate was with creating measurements to provide insight for making stronger business decisions.

Partner with a Leading Winnipeg Recruitment Agency

As a leading Accounting & Finance recruitment agency in Western Canada, we have the accounting professionals with the hard and soft skills you need to grow your business. Reach out to Mercer Bradley today to find the right person for you team!


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