How the right accountant job description can attract top talent

A key step in recruiting skilled professionals is drafting an accurate, and compelling, accountant job description.

According to recent Robert Half research, 94 per cent of Chief Financial Officers say is it challenging to attract skilled professionals. So it’s worth taking the time to create a compelling job description that sets the role you’re offering apart from the crowd – and makes the position attractive to the top candidates.

Here’s how to write a winning accountant job description.

Focus on your ideal candidate

A good accountant job description will focus on must-have skills and qualifications first and foremost. Add any nice-but-not-essential characteristics you are hoping to find, but be clear about the non-negotiables otherwise you could be left ploughing through piles of unsuitable resumes.

Include key elements in your accountant job description

To be effective, you should include several important elements.

  1. A recognised job title – stick to known and accepted accounting industry terms. Candidates search online, and job seekers simply don’t google “accounting ninja” when they are looking for a financial accountant role.
  2. Identify the chain of command – let candidates know exactly how the role fits into your organisation. State who they will report to, listing the supervisor’s job title and anyone else who will work with them on key projects. Also note any positions that will report to the successful candidate.
  3. Identify key responsibilities – provide a clear list of key responsibilities to give candidates a true picture of what the job involves on a daily basis. This helps candidates determine if they have the required skills and whether the position is a good fit. Being upfront here will prevent a ‘that’s-not-my-job’ issue later on.
  4. State essential qualifications – be clear about the qualifications needed to perform the job, including accounting certifications that can help you attract the top talent. Robert Half recruitment experts find the Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) designations are the credentials most in demand among accountants, particularly at senior levels. But be sure to list anything else that may also prove valuable. For example, ‘soft skills’ like the ability to convey ideas to a broad range of stakeholders, and expertise with information technology.
  5. Be clear about your expectations – your accounting job description needs to let candidates know what you expect from them. List short term plus longer term objectives and define what outstanding performance looks like. Providing a clear career path and demonstrating that you offer room for growth is a hallmark of a successful accountant job description.
  6. Remuneration – Along with your preferred salary range, state any additional benefits or perks that may set your firm apart. These factors will help you negotiate salary as you begin to shortlist candidates. Refer to our latest salary guide for more information.

Put your accountant job description to good use

Even after you have successfully filled the role, your accountant job description can continue to be of use. Review it periodically to help your newest team member stay on track, and consider using it to develop key performance indicators.

Want more information? Read our article on How to write a job description

This article originally appeared as Attracting the right talent starts with your accountant job description on the Robert Half Finance & Accounting blog.

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