Tips on recruiting a bookkeeper for your startup
By Shannon Ash, Rogerwilco - Aug 3rd 2018, 11:05
As your startup grows, there is going to be a time when you need to hire someone to take over (or assist you with) your finances. Now, if you’re a creative or a tech startup, recruiting for a bookkeeper is a very different type of process in comparison to what you’re used to. You’re hiring someone to do your bookkeeping and oversee any finance-related admin that you don’t have the time, program or skills to do.
It’s going to be a lengthy process because it’s a very responsible role, but if you want to find someone who you and your employees can trust, you are going to need to be willing to sift through plenty of resumes. A good rule of thumb in this process is to have someone in the meeting with you who is knowledgeable about this field of work and someone who will help you make a decision.
Here are a few tips to consider when hiring a bookkeeper for your business:
● Be clear and concise about what you want
While you may receive hundreds of CVs from individuals who have all studied the necessary bookkeeping courses, they might not be what you’re looking for. Sounds bizarre, but your level of financial needs, as opposed to that of a corporate organisation with 100+ employees, is completely different.
You need to find someone who is skilled enough to assist your business, but also has a clear idea of what you are willing to offer them. Commitment is a two-way street, so you will need to have an in-depth job description of what you expect from a potential bookkeeper and what they can expect from you as a startup. As it is, working for a startup is both a challenge and a risk. You will need to discuss various questions with the potential candidate to have a better understanding of how their needs match yours.
The reality is that your first bookkeeper might not be as busy as they’d like to be, so it is advised that you start on a freelance or part-time basis in the beginning.
● Go looking for the ideal person
Often times, experienced workers are more reluctant to apply for a position with a startup because of their financial commitments and responsibilities. However, this leaves room for younger, graduate individuals to apply, This is not the ideal audience because they might not be as experienced as you’d like them to be. In this case, you will need to headhunt applicants yourself. Very useful platforms are LinkedIn and job sites which allow individuals to upload their CVs for employers to contact them directly. This way, you will be able to find the ideal person to suit your needs, without having to turn people down.
Think of this approach as a similar one to selling your business services to clients or customers. As mentioned before, many people aren’t going to jump for a startup position, simply because it requires them to have some financial flexibility. They will also need to be patient with growth opportunities. However, the positive with working with a startup is that they’re going to have the opportunity to dig in and do the dirty work at times. They will quickly become a jack of all trades, which is beneficial for anyone.
So, in essence, you need to pitch this position to an individual or a pool of candidates. Put yourself in their shoes and communicate exactly what you would want to hear so that they can better understand what your company is about, what the bookkeeping or financial role entails and why they qualify as candidates.
● Consider consulting with a bookkeeping company
If you are steering away from hiring an individual for freelance or permanent reasons, you can look at working with a bookkeeping firm to help you with your financial needs. As you can imagine, working with a company will be more costly than hiring someone on an individual, personal level. But, the perk with a firm is that you know you’re dealing with experienced, skilled individuals who are qualified in this field. Another perk is that after hiring a bookkeeper, the chances are that you will need someone to assist you with your accounting shortly after, and in this case, you will have multiple services to choose from.
Recruiting staff is one of the hardest decisions to make. Why? Because the people you choose will set the tone for your business’s success going forward. Be careful and certain when hiring a bookkeeper as they will be responsible for your numbers. Make sure that you choose the right person to help you get the best out of your business. Even if they’re not as experienced as you’d want them to be, you can always send them on part-time bookkeeping courses or look at the option of distance learning bookkeeping courses. Choose wisely and let them help you to differentiate yourself in the market.
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