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HR Training and Employee Recruiting at CPA Firms

cpa-exam-reviewCPA firms are some of the fastest growing companies in the world. The demand for accountants on an international scale has never been higher. With governments constantly adding new regulations to their systems of law, accountants and tax professionals are required to navigate the treacherous legal pathways. Thus, hiring qualified and talented personnel is one of the most important things that a CPA firm can do. They want competent accountants who can manage client relationships and understand complicated tax laws.

Thus, the human resource department in most CPA firms is one of the most important departments in the company. The HR department is what shapes the company and fuels it for future growth with new, bright minds and talents. That being said, there are three main training and recruiting techniques that all CPA firms are implementing to hire the best candidates.

CPA Exam Readiness

Good HR interviewers should always ask job applicants who are in school or newly graduated if they are ready to take the CPA exam. Being ready requires several different things. A candidate must fulfill all of the educational requirements along with certain personal requirements like citizenship and residency status.

Since many candidates tend to lie in interviews, one good question that an HR person can ask is if they have looked into purchasing a CPA review course. If they say, “yes.” The interviewer can ask what are the best cpa prep courses for the CPA exam in their opinion. This will require them to talk in more detail about what they have done to start preparing for the CPA exam. Someone with keen personal skills should be able to detect whether these candidates are telling the truth or not.

Work Ethic

Another important line of questioning has to do with their work ethic. It’s important to get a feel for how someone is going to treat their career in the future. Are they going to seek improvement and leadership or are they simply going to show up for work. One easy way to ask this question is to ask about a candidate’s 5-year plan. What do they plan to do for work, career, and personal goals in the next five years?

Test Their Intelligence

Once a job applicant has made it past the job interview stage, it is important to test them to see where they fit in the organization. A number of intelligence tests can be implemented to see where the new employees fit.

Then it is up the human resource department to train them in the ways of the company. They must learn corporate culture and the ways of doing things within the company. For instance, they need to understand the hierarchy of authority and work flow. It doesn’t make sense for a first year accountant to ask partners simple questions. They should be asking other lower level employees.

By implementing these types of strategies, you will be able to staff your CPA firm with some of the best talents that you can find.

The Basics of Employer-Employee Relationships

Train the TrainersEmployer-employee relationships are a tricky thing. And no, I don’t mean romantic relationships; I mean professional relationships between a boss and his or her employees.

There is fine line that needs to be held between being the friend of your employee and being his or her boss. If you appear to friendly to your employee, they are likely not to view you as a serious boss or someone in a position of authority and they won’t listen to your or your instructions.

If you aren’t friendly enough, they are likely to view you are a stubborn, hard-lined boss who doesn’t care about them and only views them as a tool for the company.

Both of these cases are needless extremes that can be resolved with a little bit of effort on the parts of the employee and employer. Let’s take a look at how we can cross this bridge.

Step One: Make Your Employees Care

The first, and probably most important step to having a good relationship with your employees is to make them care about what they are doing. Make it feel important and make them feel relevant and needed.

Chances are, if an employee doesn’t care about their job or they see no value in what they do, they aren’t going to do their best work.

So, make them care about their job. Show them the value of the product or service that you are producing. This is the most important single step.

Step Two: Proper Training

The next step is to train their immediate supervisors properly. In many companies, the most hated group of people are middle management. These are the people that have to do a lot of the dirty work outsourced by upper management, but the employees don’t necessarily know that or care about it.

So, these people need proper training on how to deal with their employees. You might recommend some type of train the trainer program for them or encourage them to get certified in corporate training.

These are all incentive-led programs that will enable them to pursue more on their own and not feel coerced into doing something by the company. It is important for people to feel that they are leading a ship.

Step Three: Have Team Building Sessions

Whoever your company’s facilitation director is, have them plan up team building sessions throughout each quarter. These are great ways to build up morale among your employees; plus, it gives different departments a chance to interact with one another.

I can’t tell you how many places I have been to whose department operate like completely siloed companies. They never talked to anyone in any other department and they have no knowledge of what was going on elsewhere in the company.

That is not good for efficiency and leads to a lot of lost productivity.

With those three steps, you should be able to get a good start on your employer-employee relationship. After you try these, you can try some kind of office wide training clinic that brings in management, employees, office staff, etc.

Create an event that encourages dialogue and involved learning for everyone. That way, the employees don’t always feel as if they are being talked at, but rather they are talking with you.