8 tips for getting your transactional recruitment right first time

Transactional finance is effectively the engine room of any finance department and is essential to keeping things running smoothly.

It’s imperative that it is manned by reliable, efficient staff; a misplaced decimal point on your ledger can make an enormous difference to your balance sheet and errors with payments can potentially cost a business billions. Transactional staff have a variety of job titles dependant on the business but essentially, they fall into several categories; purchase ledger, sales ledger, credit control and payroll.

When recruiting in this market, it’s very important to get the right people on board to avoid problems and incurring unnecessary costs in the long term.   Having operated in this market directly for the last 10 years or so (gulp), here are my top tips on how to make the most of recruiting in this sector.

1 It’s very fast paced

I can’t stress the above enough.  Good candidates absolutely fly off the shelves in the transactional market.  Anyone who is bright and switched on from a big company background will have several offers in a matter of days in the current economy.  When recruiting you need to move very quickly to get the best people and if you like what you see, make an offer as soon as you can.

2 Try before you buy

If in doubt, take a temp!  If you’re in a hurry, take a temp.  If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, take a temp. If you know what you’re looking for take a temp…. you get my gist.

3 Working interviews

This is a really effective way to try before you buy. Instead of losing time and potentially good candidates with a conventional interview process, candidates start work on a “look-see” basis.  A good consultant will have tried and tested people who have been interviewed and questioned in detail. We have candidates who have worked for us in various roles for the last 3 years who we are confident will do an excellent job for you.  Why lose time and potentially good candidates by going through the conventional interview process…..

4 Communicate what you look for in candidates and be specific

We all love a good job specification, but this is just a description of what the candidate will be doing, not who you are looking for. Nine times out of ten it’s the candidate with the best personality that gets the job.  Let us know what your team is like and how you would sum up the company ethos.  Don’t leave anything out of your brief.  If you let us know what the most important things are to you, we can match candidates as closely as possible.

5 Plan your time wisely and stick to agreed timelines

It’s all well and good deciding to recruit but you need to make sure you have the time available to interview, train and start your new candidate.  I usually ask for diary availability at the beginning of my search and block out the time in my client’s diary.  Also, when you are interviewing perm candidates, please be aware that it may be hard for candidates to take time off from work.  I’d always advise some flexibility around seeing people early/late in the day or even being flexible and having the initial chat out of hours.  Good perm calibre candidates won’t be comfortable taking time off work at short notice.

Typically an interim role can be turned around in a day or less and a permanent role anywhere from a day to a couple of days dependant on the required skill set and location.  As soon as you receive CVs you need to organise interviews.  Once the interviews are complete, give prompt feedback.  The longer you procrastinate, the less likely the candidate is to accept the role.

6 Sell your organisation

Always remember, this is a two-way street.  The best candidates are looking for a defined career path and have an idea of what kind of company they want to work for and learn from.  They may be speaking to a couple of different companies and have several offers on the table.  In order to stand out you need to highlight why your company is a good option, what your environment is like and what your company values are.  Clients often assume that candidates will jump at an opportunity when the reality is the best candidates will have several options.

7 You get what you pay for

The transactional market is currently so buoyant that salaries have increased by a few thousand pounds over the last few years due to demand.  Employees will often have their heads turned by roles paying a few additional thousand pounds, the irony being it will cost you a lot more than that to recruit and train new staff.   Again, if there are several roles on the table, salary is very much a factor.

8 Never ever, ever offer a candidate directly (Permanent roles)

When you meet your perfect candidate, have a dream interview and are certain they are right for the role, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t get carried away and make an offer in the interview.  One of the things a good agency will do for you is gauge the candidates interest and control exactly what it will take to get them to accept.  Making an offer on the spot is often counter-productive, making the candidate doubt the viability of the business.  People like to feel like they have earned the rewards in life and if it seems to have come too easily it can be a major turn off.  It’s human nature to like the thrill of the chase!  Most recruiters will have examples of getting a call from an excited client saying, I loved them, I’ve offered them the role, followed by a call from the candidates turning the opportunity down as they are not sure about something.  Once your cards have been shown, it’s impossible to back track and negotiate if there is anything they aren’t sold on.

If you have any questions about recruiting your next transactional team member please contact me via lstrickland@axonmoore.com