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Vaco Offers Tips for Hiring to Companies and Candidates

(December 1, 2010) "Financial Professionals Still Much in Demand," Advises Vaco Employment Expert

Studies show that despite the economy, or maybe because of it, companies are emphasizing "employing top talent." Stephanie Keairns, a partner at Vaco Los Angeles, an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing placement firm for financial and accounting professionals, indicated that hiring a good fit for a company in today's market may be more challenging than most executives realize.

"What's the cost to the organization if we don't get this work done?"
According to Keairns, "Many executives see double-digit employment rates and surmise that a plethora of highly qualified candidates are readily available. The reality is that excellent financial professionals are getting offers and will be hired away by the competition while companies delay hiring decisions. Unemployment rates for accountants and finance talent are actually lower than the national average." Keairns recommends employers act decisively to select a good fit and candidates be prepared for the hiring process. Here are 10 tips for both employers and candidates:

Tips for Employers:
  • Professionals with 15+ years experience can bring a unique perspective to mid-level jobs. Many companies seek mid-level professionals with six to 10 years of experience and won't consider more experienced professionals, even if the candidate finds the salary range acceptable. Employers are concerned the candidate will be under-utilized and bored, which isn't always true.

  • Cultural fit for an organization is as important as the skill set. When someone fits with a company's mission, vision, communication style, goals and values, and they meet certain skill requirements, make an offer.

  • Companies should ask, "What's the cost to the organization if we don't get this work done?" Organizations should consider strategic staffing alternatives while conducting the search process. It's important not to let workload fall behind during the candidate search, and the total cost, not the hourly rate, is what counts.

  • Be flexible and open-minded when hiring. A good placement partner understands the company's culture and needs, so it's worth considering candidates they recommend, even if the resume or salary does not appear to match on the onset of the hiring process.

Tips for Candidates:
  • Many employers require an active CPA license. Keep professional licenses current and stay up-to-date on education requirements.

  • High-demand skills include SEC reporting, tax, internal audit capabilities and strong technical accounting. These skills should be emphasized on a resume. Also, all financial professionals need Excel skills, and it's beneficial to be an advanced Excel user and have Microsoft Access capabilities.

  • Many companies seek candidates with experience in specific ERP systems, so it's critical the resume include all ERP system experience. If a candidate doesn't have experience with the specific ERP system requested, it's important to emphasize how quickly she learned the systems she knows.

  • If a resume indicates a tendency toward job-hopping, the hiring manager may have reservations about the applicant. Such professionals might consider consulting or contract positions which could lead to an opportunity to be hired full-time. Consulting may also be a better fit for individuals who seek diversity and flexibility.

  • Job seekers must be proactive! Just sending out resumes is insufficient. It's important to make polite follow-up calls. Also, contacts and referrals may be able to help a candidate reach a specific company.

  • Job seekers should join professional organizations, use social media networks and engage a trusted recruiting expert to assist with their search. Setting yourself apart and finding an ideal fit could depend on it.

About Vaco
"Vaco" is derived from a Latin word meaning "to free yourself from a master" and was originally founded in October 2002. Vaco has grown to a family of 26 offices throughout the United States with more than $100M in revenue. Vaco Los Angeles was founded in 2006 and has been awarded "Best Place to Work" in 2009 and 2010 and #15 of 100 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in Los Angeles in 2009 by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Vaco is a leading consulting and placement firm specializing in the finance and technology sectors. Further information on Vaco can be found at

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