Guest Contributor

Top Tips for Hiring the Most Suitable Financial Candidate for the Job

By | Lauren Walker| Administrator @ Stellar Select

Anyone who is in charge of hiring new personnel knows what a stressful process it can be. It can also be expensive since onboarding a new employee in a financial position can cost around 30% of their salary for the first year.

If you hire the wrong person, it can cause significant damage to your revenue, so it is crucial that you make the right choice. Here are some tips that could help you succeed in this process.

1- Use the interview to quantify the applicants’ qualities

If you are hiring a finance professional to fill an entry-level or managerial position, you should always quantify their abilities. For example, if you are hiring a bookkeeper or an assistant accountant, you can use the interview to ask them about what they could achieve within the first one, two or three months. In addition, every finance candidate should have excellent problem-solving skills so it is important that you take careful note of their responses. You can assess their competences by observing how they accomplish their objectives. Finally, evaluate their financial skills to see whether they match your organisational needs.

2- Don’t rush the hiring process

Sometimes, in your rush to fill your financial position, you end up hiring the wrong person. For example, let’s say you need someone to assume the role of a financial project manager. This position is sensitive as it requires you to develop, implement and maintain your company’s finance systems. Your ideal candidate should have the necessary analytical skills to determine which information is relevant to the situation. Whilst a candidate may look good on paper, they may have trouble fitting in with your company culture.

So, how can you make sure that you are making the right choice? 

Many employers today utilise the services of third-party recruiters. Depending on your requirements, these companies will vet your potential candidates first before they proceed to the interview stage. 

3- Don’t ignore the candidates’ answers

During the interview, it pays to listen to your financial candidates’ responses. For example:

  • Are they aware of your company’s brand?
  • Do they know why your corporate culture is unique?
  • Will they enjoy working for your company?

Their position will require constant communication with various people within the organisation. Leaders need to make correct decisions so the candidates should present the requisite information in a clear and concise manner. By listening to their answers, you can gauge their ability to carry conversations and project ideas.

4. Ask subjective questions during the interview

Are you familiar with the applicant tracking system (ATS)? This technology recommends the most suitable financial candidate using objective data for an interview. However, a face-to-face meeting can help you uncover innate skills, such as the ability to work effectively with the minimum of guidance.

Begin by asking questions about specific scenarios that they may encounter within your company. Their answers will reveal how they will handle situations on their own.

5. Keep the interview light

The purpose of the interview is to assess your financial candidates’ technical and cultural fitness to work for your company. However, it is difficult to evaluate their actual feelings if you interview in the ‘traditional way’. So, think about making the meeting a fun experience. Engage with them, talk and have a laugh. In this way, you are more likely to get a better feel for their ability and suitability.

6- Use previous experiences in the selection process

Before searching for a replacement for the vacant financial position, conduct some analysis regarding:

  • Reasons for turnover
  • Tenures of hired financial employees
  • Managers who held the financial position

By examining this data, you can determine whether any issues have to be addressed before you begin the hiring process. If you don’t do this, it will only be a vicious cycle of hiring, turnover, and then back to hiring again.

7- Find financial candidates who are passionate about the job

Sometimes, you interview people for the wrong reasons. Whilst a candidate may look good on paper, it is probably best to find out whether they have an aptitude for learning. Hiring people for their financial skills and abilities is acceptable, but it is better to employ those who enjoy learning more about the job.

8- Ask questions now rather than later

The interview is your only chance to talk to the candidates and assess their qualities before accepting or rejecting them. For example, you can ask them about their accomplishments. During this discussion, you can identify their:

  • Passion (or lack thereof)
  • Ability to become a team player or lead a team
  • Success or failure in a particular financial issue or matter

By talking about these subjects, you will get to know whether they are suitable for your organisation.

9- Consider phone or online interviews to pre-screen candidates

Before conducting an actual conversation, consider calling the candidates by telephone in order to pre-screen them. You can use this time to ask questions about:

  • Corporate culture
  • Expected duties
  • Salary expectations
  • Financial work history
  • Financial areas where they need further training

By discovering the deal-breakers, you can narrow down your choices and meet the most suitable candidates for your finance vacancies.


Hiring financial professionals can be both time-consuming and expensive. This is why interviews are essential so you can find out more information about your applicants. Use these face-to-face meetings to learn about their financial abilities, quirks and cultural fit to your organisation.  

Author’s bio

Lauren Walker is the administrator for Stellar Select, a financial services recruitment agency.



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