How Finance Hiring Managers Find Candidates

How Finance Hiring Managers Find Candidates

Searching for a finance or accounting job? Go where the hiring managers look!

Regardless of where you are in your finance career, a job search can take a lot of time and energy. But it can take even more time if you don’t know how to align your job search with where the finance and accounting hiring managers are looking. Consider the following statistics: 71 percent of finance and accounting professionals surveyed say they most frequently search for work through online job boards, especially job boards like Careerbuilder and Monster. However, only 31 percent of finance and accounting hiring managers say they use these types of job boards when looking for top talent. This means there’s a mismatch between where the jobseekers are and where the hiring managers prefer to look.

Finance and accounting hiring managers: top three sources for talent

1. Employee referrals: 46 percent of finance and accounting hiring managers surveyed rely on employee referrals as their top choice for securing talent. When an employee or colleague can vouch for the candidate’s skills, character, professionalism, or all three, it gives the hiring manager more confidence in the hire. In an effort to boost referrals, many companies have referral programs that offer bonuses or other incentives to employees when they refer potential candidates. Letting all your friends know when you’re in the market for a new job might be the smartest move you can make in your job search.

2. Recruiters: Recruiting/staffing/workforce solutions companies are the second most popular option, with 41 percent of finance and accounting hiring managers preferring this route. Notably, recruiters regularly post open positions to online job boards like Careerbuilder, Monster, and other niche sites. Since this is where finance and accounting professionals search for jobs, jobseekers can likely connect indirectly with a hiring manager this way. However, a shorter route would be to work directly with a recruiter from the start. 

3. Personal network/industry connections: 37 percent of finance and accounting hiring managers rely on their own personal network or industry referrals to identify top talent.

Referrals of any nature offer a competitive edge to getting noticed. But how do you go about getting one.

Obtaining a referral requires a preemptive multi-pronged approach:

Network, network, network: It all comes down to your finance and accounting network. Even if you’re happy in your current position, building and maintaining a professional network is vital career maintenance similar to “saving for a rainy day.”
Review your network: Review connections from LinkedIn, previous employers, alumni organizations, and professional organizations with whom you have strong relationships and who have clout in your field. Find out if any of your connections work at the companies that interest you. If not, start networking with people who do.
Politely reach out: A good place to start is LinkedIn, because this gives the other person the opportunity to review your résumé, as well as any endorsements you might have. A cordial email saying hello is also appropriate. Send your résumé along in the email, and mention that any help networking your résumé within the organization would be greatly appreciated.

Job boards can be useful job search tools for finance and accounting candidates. However, to truly gain a competitive edge in your job search, use a holistic approach that brings you closer to the hiring managers by tapping into the power of referrals and recruiters.


Survey methodology: The 2015 Hiring Manager Research (U.S./Canada) was conducted by RDA Group on behalf of Kelly. Over 1,000 hiring managers in the U.S. and Canada were surveyed. Participants had direct hiring responsibilities for talent in healthcare, engineering, finance and accounting, IT, and scientific fields. Results represent a cross section of industries and career disciplines. Of the total surveyed, 214 were finance and accounting hiring managers.

Kelly Services 2015 Hiring Manager Research 
2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index™