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Define Your Expectations of Success in the role from the outset:
Finding the best Finance and Accounting Talent 


Here’s a question for you. When you are looking to bring somebody new into your business, what do you think is more important: the candidate’s ability to get the job or the candidate’s ability to do (and ideally excel) in the role? There is no doubt that these are both important factors to consider. Having a well-written job description will certainly help you assess someone’s ability to actually get the job.

You can easily match experience from a candidate’s resume with key points outlined in the job specification. However in order to determine whether a candidate will excel in the job (something which you will really only be able to ascertain during a face-to-face interview), you actually need to define your expectations of success in the role from the outset. In the same way that an Olympic coach would define the performance of an elite athlete in terms of wins, record race times or prize money, as an employer looking to hire somebody new, even before they come on board you should be able to define their performance in terms of the successes you hope they will achieve. And successes can apply to every single role in the business.


You need to ask yourself what you expect from them (in terms of their performance) at say the three, six, nine and 12-month mark. What new tasks will they be taking on? How many new initiatives will they be responsible for? What revenue targets might they need to reach?

These are all measurable so you need to define your “success expectations” alongside the job description. These success measures will help you screen and interview candidates, they will definitely help you in the reference checking stage, but they will also help you benchmark your new employee’s success on the job (which can then help you better prepare for their performance reviews).

Whilst you might not think you can be compared to an Olympic coach, or whilst you might not think your new accounts payable processor can be likened to an elite athlete, you are running a business and/or department and your staff (both existing and new) are helping you reach your goals. No doubt you have expectations of your own (and your organisation’s) successes. So you also need to know what you want out of any new team members… well before the actual recruitment process even starts.


In summary

• Define “success expectations” alongside the job description

• Don’t base your decision on someone’s ability to get the job

• Think about whether they will excel in the role in question


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