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What Skills Tests Should You Be Using When Interviewing Accounting or Finance Professionals

Accounting and finance represent highly competitive fields. As an employer, skills testing lets you make better decisions about which candidates to focus on during the recruiting process. But what skills tests give you the best glimpse at how your applicants will perform in a real-world setting?

The choice could make a big difference in the quality of your hiring decision. Skills testing has become an increasingly common way to differentiate job candidates. One study found that more than three-quarters of firms with more than 100 employees (76%) used this method to better understand the capabilities of those applying for positions.

Meanwhile, leveraging these techniques can prove crucial in your hiring process. Not only does it give you additional data about candidates, it also helps you streamline the expensive and time-consuming process of recruitment. After all, each corporate job attracts 250 resumes, most of which likely meet the minimum standards of the position.

A well-administered skills testing program will help you narrow these quarter-thousand applicants to the half dozen or so that you want to interview. But a poorly designed process can cause unnecessary roadblocks. With the wrong tests, you can alienate top talent and flood your inbox with unhelpful (or even misleading) data.

Given the risks involved, here are some tips that will help you decide which skills tests you should be using when reviewing accounting or finance professionals:

How to Choose The Right Skills Test for Accounting and Finance Professionals

Understand the Role

Not every accounting and finance position requires the same skills. Some jobs require little beyond a basic level of competence. Others rely on specialized knowledge or a particular niche. Still others have other aspects to consider, like management or sales responsibilities.

As a result of this diversity, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. No single battery of tests can cover every accounting and finance role you find open within your organization. Instead, you should consider each position individually and devise a policy from there.

How can you determine what testing options fit will with a given role? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Write a Detailed Job Description: By knowing what a job requires, you’ll have a better view of the right tests.
  • Talk to Employees Filling Similar Roles: Get feedback from the people who know the position best.
  • Consider the Tests You Have Available: Your options may be limited. If you’re choosing from a stock set of potential tests, like those provided by a third-party source, have that list in mind as you go through the process.
  • Think about Writing a Specialized Test: If you can’t find the perfect test for a position, consider making one yourself. You might need to invest in the process, but it could improve your hiring ability.

Skills Tests to Consider for Accounting and Finance         

As you consider your skill-testing plans, remember that completing these requirements comes with a cost. It takes time and effort for your candidates to complete them. As such, an unnecessarily aggressive evaluation program will cause many high-skill applicants to search for other opportunities.

You also want to consider when the testing program will take place. Will you have all candidates complete the exams? Only those you interview? Or will you limit the process to your short list of potential hires?

Meanwhile, you need to think about the specific tests involved. Here are a few subject categories to assess:

  • Basic Accounting and Finance Knowledge
  • Practical Tests (problem-solving based on specific situations)
  • Specific Technical Assessments (software programs like Excel, etc.)
  • Writing Test (to get a better look at a candidate’s communication ability)
  • Soft Skill Assessments (looking at capabilities like leadership or teamwork)

Need Help Finding the Right People Easier?

Looking for the best candidates available? Skills testing provides an excellent way to narrow the field. You can also turn to a recruiting partner, like Elby Professional Services. You’ll get the perfect candidate for each open position.

Contact Elby today to learn how to upgrade your hiring process.