It’s always flattering to be wanted. And that holds true in job searches as much as anything.
Who doesn’t dream of sending out a resume and getting a call in hours?
Wouldn’t that be the ideal?
Well, it would seem that way. After all, it would surely mean that what we offer is desirable, important, and unique.
Why else would they be so eager, right?
Being hired quickly can indeed be a sign of that. But more often it’s a sign of some more insidious things about a company or job.
Here are some of the key downsides of rapid-fire hiring.
The employer may not have given enough thought to the position
Some companies value decisiveness and speed over careful planning and methodical processes. That can have its advantages at times, but it can also drive hiring managers to make rash, impulsive decisions.
Maybe someone in the department panicked because there was a sudden rush in business.
What happens after things slow down?
Will there still be work for you?
Just as bad, maybe the demand will be there, but no one at the company took the time to figure out what would be the best combination of job responsibilities to satisfy that need.
They may have no idea what they’re looking for in you.
The previous employee may have fled in desperation
The company may also be in a hurry to bring you into an interview because the person who previously held the position was driven insane by the company and gnawed his leg off just to get out of the trap.
Thus, the company has to scramble to get another poor sap in there to replace him. Don’t be a sucker. Find out why the position is open.
And when doing so, look for the usual signs of manure being slung about the room – stories that don’t add up, shifting eyes, evaded questions.
Company may be too short staffed to cover when people leave
Even if the person gave perfectly adequate notice of leaving, maybe the company was already teetering precariously on the edge of being way under staffed.
Perhaps this one person leaving was enough to push the department into complete chaos because it has nowhere near enough people to pick up the slack.
And that’s a situation you probably don’t want any part of – unless they’re openly looking for someone to rebuild the department, you’re up for the task, and they’re paying what it’s worth.
You may indeed be that desirable
Finally, you shouldn’t rule out that maybe you really are such a hotshot that an employer might scramble to get you before someone else does. Hey, don’t sell yourself short – it could very well true.
Granted, it’s less likely than the other scenario. But don’t get too cynical. The world is full of wild and wonderful moments and this could be one of them.
The real key in considering this is to weigh the eager company that called you the next day versus how much other action your resume is getting. Is this the only company that’s in a rush to bring you in?
If so, get the warning flags up.
Don’t rule these guys out automatically.
Just be prepared to ask the important questions along the way. Healthy skepticism can save you years of heartache.
You can improve your interviews and your chances of landing the job – as well as save a lot of time – when you learn what they’re saying with their bodies.
Here’s a quick reference guide to what they’re really saying and how to respond.
1) Eyes to the left while talking – Indicates the speaker is lying. Proceed with caution.
2) Crossed arms, leaning back – Defensive position. Hiring manager is likely intimidated by you. Ask a few non-threatening questions to change her mental state.
3) Crossed arms and legs – Classic defensive unaccepting position. Consider regrouping and redirecting the conversation so she’s more accepting of what you’re saying.
4) Tapping on the keyboard while talking – She’s only talking to you because they legally need to interview outside candidates. In truth, an internal candidate will get the position. Continue the interview for practice only.
5) Unwavering stare – She’s trying to intimidate you. Most are unnerved when being stared at, and she’s looking to see what your reaction is. She’s also trying to read you. Redirect her by using hand gestures that break into the line of the stare. They eyes, after all, are drawn toward motion.
6) Resting head on one palm – She’s bored. Bring out the big guns by working your best credentials into the conversation and increasing your vocal variety.
7) Elbows on desk with chin resting on folded hands – Worse than bored, she’s condescending. She’s regarding you lightly, as if she was speaking to a child. You need to earn respect and build credibility fast.
8) Arms on arm rest, feet on floor – She doesn’t want you to be able to read her so she’s presenting a blank page. But as any poker aficionado will tell you, every player has a “tell.” Look at her neck muscles and face for signs of life and to detect a pattern.
9) Leaning in, hands folded in front – She’s interested in what you’re saying. Mirror her position and continue the line of conversation.
10) Neck muscles twitch or ears wiggle – This is a classic sign of stress. She either doesn’t want to reveal information – or to lie. Decide if you want to push it or not, then proceed with caution.
11) Expression/verbiage mismatch – If, for instance, her face is blank but her voice is overly jovial, she is being incongruent. And it’s by design. This technique is often used by those who have a superiority complex as a way of toying with their prey. While this may momentarily confuse you, don’t let it show. Maintain your composure because she’s trying to read your reaction.
12) Excessive blinking – She probably gets nervous in interviews – or the interview might be monitored electronically. This is the time to bring out your interpersonal skills to put her at ease. She’ll appreciate it and regard you favorably.
13) Inappropriate facial expressions – If she looks shocked when you’re discussing mundane data, she’s likely not reacting to you, but to an internal dialogue. Bring her back into the moment with a mild joke followed by a slight chuckle. She will probably realize she missed something in the conversation and refocus her attention.
14) Head tilted to one side – This typically signals submission. She’s buying into what you’re saying. Either that, or she she’s trying to act like she’s buying into it (often a placating move). To be certain which is intended, look for other gestures.
15) Head tilted back slightly while looking at you – This could been one of two things (or both): she doesn’t believe you; or she thinks very, very little of you. In either case, it’s important to build credibility. Work a few of your most outstanding credentials into the conversation. If that doesn’t seem to work, you’ll need to decide if you really want to work for someone like that.
IN A NUTSHELL: Increase the quality of your interviews and save time by learning to read body language.
I was watching reruns of Jersey Shore last night (yes, I know it is my guilty pleasure). The women on the show do not generally get treated very well by the men they date.
The men on the show bring home women, schmoosh, and then get them out the door as soon as possible.
But most of us who see it from the outside realize that these women are all picking men who act the same way. The women choose the sharp looking man who says exactly what the woman want to hear.
Many hiring managers do the exact same thing. They choose the best looking, most charismatic person to work for them.
They are then surprised when the employee lied during the interview, or turns out to not be as good as they said they were.
Some people are very good at representing themselves. They could convince a stranger they were the president of a country if they wanted to. They use these skills to get exactly what they want, taking the easiest route possible.
Once the men have the woman hooked, they get what they want and never give the women what they want. The women are disappointed, but then go after the exact same type of man and are disappointed yet again.
This may mean an employee who doesn’t do their paperwork, manipulates statistics, or steals your customers from you. They know how to make things look in their favor and you will be very happy with their ‘performance’.
If you want to be surrounded by yes men who have their own secret agendas, hiring the best looking and charismatic person may be your best bet.
If you need an outside salesman, this type of person may be ideal. But if you are hiring an accountant, analyst or something that requires thinking or interpreting information, you may want to go past the appearance and charms, and see what skills the person actually has.
A person who is very skilled will tend to see their flaws a lot more than someone who is a novice.
So if you go for the good looking charismatic candidate, you may be being played just as much as the girls on Jersey Shore.
While federal rules and regulations govern many aspects of part time and temporary workers, employers typically have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to benefits.
According to the federal law, a temporary employee needs to work with a company for at least 1,000 hours in one year to be entitled to benefits. Moreover, the same employee cannot be hired by the same company as a temporary employee consecutively for more than two years.
Who is a part time employee?
As defined by DOL or U.S. Department of Labor, a person who is appointed to work with a business for a year or less and his work ends on a specific date can be considered as a part time employee. The terms of a temporary work appointment can be determined by the employer, but it should either be for a short term engagement or seasonal basis if the business is engaging him for several weeks or months.
The date of ending temporary employment can either be the completion date of the project or the return of the permanent employee from leave
Rights of temporary employees
According to the DOL’s 1,000 hour rule, temporary employee can qualify for certain benefits after working for an extended period. For instance, a part time employee can be eligible to be part of the retirement plan sponsored by the employer after working a minimum 1,000 hours annually or nearly 20 hours per week with the same company.
Some of the statutory benefits to temporary employees like social security, short term disability insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance etc. may differ from state to state.
Whereas some benefits like comprehensive fringe benefit package and the matters not considered by the applicable laws can depend on the part time employee benefit policy made by the employer.
Some of the benefits a company can include in its policy for the part time employees may include:
Retirement Plans: According to the ERISA or Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the owner of a small business is required to consider part time employees eligible for retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, as offered to other employees. The eligibility of part time workers for retirement plans is just like their eligibility for health insurance benefit, depending upon the amount of hours worked with them. The employee must work more than 1,000 hours with the company to be entitled to the retirement benefits.
Health Insurance: Usually the owners of small businesses do not offer health insurance to part time workers even if it is offered to permanent workers. Still some of them offer this benefit as an additional advantage to attract the employees. But the health insurance to part time employees depends on various factors including the definition of part time employee as per the law of that state and insurance provider to the company etc. When offering health insurance to part time workers the business owner should consult with their insurance provider to know about the minimum qualification required. Normally the temporary worker has to on average work a minimum of 20 hours per week to be eligible for health insurance.
Overtime: The employers covered under FLSA are required to pay overtime to all the employees equal to one and a half times of their regular hourly rate for all the hours worked more than 40 hours in a week. But according to the federal law, the employee is not entitled to get overtime for working on weekends or holidays unless those hours are really the hours of overtime work. In this way, the overtime for full time as well as part time workers depends on local laws, state laws and the policy of the company
Fringe benefits: The owner of small business can offer various types of low cost benefits to his temporary employees, which may include personal vacations, paid vacations, reimbursement for partial tuition or sick days, stipend for wellness and health, tickets for sports events or options of telecommunication etc.
Unemployment benefit: According to state laws, a part time employee can be eligible for unemployment benefits if the business is in operating condition. The unemployment benefits to temporary employees can depend on the number of hours worked during the previous year; the wages earned during a particular time period; and/or whether he is fired, quit, or unemployed. The owner of a business is also required to be enrolled with the unemployment insurance plan of the state.
Thus, the number of hours worked by the part time employee can help in making decisions about the benefits he deserves to get from the employer, and whether it includes the options of retirement plan or health insurance benefit.
However, the employers has more flexibility to decide about the eligibility of the temporary employees for other fringe benefits like vacation time and healthcare. Part time employees should consider negotiating with their employers about receiving benefits they are not otherwise entitled to.
On the other hand, the owners of the business should offer various types of benefits to their part time employees even if they are not included in the state or federal laws.
Though employers are restricted by federal and state laws in providing benefits to their employees, they can still use their wisdom while deciding about the eligibility of their part time employees for some of the statutory benefits provided by the law for permanent employees.
So you have prepared your questions, read over the candidate’s application and resume, and made all the necessary notations to ensure you ask all the right questions, what now?
Generally, the information you collect about an applicant before the interview indicates whether or not the applicant has the minimum education, training and work experience required for a particular position.
The interview is usually the only opportunity you have to get to know something about the applicant’s personality, attitudes, and motivation. These personal characteristics five you an idea of how well a person will perform, how satisfied he or she will be in the mob, and how long the candidate will stay with the organization.
To get an interview started and keep it going smoothly, follow a structures. You can direct and control the interview by structuring it.
Here’s the basic structure to follow during an interview:
Introduction and small talk
Probing for information from the Candidate
Giving the applicant information about the job and your company
Let’s see what areas can be explored and what might be revealed about the candidate in each part of the interview.
Introduction and Small Talk
The first few minutes of an interview are very important because they set the tone for the rest of the interview. This is the time to establish rapport with the applicant.
If you help the applicant feel relaxed and comfortable immediately, he or she will be more likely to be talkative and open during the rest of the interview.
Begin the interview by introducing yourself and extending a warm and sincere welcome to the candidate.
After that, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes for small talk on a casual, neutral subject. Friendly chit-chat helps reduce tension and promotes communication.
Probing for information from the Candidate
This part of the interview can be any combination of subjects including: work experience, education, outside interests, and personal factors.
Discuss the candidate’s most recent job first. From there, work backward and cover the applicant’s other jobs.
Discuss only one job at a time and get a clear picture of how the applicant performed in that job before you move on to another job.
Here are some areas to explore about the candidates work history:
The applicant’s specific duties and responsibilities
The applicant’s successes and problems in each job
What the applicant liked or disliked about each job
What the applicant was looking for in each job
Why the applicant left each job
As we discuss an applicant’s work experience, look for the following types of information:
Relevance and sufficiency of work experience
Skills and competence
Leadership Maturity and judgment
After reviewing a candidate’s work history, move on his or her educational background.
Here are some topics you might discuss:
Subjects liked best and least
Success and special achievements in school
Reason for choosing schools and major areas of study
How education and career are related
When consider a candidates educational background, remember that academic success or failure is not, by itself, a sufficient predictor of success or failure on a job.
Probing a candidate’s education background can reveal factors such as:
Intellectual abilities and versatility
Depth of knowledge
Reaction to authority and imposed assignments
Leadership and team work
When discussing outside interests, you have to be careful as it is a delicate subject and is not directly related to job performance.
Many interviewers no longer discuss outside interests with candidates unless they ask question specifically related to the job. Otherwise, it’s easy to unknowingly violate EEO laws.
If you are going to ask questions about this area, be sure to as the same question of every candidate of r a particular job.
This ensures equal treatment of all applicants.
If you have been supportive of a candidate during the rest of the interview, the interview will be flowing smoothly and the candidate will be talking openly by now. This make sit easier to discuss more personal information.
Basically, the purpose of this part is to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of candidates. You can also give applicants a chance to sell themselves by asking them to tell you what assets they feel they bring to the job.
When discussing personal factors, look for the following types of information about candidates:
Best talent and skills
Where the job fits in with his or her long range goals
By this time, you should have some idea about whether or not this candidate is right for this job. If you are sure it’s not a match, there’s no reason to spend a lot of time giving the applicant information about the job and your company.
Simply conclude the interview cordially.
Giving the applicant information about the job and your company
If you feel positive about an applicant, start selling the job and your company. An effective interview is a two way street.
Now that you have the information you want about the candidate, give the candidate information about this job and company.
Begin this part of the interview by having the candidate tell you what he or she already knows about the job and what he or she expects from it.
Then you can tell more about the job by:
Adding to what the applicant already knows about the job
Correcting any misconceptions
Be sure to cover the following information:
Salary Shift or work hours
During this part of the interview, give the applicant all the information he or she needs to decide if the job is the right one.
Encourage the applicant to ask questions you discuss the job. A candidate who doesn’t get complete information in this part of the interview may be the same hiring “risk” as an unqualified candidate, because people are usually “good employees” only if they are place in jobs which satisfy their needs, us their ability and training, and encourages them to function somewhere near their optimal level.
Give the candidate a balanced and complete picture of the job. Be honest about its rewards and its problems.
If you’re hiring someone into a work unit or department with problems, let them know what they will face. Some people are trouble shooters and thrive in that type of situation.
Others don’t like and probably won’t do well in int. Also, let the candidate know what kind of atmosphere he or se will be working in.
One final question
By this point, you may feel you’ve covered all the necessary interviewing ground. You probably have. But it’s always a good idea to ask one final question.
Ask the applicant if there is anything else that he or she feels you should know. This gives the person the opportunity to cover any information you may have missed. It helps end the interview on a positive note.
Concluding the interview
Before you rush the candidate out the door, there are three things to cover:
Let them know when a decision will be made
When they can expect to hear from you
Confirm where and when they can be reached
Thank them for their time and interest
Taking these steps should allow an interview to flow with ease and provides for little “gray” area.
A candidate should leave the interview with a good understanding of the job and company and you should have a good understanding of whether or not they will make a good fit for the position.
Finally, check out this useful video on recruiting from Google:
The trend in job interviews today is toward longer, deeper interviews, more rounds of them, and many more people involved along the way.
To do so within the limitations of most candidates’ schedules, employers are increasingly bundling these multiple sessions into one super-interview. It’s important to be prepared for tough questions.
These marathon encounters can sometimes last an entire day, during which the candidate can be trotted through as many as six or seven different rounds with various people in the company.
It can be as much a test of endurance as the candidate’s ability to do the job. Here’s how to handle these long sessions and come out on top.
Know what you’re up against
Before you even get to the interview, find out what the agenda for the day is.
You may have in mind a relatively quick hour-long session, and then be surprised to find you have an entire afternoon to endure. And surprises are never good in interviews.
Multiple-round interviews are as much a test of physical endurance as anything. Your body can be beat from hiking office to office, working your brain to the point of overheating, and just simply enduring the stress of high-stakes question sessions.
So do yourself a favor and rest well the night before, eat a great breakfast, and wear comfortable clothes.
Keep yourself fresh by keeping your emotions in good shape. Avoid as much stress as possible during the week of the interview.
Then boost yourself up with affirmations of your strengths, positive music during the drive their, or anything else to keep yourself up – you’ve got a long day ahead and keeping bright is key.
Interviewers with varying degrees of relevance
Through the various stages of a marathon interview, you’ll probably talk to everyone from your potential boss to co-workers that have little or nothing to do with the job.
The key is to treat them all well and give them the same intensity and concentration you would the top manager. For one thing, you can’t always sort out who really matters and who doesn’t. More importantly, the hiring manager is almost certain to later ask all of these people for their opinion of you.
Same story with fresh angles
Over the course of a marathon interview, you’ll probably end up telling the same stories over and over again. But you need to tell them every time with the same pride, enthusiasm, and energy. So practice.
Find different ways of saying your stories. Look for unique angles to adapt them with. Get used to repeating them. Your stories are the gold of your career. Make sure they sparkle appropriately time after time.
Finally, prepare ways to revitalize yourself as the sessions unfold. Keep an energy bar in your suit and chow it down as you take a restroom break. Bring eye drops to keep your eyes bright and sparkly.
Learn quick stretching and self-massage techniques you can use between rounds. Whatever you can do to keep the gleam in your attitude will certainly help your chances to win the day.
In simple terms, it is a contract with the promise of a permanent position at the end of a certain period.
In such an arrangement, a business provides temporary employment to a contractor to complete a certain task and his/her success in said task determines if the business will employ him/her on a long-term basis upon completion of the job at hand.
Advantages of a contract-to-hire
A contract-to-hire arrangement can be extremely beneficial to a business in the following ways:
1) Little training is required
A contract-to-hire tends to be task specific as mentioned above so very little training is required to bring a contractor up to speed with the ins and outs of the job in question.
With a full time employment scenario, however, businesses often offer extensive and thereby expensive training. So the fact that a contractor can hit the ground running at minimal cost is advantageous to not only the company but also the contractor himself/herself.
2) Low Human Resource expenses
Permanent employment comes with a lot of HR requirements e.g. leave management, payroll management, and 401 (K) benefits among other nitty-gritty. Contract-to-hire arrangements meanwhile have few HR requirements which means they consume little resources.
What’s more, in the event that a business decides to terminate the contract for whatever cause, it can do so no questions asked without paying out severances or without risking any legal backlash.
3) Employers get a trial run
Finding the right person to fill a certain role in a business can become an uphill task but contract-to-hires offer an effective trial period to help the employer separate the wheat from the chaff.
The company gets a view of the contractors’ skills and effectiveness and can decide to hire or let them go if they feel they are not a good fit. Whether or not candidates make the cut will depend strictly on what they bring to the table.
4) Contract-to-hire can provide stability
Vital roles in a business can become vast voids that take quite some time to fill in the event that the employee in place leaves.
Finding the right fit can be time and resource consuming but with the convenience of a contract-to-hire employee standing in, other company initiatives can keep up with normal operations even during this searching period when the business is looking for the best pick of the bunch.
Contract-to-hires accelerate initial onboarding and also quells any problems of instability.
As with pretty much everything else, there is another side to the coin of contract-to-hire agreements. Some of its drawbacks include:
1) The process can become frustrating
The business might have to repeat the process over and over again as it is not often the norm that it will land the best candidate at the first go.
As the company kisses more toads than princes, it can start to lose faith in the process and the strategy can become frustrating.
2) Businesses can get two-faced employees
Arguably the most devastating of the drawbacks is that a company is at a risk of hiring employees who end up being unfruitful in the long run.
People will always put their best foot forward during the trial phase but once they get through the door of permanent employment, their entire persona changes drastically and so too does their work input. In a nutshell, it is not the best way to get top-notch personnel.
3) Many good employees are put off by contract-to-hire agreements
Truth be told, not many are interested in working for a company part-time and this is especially true for the talented or skilled employees who often prefer the financial security of a permanent placement.
This is not to say there aren’t any skilled labor with contract-to-hires. That said,how companies have treated contract-to-hire employees in the past will determine the caliber of candidates a business gets. Those with high success rates will attract the better candidates, while those with high turnover rates will not be very appealing.
When is a contract-to-hire agreement ideal for a business?
Whether or not a business should use contract-to-hire agreements depends upon a number of factors. While it might be perfect for some kinds of businesses, in other cases, it can become an ineffective means of procuring labor. At this juncture, we’ll be discussing the former.
1) It is a great strategy for a company with fluctuating labor demands
Those businesses that tend to require varying amounts of labor throughout the year-e.g. agricultural ventures where more hands are required during certain periods- benefit the most from contract-to-hire arrangements.
Instead of employing people on permanent terms only to lay them off when the job is at an end, these companies can hire extra personnel during the most intensive seasons of the year and let them go without having to pay hefty terms that come with permanent contract violations.
2) It is also excellent for small businesses with little resources
As discussed previously, permanent employment often comes with numerous incentives and conditionals. So for a business with a constrained budget that is just finding its feet in the industry, contract-to-hire agreements are the best way to go.
It allows small companies to cut down on human resource efforts among other related costs.
So is a contract-to-hire deal appropriate for your business? Well, that depends on the resources you have at your disposal and the nature of labor requirements in your company.
Simple tasks can be handed out on a temporary basis but more complex jobs require experienced professionals you can hire for the long haul. All in all, weigh the pros and cons of the strategy and you should find the way forward for your company.
If you’re currently in a temp position and want to secure a full-time role, here are the steps you’ll need to take.
How to Impress Your Employer as a Temp
Arrive on time or early at work
Punctuality is a crucial part of getting respect from your boss and will show your managers and co-workers they can trust you. It also helps you to stand out as a great worker. Suddenly hiring you becomes less risky.
Even if your office has a more informal dress code, it is worth taking an extra step to dress well. Even if your boss does not realize it, he/she will consider you more serious if you are dressed well.
Listen to what your boss says
Take notes and give your boss full attention. If you listen well, you can work more independently, and your boss will not think that you need constant direction.
When given a task, do it well the first time. If you have listened well, you will know what is being asked of you and how to do it. If you perform your work efficiently and accurately, you will be ahead of the competition, and your boss will surely notice.
Show a positive attitude
Even when the most tedious tasks are presented to you, accept the work happily. If you keep smiling, your boss will want to work with you, and you will avoid being bored or unhappy happy with your work.
Join office culture
Go out to lunch with your coworkers. Participate in the volunteer efforts of the entire company. Bring new ideas to the table. Become invaluable to the company. Go further.
Learn the trouble spots for the company and improve the way things are done. By presenting your company with new ideas, you will be seen as an asset that your company can not afford to work without.
Help your other workers
By helping with projects, you build relationships with your coworkers, and your boss will want you to stay. You are also likely to learn new things within the company, making you a more valuable and diversified employee.
Be busy most of the time doing something
That can be extraordinarily complicated as a temporary worker because you may always be waiting for a task and may not be on the administrator’s priority list. Take extra time to learn about the company, stay organized, or help a co-worker.
If your company faces an imminent deadline, offer to work overtime. That is an indicator that you are ready to go further to help the company succeed and earn extra money in the meantime.
Always show your interest
Let your boss know that you are willing to devote the additional time to receive training or education to fit the position correctly. If you have shown that you learn quickly, your boss may like this idea, can hire you at a lower price than an experienced professional.
Look for chances
If a job is not open, find a need within your company. If your company likes the work you have been doing, they may be willing to create a job for you. Make sure you do not disturb your boss about it, suggest the idea and then back off. You will already have an advantage over strangers.
Temp to hire salary negotiation
Once you’ve proven yourself as a valuable member of the staff, it’s time to negotiate your full-time role.
Successful negotiation is only possible if you know how to handle unexpected emotions and absurd arguments. It is equally important to understand how to maintain up with the agreement of your company while doing new business.
Effective communication is necessary to manage the relationship with your boss and result in a win-win situation. However, not everyone has the ability or capacity to negotiate effectively, which could be a hindrance to getting ahead.
The salary negotiation must be for the benefit of both the employee and the employer, but it must never be adversarial, and no one must be aggressive.
Salary negotiation tips
When you are considering a job offer, it is essential to know how much your net salary will be. That can easily be verified on the Internet using the free salary calculators.
Learn about your work needs
Before salary negotiation, you must find out the amount of work you will do, and the skills, experience, and qualifications that are important to the employer. Do some research on salaries and be prepared for your negotiations. The negotiation tactics used must be professional, friendly, and data-driven
Let the employer start the talk
For recent graduates, it can sometimes be intimidating, as you lack experience.
Follow the rule of thumb and do not talk about your compensation. Let the employer start the conversation.
In cases your boss asks for salary expectations, the best answer is probably according to industry standards based on position, responsibility, and job challenges.
Never say any number
If the employer insists on the number, cite a salary range based on the research done instead of quoting the exact number. Here your research will help you, as you can mention a range while considering your experience and skills.
Once you have received an offer, do not rush things. If you have doubts about the salary offered, a simple ‘I need to think about it’ can help you work on the numbers.
While it is ambitious, be realistic about what you request and always support your request with information about the company, the position, and the responsibilities of the function.
When evaluating a salary offer, do not just look at the basic salary: be sure to consider the package as a whole. If there is a bonus structure implemented, ask what percentage of bonus has been achieved in the past and negotiate a higher rate based on key work.
With over 8 million occupants, New York City is by far the largest city in America. Serving this massive population is a slew of businesses offering countless employment opportunities for finance professionals. As a result, New York City is one of the best places to find an accounting job, and in this accounting career guide, we’ll show you how to snag that dream job.
A large number of major corporations make the city their home, including major players in the finance, media, and entertainment worlds. There are an abundance of opportunities for professionals at all levels and specialties, including bookkeeping, accounts payable, and staff accountant roles.
Who’s Hiring For Accounting?
It’s a city that never sleeps, and that saying also applies to the numerous businesses that call New York City home. Many of these businesses require large accounting staffs that can work 365 days of the year to keep up with all the commercial activity.
Furthermore, various well-off people who dwell in NYC additionally require master bookkeeping firms to deal with their accounts.
While the real firms are situated in Manhattan, there are also many firms hiring in the nearby boroughs. Brooklyn’s quickly developing fame has prompted an expansion in openings for work in the range, so don’t avoid this district from your pursuit of employment.
What’s the Accounting Salary in the Big Apple?
The typical cost for basic items in NYC is very high, so it really is great that accounting occupations pay handsomely in the city. Expect a normal pay of about $80,000 for someone experienced. This is well over the national average salary for the field, which is around $65,000. Senior accountants and managers can command over $100,000 per year.
Those with aptitude in a specific zone of bookkeeping, for example, reviewing or universal assessment, could get paid more by functioning as an expert to organizations or bookkeeping firms.
How to Apply for Accounting Jobs in NYC?
It is actually very simple to apply for accounting jobs. You just need to find open positions on a job board like Indeed or LinkedIn. Then send the hiring companies your resume letter online, containing all your past work and education experiences as well as an explanation of why you are qualified for the job. Then presto! You are hired.
If only it were that easy! New York is filled with many qualified candidates so expect lots of competition for those accounting jobs. Read up here on how to build up and enhance your credentials. It really does help if you can network via LinkedIn.
Try networking with past colleagues, or reaching out to old college buddies. Your natural market is the best way to get an “in’ into an organization.
Finally, one of the best ways is to use Vested. We match talented finance and accounting professionals with the fastest growing startups. It’s very simple. Just click the button “Sign Up” and link to your LinkedIn profile.
You’ll need to fill out a few small details about yourself, like your goals, needs and expectations. List your accomplishments and past work history and then we do the rest. Using our connection at startups, we’ll match the right role for your skills and career goals.
Immediate Openings in Accounting
According to our database of hiring companies, the top two positions that have openings are Accounts Payable Clerk and Staff Accountant.
The duties related to the job of an Accounts Payable specialist vary from organization to organization. You will be a vital member of the team that has the task of maintaining accounting operations for a particular department in the organization. To achieve success as an Accounts Payable Clerk, it’s key to understand job expectations and what it takes to exceed them.
Here is a basic job description for this accounting role:
Financial analysis and office administration
Checking and Verifying receipts and monies owed to vendors
Create invoices and vouchers
Filing, typing and posting ledgers
Make sure the debits and credits tie out
Variable costs are assigned to right cost centers and applied to the appropriate legal entities
Maintain accurate records of employee pay
Manages the record keeping and maintenance of invoices, receipts and other vendor documents
Balance records with respect to accounts receivables and payables
Manage the reimbursement and tracking process for travel and entertainment expenses
Be the “go-to person” for updating bank records and daily cash positions.
Accounts Payable Clerk Salary
According toGlassdoor, the national average for an AP Clerk is $31,587. In New York City, the salary for accounts payable clerk jobs is closer to $40,000. This is based on various openings from startups that have signed up atVested’s Employer Services.
Moreover, startups are lean on traditional benefits like matching 401K. However, they make it up in year-round casual dress codes, foosball tables, beer in the fridge, and high visibility. Startups are lean in general so it’s easier to rise up the ranks from an Accounts Payable Clerk to a Staff Accountant.
If the startup gets big enough or even goes public in 5-7 years, someone who started out as an Accounts Payable Clerk could easily be a candidate for a Controller job. This is the beauty of working for a startup: achieve success early and you will be recognized.
How to Achieve Success as an AP Specialist
We’ve done a recent survey of our startup clients, and we asked them what it takes for an Accounts Payable Clerk to succeed in this unique world.
Here are the highlights from that survey:
Constantly improve accounting skills and get more exposure in the accounting world
Review own work during month end to free up time for the senior accountant and/or the accounting manager to do more analysis
Make sure all accruals are defect free and hitting the right accounts so that there is no clean-up work to be done after
Make sure the accounting schedules tie out and see if there are ways they can be improved
Ensure the accounting team has an efficient and accurate Cash Process
Maintain constant and open dialogue with banks, and/or third-parties who specialize in cash processes (i.e.Stripe)
Analyze historic daily balances in Stripe to ensure we are forecasting correct
Perform a daily rec for stripe so that we have daily balances moving forward
Implement an AP automation software to drive efficiency and accuracy
Setup and manage the AP automation software that makes obtaining invoice approvals easier
Implement a process where invoice would be uploaded automatically into Netsuite
Improve AP aging process and work with department heads and the C-level executives to get pre-approval on fixed recurring monthly invoices. (Ex. Office supplies, Internet, travel & entertainment, office snacks, rent and utilities)
Constantly Improve finance skills and get more exposure to modeling
Work 1 on 1 with senior accountants and/or accounting manager to improve modeling skills
Take on small ad hoc projects to figure out what skills need to be improved
Ensure which important metrics are needed for forecasting
Partner up to ensure we have a smooth budget process.
Most of these things are typical expectations for an Accounts Payable Clerk. The main difference between working for a large corporation and a startup is the amount of work, and the ability to prioritize and knock out tasks.
According to the startups we’ve surveyed, this ability to multi-task and manage uncertainty is the number one skill to achieve job success as an Accounts Payable Clerk.
Staff Accountant Role
Although the staff accountant is one level higher than the Accounts Payable clerk, the job requirements are very similar. Most startups, or any business looking to hire a staff accountant, often require the following things:
The ability to analyze information from the general ledger
Prepare internal and external financial statement for the organization
Prepare payments for accrued expenses, and manage disbursements
Assist the Accounts Payable Clerk in reconciling accounts
Answer questions related to finance and accounting by analyzing information and conducting research
Solid understanding of math to calculate depreciation and cash flow impact of accruals
Comfortable with Excel modelling to help the Finance team with budgeting and forecasting exercises.
Skill and Educational Requirements for a Staff Accountant
This is where the Staff Accountant is slightly different from an Accounts Payable Clerk. Most businesses prefer their Staff Accountants to have a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes four years to complete. While in university, the Staff Accountant should have taken all the accounting courses, business courses, management courses, information technology courses, and ethics courses.
The curriculum might also include courses regarding macroeconomics, business communications, computer applications, statistics, and accounting information systems (which is one of the most important for the future according).
Furthermore, hiring firms require their Staff Accountants to have 2-3 years of prior accounting experience, preferably with one of the Big Four accounting firms (i.e. KPMG, E&Y). Finally, a Staff Accountant would need a CPA to work full time in a finance team at any business, including a startup.
The experience and educational requirements are different for Clerks because these roles require an Associate’s degree. It is not uncommon for Accounts Payable Clerks to work full-time and study after hours to acquire the necessary credits to sit for the CPA exam. Passing the CPA Exam is necessary if an Accounts Payable Clerk wants to get promoted to a Staff Accountant role.
Finally, Staff Accountants are expected to fulfill theCPE requirements to maintain their CPA license. The requirements are different from state to state. For example in New York, a CPA would need to do the following to maintain their license:
Complete a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education in any of the recognized courses
Complete a minimum of 24 hours in a concentrated subject area. Approved topics include but not limited to accounting, auditing, taxation, advisory services and specialized knowledge regarding accounting in a specific industry (i.e. real estate, patent)
If an organization’s accounting department is big enough, then it could provide courses to help it’s in-house CPAs complete these requirements. However, in the case of most startups, they don’t have sufficient cash to pay for the continuing education of their staff. Hence, Staff Accountants need to fulfill the CPE requirements on their own.
Achieving Success as a Staff Accountant in a Startup
We’ve surveyed our clients about how a Staff Accountant can work effectively in their unique work environment. Here are the highlights of the survey:
Staff Accountants are expected to perform a detailed review of the financial statements and monthly variances; create value through deep analytical knowledge on accounting processes; and identify any errors and adjustments that need to be made
Perform a detailed review of monthly variances to ensure no accruals/reversals/bills are missed during close
Ensure accounting processes comply with GAAP
Analyze expenses by department on a vendor level
Meet with department heads to review monthly expenses to ensure all accruals, reversals and bills have been recorded
Create a monthly variance analysis in each schedule to understand expenses in detail
Set-up, own and drive an efficient process for balance sheet accounts to ensure accuracy in reporting
Analyze and review balance sheet accounts by journal entry since inception to identify any process errors and adjustments
Lead the communication to develop a new process for recording these accounts
Develop a more analytical knowledge about these accounts to provide deep insights on how to create an efficient process for accurate reporting
Determine the amount that is reasonable to write-off based on the analysis that is performed
Improving the Budget Versus Actuals (BVA) process
Identify fail points and opportunities on processes before business owners do
Drive process to ensure business leaders are prepared in the monthly meetings by reviewing and confirming the expenses prior to closing the books
Perform detailed analysis and having explanations on large or inconsistent variances
Create an environment of “no surprises.”
Finally, the HR departments at most startups emphasized that “emotional intelligence” or EQ is more important than technical skills. Startups are a fast paced environment, and the Staff Accountant would need to be comfortable working independently.
Startups don’t have a large finance or accounting department, and the staff do not sit behind walled off cubicles.
It’s usually an open office setting with high visibility. So a Staff Accountant at a startup should be comfortable with all types of people (from an engineer requesting T&E reimbursement to the CEO asking about daily cash positions) to come to his or her desk.
The Staff Accountant role involves handling these ad-hoc requests efficiently and effectively, while still leaving sufficient time to complete his or her other regular tasks.
Some of the roles that firms are looking to fill:
Senior Financial Analyst
Director of Accounting
Vice President of Accounting
Chief Financial Officer (many startups prefer Big 5 credentials)
How to Get that Accounting Role
As we discussed in this article, figures quite often add power and believability to what you highlight on your resume, particularly when you are applying for accounting work.
Lots of employers like to see impressive numbers on your resume. Working on the budget for the lightbulb division in General Electric is not as impressive as managing a $50 million budget at a tire factory.
Yes, GE has the brand name, but stating your role doesn’t provide context. However, if you show on your resume, that you managed a $50 million capital budget for a company that has $75 million of gross revenues – then it’s a powerful story. It shows that you were important enough in the organization to manage a budget that is 2/3 of their entire annual gross revenues.
Be Prepared to Explain Your Credentials
Yes, there’s a limit to this. Something may look incredible on a resume, however consider how it will sound when somebody gets some information about it in the meeting. For instance saying that you “expanded organization benefits by 200%” opens yourself up to questions including “what particularly did you do to build benefits?”
On the off chance that you don’t have a nitty gritty system and operational guide for how you accomplished this, your interviewer will stay extremely suspicious of your prospects.
The Mental Game
Regardless of how great your pursuit of employment methodology, there’s continually going to be disappointment and dismissal. It’s inescapable. In any pursuit of employment, you can’t get to that “Yes, you’re hired” without loads of “No, we’re not interested” reactions.
Thus, it’s urgent that you get practical about the path towards landing a position and have the correct attitude to deal with setbacks. Without the capacity to drive forward, you won’t get very far. They say it’s a dog eat dog world in New York, and it’s especially true when it comes to finding the very best accounting jobs in the mecca of finance.
As we discuss here, it’s important to have a winning and sturdy mindset to deal with the ups and downs of finding that dream accounting role:
#1: Relish the Challenge of Finding the Right Accounting Job
The normal time it takes to find another employment is a month and a half. There’s a great deal to do when attempting to find your next employment opportunity, from researching the role and company to interviewing. Finally, there’s the soul searching part. This is probably the most important. We spend a lot of time at work so we must constantly evaluate why we’re doing this and why we should care.
#2: The Recruiting Game is just Statistics
It’s anything but difficult to romanticize one specific opening for work as “the one.” This happens regularly when you have one process going and all your eggs are in one basket. Perhaps, you’ve had an eye for that dream internal auditor role at a hot startup, and you’re focused only on that one role.
You open yourself up to major disappointment if it doesn’t pan out. It’s much better to spread yourself wide. Apply to various positions. Meet lots of people. It’s not rare that you interview for a Staff Accounting role and they give you a more managerial role because your specialty is needed in the organization.
#3 Power Through Tough Times and Keep Learning
You’ll likely go through various cycles of applying and not getting a response. Then when you finally get a response, the interview doesn’t go well. It’s a frustrating process that you have to compete with so many qualified accounting professionals in NYC, but it’s the recruiting game in the big city. Instead of being frustrated, keep your head up, keep networking and keep working on your resume and interviewing skills.
#4: Stay Positive!
Whenever you advance through the interview process, ensure that you record these wins in a diary that archives your triumphs and lessons learned as you experience this trip. It will come in handy when you feel stale or when you experience the hardships of finding that dream accounting job.
Attempt to recall that enormous victories are just the result of numerous littler triumphs included!
Interviewing for An Accounting Position
Here we have a more extensive review of how to prepare for your interviews:
What are your qualities?
What are your shortcomings?
Why are you intrigued by working for us?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
What would you be able to offer us that another person can’t?
What are three things your previous supervisor might want you to enhance?
Educate me regarding an achievement you are most pleased with.
Enlighten me regarding a period you committed an error.
What is the ideal job for you?
What might you fulfill in the initial 30/60/90 days at work?
So be ready to answer any of these basic inquiries questions. Be honest and succinct but don’t sound monotone. Memorize a general script that answers each and every question, but don’t just regurgitate what you memorized.
Learn to vary your tone and overall emotion so it looks and feels natural. The meeting ought to be a discussion that ideally finishes up with you being offered the occupation you had always wanted.
Finally, when it comes to interviews practice, practice, practice.
If you are 2-3 years out of college or from your MBA school, it could be possible to set up mock interviews with the Career Center at your alma mater. This is often free for alumni so why not take advantage?
In today’s world, interviews can be done via Google Hangouts, via person or by phone. You have to be comfortable to showcase yourself and your skills in all mediums of communication.
If you find yourself stumbling in a video interview, then use the career center of your old university. Ask someone there to interview you via Google hangouts. If it’s in person interview that requires improvement, why not visit your old campus?
Another easy way to practice interviewing is with friends and family. It’s a comfortable way to practice answering questions. One caveat – friends and family are the worst critics. They will highlight the strengths but tend to overlook your weaknesses. Just keep this in mind when using friends and family to interview.
Then there’s scheduling informational interviews through your LinkedIn network. This does two things. First, you get to practice your interview skills with someone in your industry and get honest feedback. Second, you can strengthen your relationships with existing business contacts by reaching out to them.
If you can schedule interviews or meetings with people outside your network, then that’s even better. This helps you build your network, and perhaps, that person can pass on your resume to his or her company’s human resources department.
Courtesy Still Counts
Finally, we get to the often asked question of do I need to follow-up after an interview. It never hurts to thank your interviewers for their time. Usually, this is best done right after the interview. A short email of two to three sentences should suffice and make sure to use their business email.
As for further follow-ups, it’s good to check up a week from your interview, unless they explicitly tell you to wait for a specific time period. Again, a short polite email should suffice, and if it’s two weeks, then I’d pick up the phone and call.
You’ve Got the Accounting Job
First, congratulations once you land that dream accounting role. Anyone that has gone through a job search – any job search – in New York City can tell you how hard the process can be.
Make sure to submit your two weeks’ notice, and share your LinkedIn contacts with close colleagues at your soon-to-be employer. Although you are going to another position, it’s always good to stay in good graces with your old employer. You never know when you might be on the hunt again for another accounting job in New York City.
One of the most important decisions and investments you will make as a business owner is the hiring of new staff. Many factors contribute to who you add to your finance team and what value they bring to your company.
We cannot cover all of these varied points in a single blog post, but instead will examine the question of whether you should hire a temp or full time employee?
To help you answer this question, you need to look at the pros and cons of each type of employee.
As you look at the different options, you also need to be aware of the impact on your bottom line. What type of worker you hire makes a difference.
Here are some things to consider for each category of worker:
The advantage of hiring full-time employees
Full-time employees often feel pride in their position in your business. They get satisfaction out of being part of a team and working somewhere they feel comfortable and have job security.
The hourly wage for an employee is much less than that of the temp workers, assuming both workers work a standard 50-60 hour work week.
You realize that you generally have workers that you trust and can always depend on when you need them. You can assign errands for all time which gives you an opportunity to carry out the jobs that are most important to you.
You do not have to continually train new staff on how you like things done continually.
Disadvantages to hiring full-time employees
Full-time employees will always expect benefits like holiday pay and maternity leave.
They must always be paid a salary, regardless of whether your business is having a low period.
You are in charge of your workers’ training and professional licensing requirements.
Temp jobs often arise if businesses need to cover for the long-term absence of employees, due to issues such as sickness or maternity leave. Short-term projects or busy periods, such as the end of the financial year, may create temp job opportunities as well.
Using a temp agency allows a company to respond quickly to peaks in demand, without having to go through a lengthy and time-consuming recruitment process.
Pros of hiring temp worker
Lower labor costs. Hiring a full-time employee involves placing advertisements, carrying out background checks, training, and overtime costs. Hiring a temp worker eliminates the majority of these costs.
Hiring even a single employee involves a lot of time and energy. But while hiring a temporary employee, the duty is usually shifted to a team of career professionals and recruiters.
Full-time employees have to be provided benefits and perks. This entails an extra cost to the employer. Temporary workers, in most cases, are supplied by workforce agencies hence reduce benefits claims.
Avoid unemployment claims. This can be avoided by recruiting temporary workers, whose claims are limited only for the duration of employment.
If you hire a temp worker who is is not a good match, you don’t hire the worker again. You are not making a long-term commitment.
You can hire a worker for a particular task at hand by contracting someone with specialized knowledge.
Temporary workers are usually used on a “try before you buy” basis, which may offer the following benefits:
You get high flexibility when you are unsure about filling your position with a full-time employee – a reality that is particularly useful in uncertain economic situations.
You get the opportunity to assess a person from a specialized viewpoint for a prolong period. You likewise get the chance to evaluate social fit and character attributes, and how well the prospective employee’s values fit into your organization.
Disadvantages of hiring temp workers
You may lack the same amount of control as you would with the full-time employee. They will regularly run their business their way.
They usually do not have the same sense of company loyalty as a full-time employee and most of the time do not feel as they are a part of the business staff.
Wages for temporary workers are usually 15-20% more than that of regular employees. This is because the staffing agency includes its fees into the worker’s salary.
Permanent employees usually see temporary workers as nothing more than temps and are threatened by their presence. Temp workers are unlikely to attract much respect from the rest of the team.
So which option is best for you?In general, if you need a stop gap solution, you’re best option is to get a temporary person. It’s not a long term commitment and buys you time to look for a permanent solution.
However, a common mistake for most startups is making a temporary person a “full-time” solution, especially in the case of building their finance and accounting teams. Startups focus mainly on building out their product and engineering teams and neglect the importance of a strong core of finance and accounting professionals.
They then become shocked when they find it difficult to create financial dashboards and presentations that will impress the VC crowd.
If you are serious business and want to raise money in the future, the best option is to find a finance professional or a full-time accountant. Ideally, you would have both. They grow your business and understand how to create the right dashboards and presentations that will impress. Most hired guns will come in, do what’s needed and get out. That’s not an ideal way to lay the groundwork for your financial and accounting processes.
If you’re business has gotten some traction and you’re ready to seek VC money in less than a year, you should definitely be looking for a full-time finance and accounting professional.
Sign up at Vested today to get started in the process of securing your business’ financial future.