Market Insights

The Importance of an Onboarding Plan For Your New Accounting Hires – 4 Step Process

Having an onboarding plan is crucial to your employer brand
Having an onboarding plan is crucial to your employer brand

So, you spent the time. you’ve went through so many applicants, you’ve done so many interviews. Maybe this took weeks, or even months, you filtered through all these people, you did all these interviews, and finally you’ve got that star player hired.

The next phase is crucial to ensure that your star accountant or financial professional fits into your organisation and team. The onboarding phase is where many companies can lose that star accounting and finance professional. The last thing you want is to start to whole process over again.

Its so easy for the hiring company to just let the new hire off to “do their thing” because usually by the time you’ve hired for this person, you needed them to start working weeks ago. With the demand for accounting and finance talent its so easy to do this because time is at a premium.

In many cases accounting and financial firms don’t have time to hire, write up job specs, filter through applications and sit through interviews and then try make a decision that best fits their organisation. Nor do senior finance and accounting personal have time to train and induct new hires to the company.

However here at Martina Quinn Finance Recruitment we would highly recommend you take the time to bed in your new star accounting and finance hire to retain your new star and current staff. In this post we show you a system that works.

We are in a phase where its currently a candidate driven market and competition for finance professionals and accountants, such as management accountants and treasury accountants are hard fought for.

According to Chantal Haynes-Curley of CPA Irelandwe witnessed a cataclysmic 49% decline in student registrations across all professional accountancy bodies, a figure attributed to the 2008 economic recession and lack of training opportunities for accountancy students.”

This is part of the reason for the skills gap in the accountancy and finance profession and why we are seeing salary inflation of skilled accounting and finance roles. A tactic rolled out by many employers to try attract and retain their staff.

To ensure your new hire feels apart of the company and the team around them getting the onboarding process right is a key strategy for improving your employer brand and recruiting the best accounting and finance talent on the market.

The onboarding process is your opportunity to make another first impression after the interview
The onboarding process is your opportunity to make another first impression after the interview

The onboarding process is your opportunity to make another first impression after the interview and a chance to set the foundations for the rest of your new star hire’s experience with your company. Once the onboarding phase is completed your new accounting and finance talent should have an in depth understanding of the organization’s culture and values.

If your firm is new to onboarding or if you’re looking to improve the HR process around the onboarding process, then understanding the below steps which we have provided can help your organisation.

A clear onboarding process will help you plan a clear strategy to engage candidates, improve new hire retention, and also help current employees adapt to your organizational practices.

The Onboarding Process.

Phase 1: Pre-Onboarding

The onboarding process can be broken down into four phases. The first phase is pre-on-boarding and should begin as soon as a verbal agreement of a job offer is accepted. Getting your onboarding preparation right is crucial as at this time as your candidates are most uncertain of what lies ahead.

Small miscommunications or a misunderstanding can make candidates doubt their decision to move into the accounting or finance role and join the company. However, get this right early on in the onboarding stage and your candidates will start to feel excited about joining your company and contributing to the team.

Regular communication about any updates that are going on in within the firm will help the new accounting and finance hire left feeling energised about starting the accounting job. During pre-onboarding the help, the new hire complete all the necessary paperwork such as contracts and payroll details.

Make sure to give the new starter time to finish up with their previous employer and finish exit tasks. If they are relocating to take up the new role check in with them to see if they need help finding accommodation.

A good idea is to send some content around the company in terms of the culture of the organisation what the building looks like inside and out and what their first day will look like.

Phase 2: Welcoming phase

The next phase is to welcome your new starter to the organisation and team. Providing an orientation will help new hires adapt to their new environment. Providing the new hire with a clear picture of the company will allow them to gain an understanding of how the company’s teams operate on an everyday basis.

The majority of new hires will be eager to prove themselves and will want to get started as soon as possible, for this reason it is recommended that the welcoming phase is kept to no longer than a week.

Their first day should be kept as simple as possible. Their orientation phase will help them gain an insight into the company’s culture and show them how work practices are aligned with the culture of the firm.  Housekeeping items such as annual leave, attendance and HR policies should be discussed at this stage.

The orientation phase is an opportunity to show them eateries, parking spots, printing equipment and medical facilities etc. Introduction to their new work colleagues and other stake holders is part of the induction phase.

The welcoming phase incorporates the small mundane things that could get overlooked but it’s an important step to ensure your new hire settles in well.

Phase 3: Role Specific Training

This phase is one of the most important phases of onboarding and can be linked back to how successful your new hires will be in their accounting and finance jobs. Your new hires may not know what it takes to thrive without formal training.

Dissatisfaction and frustration can develop can be a direct result of no training or poor training which in turn can lead to high turnover rates. According to Lorman

  • Nearly 59% of employees claim they had no workplace training and that most of their skills were self-taught.
  • 74% of workers are willing to learn new skills or re-train in order to remain employable.
  • 87% of millennials believe learning and development in the workplace is important.

However, if a well drafted training plan is in place will help new starters feel welcome and shows that the company cares about their progress and development. Employees should not feel overwhelmed by the training in place.

Everybody learns differently and at different paces, provide different types of learning techniques such as blended learning and self-paced learning. All learning materials should be stored in readily available access point such as an intranet or other cloud storage solution.

Phase 4: Transition to their new role.

Your new hire is ready to leave the nest and get stuck into their new accounting and finance job. The last phase is designed to set your new hires for success by setting out clear expectations for their new team members.

Set SMART goals for new starters which will help them visualise what success looks like. After six weeks a performance review is recommended so you can recognise their efforts while also providing feedback to help improve performance.

Onboarding ensures your new accounting and finance star hire fits your team. The process helps your new team member understand the company’s values, culture, and work. It improves employee retention and also your employer brand.

Onboarding ensures your new accounting and finance star hire fits your team
Onboarding ensures your new accounting and finance star hire fits your team

Our Solutions

Martina Quinn Finance Recruitment specialises in the placement of qualified accountants up to executive level nationwide, with over 18 year’s experience building excellent finance teams. Reach out to the team here in Martina Quinn Finance Recruitment for the best advice and support in building your finance teams contact us today.


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