Walk Away from Problems 


Now that you’ve determined what criteria makes an employee right for your company, you’ll have a much easier time trying to find a five-star employee. We now know the qualities that make moms a great fit for small businesses, and we’ve talked about the skills and aptitudes required for the position you have available. Using all this information, you’ve created a list of in-depth interview questions to help you find the right person.

Now that you have all of these pieces, it’s time to be deliberate about your hiring process and ensure that you and your candidates get to know each other. In this way, you increase your chances of achieving your goal: finding a five-star employee.

Setting Your Standards

This is how we work through the process for my firm, bookskeep. Candidates come to us through the career page on our website or one of our job postings. We offer an in-depth explanation of our company culture and expectations, including videos where I talk about values and what working on our team looks like. A few of our team members also talk about their work experience with us. If the candidate wants to continue with the process, they fill out an application.

After we receive their application, the candidate is sent a personality test. The benchmarks used for this test have been determined by the results of our existing team members. We know that it’s more likely we’ll find a better fit if we can find someone with close personality types. If the candidate makes a 70% or higher, they’re invited to take a variety of skills tests we use to evaluate accounting skills and terminology, excel, outlook, and speed of data entry. Their performance is evaluated and they’re set up for the first interview if they do well.

The First Interview

Our first interview is a short 30 minutes. This is where we try to get a better understanding of progression from past jobs and have an idea of why they’ve changed jobs in the past. We are also looking for patterns in their job changes and the way they talk about their previous positions. How they do in this interview determines whether or not they move forward to our next step.

In the next step, we ask the candidate to show us some of their work products. They’re asked to review some financial statements and write an email to the client explaining the performance of the client’s business. We also ask for a resume for five years from now. Their presentation in this step is important.

The Final Cut

We next do a second interview. This is where we talk about their qualities, skills, and attributes. They are given assignments and we watch as they work onscreen during the call. Yes, we are spending a lot of time with these candidates, but this is where we get to know them and find potential reasons to not continue on.

If this step goes well, we invite the candidate back to be interviewed by our leadership team. The team asks more questions about attributes, skills, and qualities, and we encourage our candidates to ask us questions as well. After every interview is complete, each leadership team member then scores every candidate, and the top candidate is offered the job, contingent on:

Passing a background check, credit check, and drug test

Signing a Nondisclosure and Noncompete agreement

And, participating in a paid shadow day with one of our bookkeepers

While this last requirement may sound funny, we want them to understand how we operate. We still consider it a success if a candidate walks away at the end of a shadow day because they don’t enjoy our team environment. It’s better that we find out before that person is hired on and on payroll. Of course, the more successful outcome is that the candidate accepts the position and shows up to train on their start date. Being a good fit, and our great onboarding and training program, means the employee will shortly be pulling their weight.

As you can tell, this is definitely a process! We make sure to cast a wide net at the start because we are weeding candidates out in every step. We ensure our time with candidates is well spent using well thought-out and open-ended questions to provide opportunities to understand the way they will present themselves and show their skills. We also want to make them feel comfortable so that we can see who they really are, not just their persona, which helps us be sure we have found the right person!

About the author 

Cyndi Thomason

Cyndi is a mom and author of Profit First for Ecommerce Sellers and Motherhood, Apple Pie, and all that Happy Horseshit. She is also a speaker and thought leader in areas of ecommerce accounting and Mom Entrepreneurship. Cyndi is the founder of bookskeep which provides accounting and Profit First advisory services to hundreds of ecommerce businesses around the world. When not helping business owners or her team, Cyndi can be found in her garden.

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