Introduction and Purpose of the Paper
The topic of this term paper is developing a selection procedure in order to find the most proper employee for the specific job position. The selection can be successful only if the job requirements match to the qualification and skills of the candidate. The right choice of the employee can save money and time for the employer. So, the established procedures of selection are very important and necessary.
The purpose of this term paper is to distinguish the main job requirements for the particular position and to select the most appropriate employee. The selection process consists of several stages, which will be described in this paper. Every stage is important but not obligatory. Employer can choose what steps to include into recruiting process.
Organization that Is Seeking for an Employee
The company, which is currently seeking for the accountant, is called “Best Network Solutions”. It is limited liability company that works in telecommunication sector. “BTS” LLC is the international company with ten independent branches all over the world. The main activity of the organization is sites building for mobile operators. The size of the company is measured by its branches and revenue. The revenue is approximately $500 000 per month, but the net profit varies from $20 000 to $40 000 per month. The staff is 100 people including engineers and erectors. The company was registered in 2006, and since then the staff is increasing from year to year.
Main Strengths and Weaknesses of the Organization.
In 2010 the market research was conducted. According to the conclusions of this research, the SWOT analysis was made. SWOT analysis is a kind of strategic planning that shows main strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threads of the company. Strengths are the company’s main advantages. Weaknesses are limitations or omissions of the company that put it into disadvantage position in comparison with others. Opportunities are external possibilities to improve productivity and increase profits. Threads are external obstacles that can harm the business generally or some project in particular. Main strengths of the company are:
- Highly qualified engineers and erectors who serve base stations 24 hours a day.
- Usage of the best telecommunication equipment.
- The provision of warranty service.
Main weaknesses of the company are:
- Incompetence of top managers.
- Scarcity of knowledge of fiscal accounting.
- Limited variety of services that can perform the company.
Opportunities of the company are possibility to work with any national mobile operator and possibility to include new services into main activity. Main thread is lack of security guards to protect already built sites from vandalism that causes big losses for the company.
Results of the Job Analysis
According to the SWOT analysis, main weaknesses are inability of managers to manage the company with maximum efficiency and lack of knowledge of fiscal accounting from the finance department. That is why the company is seeking for the highly qualified accountant.
Structure of Financial Department
Financial department now consist of one financial analyst, finance director and deputy finance director. The financial department of any company has a wide range of responsibilities—from monetary aspects of the company till submitting reports to the Internal Revenue Service. That is why it is so important to find a highly qualified and skilled accountant. The financial department of “BNS” LLC is the only one responsible for the profitability of the company. Initially, deputy finance director was responsible for submitting of all accounting reports to the tax authorities, but the company growth and one employee cannot handle anymore this responsibility. Moreover, the work of finance department is closely related to such company’s divisions as marketing department and sales department and it is very important that each of those departments stay under the control of finance department. Only in collaboration of all departments the company can prosper.
Primary Tasks of an Accountant
According to the above, company needs a highly qualified accountant. Accountant is the third significant employee in organization (after general manager and finance director) who keeps track of a company’s money. Accountant is responsible not only for financial accounting within the company but also for tax accounting that is controlled by government tax authorities. The responsibilities of an accountant vary depending from the size of the organization. In a company like “BNS” LLC the primary tasks of the accountant must include not only book keeping, reporting and auditing but also planning of tax minimization and forecasting the cash flow for the next year. These job specifications are the main in selection procedure. Only a professional with relevant job experience can meet the job standards and suit to the current position. Company is looking for the one, who is extremely attentive and punctilious in performing his obligations. The candidate should develop his or her professional skills and attend refresher courses. According to the job specifications, company is seeking for an accountant, whose primary tasks will be following: (a) submission of reports to tax authorities; (b) budgeting; (c) profit and loss planning; (d) salary management; (e) payment of invoices (Flamholtz, 1983, pp. 153-169).
Submission of reports to tax authorities is the primary task of the accountant. Tax information reporting is the obligatory for the organizations. These reports must be correct and precise; otherwise it can cause big problems and huge penalties for the organization from the fiscal organs. Next responsibility of the accountant is budgeting. Budgeting is the planned distribution of available funds. The accountant may be responsible for preparing budgets for the company’s income and expenditures, although, finance director will approve it. Profit and loss planning as a part of budgeting process is to be one more significant part of accountant’s obligations. It includes decision of what invoices to be paid and how much money will receive company for the works performed. Salary management includes several responsibilities: (a) filling of paychecks correctly and delivering them to employees on time; (b) salary calculation; (c) hires and terminations updating in the payroll system. The last task of the accountant is payment of invoices approved by finance director. This obligation includes not only payment of invoices but also relevant posting in the ledger book.
The candidate must possess necessary skills and knowledge for this position such as perfect knowledge of accounting principles and theories, experience in preparation of financial reports, bookkeeping, knowledge of necessary computer programs, analytical thinking skills.
The accountant will function as a lead or senior worker. The employee will be responsible for supervision of the work of other professionals and assignment of tasks to them. Also, into his or her duties will be included resolving work problems and reporting about them to general manager, coordinating activities and establishing priorities in day-to-day operation of the company.
Skills and Knowledge Necessary for an Accountant
Company is seeking for a professional who will meet the necessary requirements such as:
- Five years of professional experience on the same position.
- College degree from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA).
- Excellent knowledge of financial reporting, accounting principles and practices.
- Excellent knowledge of accounting software.
The first two requirements (at least five years of experience and CPA) are obligatory. Five years of working experience on the same position must include the same range of responsibilities. One more compulsory condition of the organization is that accountant must pass the exams for the Certified Public Accountants. Certified Public Accountant is the most highly skilled professional. A CPA must take additional educational courses to remain certified and licensed. Certified accountant will always be in know of changes in tax legislation. Certified Public Accountant possesses all the necessary knowledge to perform the general duties as well as tax planning. Correct tax planning gives the company forecast about the cash flow. Company is seeking for the one who can be a business consultant in tax planning. Accountant will be responsible for publishing correct financial information of the company. It is very important that investors could see the precise financial information that will reflect the real situation in the organization. Well-formed financial report is the guarantee that the company will not have problems with fiscal authorities in the present time or in the future.
Moreover, the organization is seeking for the professional who will be able to prepare the financial reports for the managers. Such kinds of reports or statements are called administrative and they are preparing on request of managers. They include information about profit and losses, cash flow and works performed.
A professional accountant should possess all the necessary skills and knowledge not only to save money for the company where it is possible, but also to add value to the organization.
According to the above, “BNS” LLC needs a professional who will deal will wide range of responsibilities. Company established three months of probation period during which the accountant will show his or her qualification and skills. The main task of the company is to select the most proper employee on the current position. Now, company aims to create a pool of candidates who best met the job standards. It allows starting selection procedures that will disqualify the ones who do not suit to the requirements. The candidates have to show the excellent knowledge of accounting principles and theory as well as relevant accounting software.
A qualified accountant can help not only with tax returns, but also with tax planning, cash flow and business planning. An experience in tax audit is a big advantage for the accountant. Usually, Certified Public Accountants are prepared for the tax audits and can handle it. For the company as “BNS” LLC this skill is significant.
Steps of the Selection Procedure
All potential candidates for the position of accountant are tested. Test is the part of the recruitment process that consists of two parts: recruitment and selection. Recruitment and selection must be differentiated even they are two phases of the same employment process. Recruitment makes a pool of candidates; it is a positive process, though selection is a negative process which aims to reject the ones who are inappropriate for this position. Selection is the process of choosing the best candidates with the deepest knowledge, best skills and abilities. The employee selection process includes preliminary interview, application blanks, written tests, employment interview and an appointment letter (Vinchur, Erich, & Schippmann, 2007, pp. 215-226).
Preliminary Interview or Screening Interview
Preliminary interview is used to filter those applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements. There are three methods of screening interviews: (a) computer screening interview; (b) phone screening interview; (c) face-to-face screening interview (Caruth, & Handlogten, 1997, p. 140). “BNS” LLC usually uses phone screening interview that helps to save time of the recruiter. The candidates are given brief information about the organization, structure and his main responsibilities that shows whether the candidate is ready for this job position. Firstly, the interview fills the form which contains name of the applicant, date of interview and position title. Questions for the screening interview (for the position of an accountant) are all the same for all applicants and include the following ones:
- How many years did the candidate work as accountant? And brief explanations of the main responsibilities.
- Where did the candidate study?
- What are the salary expectations?
If the responses satisfy interviewer the next questions can be asked:
- How many people were subordinate to the candidate?
- What is the size of the organization where candidate is working?
- What were his or hers greatest accomplishments of the previous position?
- What were his or her most significant faults?
- List the reasons of leaving the previous position.
- Is it possible to provide references from the last job?
Filling an Application Form
The next step of the recruiting process for the position of accountant in “BNS” LLC is filling the application form. This stage of the interview usually precedes the written test. Application form includes more detailed questions about working experience (for instance, to list all organizations where the candidate worked, period and main responsibilities performed), detailed description of the education received, certificates obtained and the courses and training attendant, level of knowledge of special computer software (that is very important for the position of an accountant), computer skills in general, knowledge of foreign languages, reasons of leaving the last organization and personal information such as hobbies, personal qualities that distinguish the one from the others, strengths and weaknesses. The application form is the addendum to the preliminary interview. The questions listed above describe the experience of the candidate better. The application form is identical for all positions. It also includes information about marital status and readiness to business trips. This stage of recruiting process gives “BNS” LLC a complete picture of past working experience, accomplishments of the candidate and his advantages over the others.
Written Test as a Third Step of Selection Procedure
The next step in selection process is called to check analytical thinking skills and computer skills. The test consists of two parts: analytical test and practical task on computer. Analytical task consists of 40 questions that have much in common with IQ test. The candidate has 45 minutes to answer all of them without any aid. Four wrong answers are allowed. If the candidate gave more than four wrong answers or left more than four questions without answers his points are decreasing or his candidacy is no longer considered in the recruiting process (it depends from the overall results of the test). The second part of test consists of computer task in accounting software. All candidates have 30 minutes to perform the task. If the candidate could not perform it on time, or made at least one error, his candidacy is no longer considered, even if his analytical test was performed on a perfectly. The questions of the test and the details of computer test are strictly confidential. Usage of any king of recording devices while making the test is forbidden. Also, no one allows leaving the room while the test is proceeding.
Test is very significant part in selection process because it shows the level of analytical thinking skills and knowledge of necessary accounting software of the candidates. The test can disclose if the candidate was dishonest in his answers during the screening interview or filling the application form. His results of computer test will display the real knowledge of accountancy and computer literacy. Candidates who fail to pass the test are disqualified from the selection process. They will not take part in the last stage of selection. Those, who passed the test, will be notified about the date of the last employment interview. Usually, it takes several days to check the results of the test and appoint the date of interview. After test there are only two or three candidates who can proceed with employment process.
Employment Interview as the Last Step in Selection Procedure
The last stage of selection process is employment interview. This is a face-to face interview between financial director and candidate. It determines if the selected candidate is best suited for the particular position. Such kind of interview has some disadvantages. It can be biased sometimes and it is hard to determine the real competency of the candidate from his own words. The conversation between candidate and finance director must be honest and open. Moreover, no distractions should be present in the room while interviewing.
The questions that are included into employment interview are various. The finance director must determine whether the candidate will fit to the position. The usual questions that are included into interview are the following:
- What does the candidate knows about “BNS” LLC? This is important question. It shows how prepared applicant is. If the candidate is really interested in the position of accountant in “BNS” LLS, he will learn some information about the company.
- Why should the organization hire him or her? This is the stress question. Candidate should qualify his unique skills or advantages.
- What can he or she do for the company that other candidates cannot? The answer on this question shows the range of skills of the candidates. The interviewer may ask to range from one to four (for example, good salary, career opportunities, reliability of the company, working atmosphere)
- What is the most significant for the candidate in work?
- What are the short-term and long-term goals of the candidate? It shows how serious the candidate is about this position. If his short-term goal does not have anything in common with current position he is loosing his advantage for the employer. It means that company will need to spend money for the new selection procedure, if the employee will leave the company soon.
- What were five (maybe more) most significant accomplishments in the past experience? This will show how much can the candidate do for the company.
- How is he or she can work under the pressure or deadlines? Accountant must report to authorities in determined period of time. If he is unable to prepare reports strictly on time, it can cause the penalties for the organization.
- Why the candidate wants to work with “BNS” LLC? Was it the random selection or informed choice of the organization?
- What was his or hers average score in the school/university?
- When the candidate will be ready to begin working for the company? Usually, employer gives one or two weeks before employing the selected candidate.
- How candidate feels about working overtime?
After analyzing the results of the last employment interview the appointment letter is sent to the selected candidate. This is the final step of recruiting process.
Described selection procedures are the most proper for such company as “BNS” LLC because highly qualified professionals are the most valuable asset and one of the biggest advantages of the organization. The skilled accountant will mean for the company optimal allocation of funds, forecasted cash flow and absence of problems with tax authorities. Selection procedure that was described here is the most suitable for the organization. It allows selecting the most appropriate candidate. But as any other organizational processes has its disadvantages. First of all, three separate steps of the selection procedure are expensive. Management of the company is planning to unite them into one or exclude the part with tests. But it can lead to unsatisfactory results of the final choice of the candidate. Secondly, sometimes face-to-face interviews are prejudiced. In order to eliminate the prejudice there can be two interviewers during the last employment interview. But this modification will not save money. For now “BNS” LLC is not going to change anything in the selection procedure because it proved its efficiency.