The pandemic has changed the way we do business in so many areas, and human resources is no different. As we continue to recruit accounting employees and interns—in almost all cases, remotely—we are relying on new ways to interview, having in-depth discussions about evolving workplace expectations, and addressing the challenges of onboarding and integrating new hires in a remote setting.
The remote working aspect is not entirely new for Weinstein Spira, as we have offered an option to work from home one day a week as part of our commitment to work/life balance for several years. When COVID-19 hit, however, we had to become masters of remote work, how to do so five days a week—a very different game!
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From an HR perspective, I have noticed a change in what accounting firm candidates are looking for, whether they are experienced professionals making a mid-career move or new grads straight out of college. It's not just about being a good "fit" for the job description anymore. The days of scripted interviews and clear, concise goals are gone, being replaced by more frank discussions around the following issues:
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All these changes call for an "adaptable" set of skills to be successful in the ever-evolving new normal. Accounting firm recruiters are focused on hiring individuals who are tech-savvy, self-starters, and can work independently with minimal supervision (in or out of the office). Now, it takes more discipline and stronger communication skills to achieve the same results with clients. It also means having a professional presence on the phone and/or video call, as well as in person. And since people have proven they can work productively from home, that will be a viable work style going forward as more accounting firms are willing to support it.
Most accounting firms have fared well over the past year and a half. I’m proud to say that Weinstein Spira has had zero layoffs, zero furloughs, no reduction of hours, and continues to pay overtime, if needed. We have also been fortunate to honor all our internship offers, and 100% of them have come back as full-time employees. And, we have added to our overall headcount, despite the pandemic. We like to think this is due to making sure people are safe, comfortable and gainfully employed at a time when life itself is at risk and when priorities are being re-examined. As much as we value being together in the office, it looks like flex time is here to stay for the foreseeable future, in some hybrid form or another.
Please do not hesitate to apply for a job or internship opportunity at Weinstein Spira. Our doors are open, virtually.