RECRUITMENT OF TRAINEE ACCOUNTANTS
Finding ways to support improvements on traditional approaches is a constant challenge to any field and control professionals, who must be open and receptive to change. Not being afraid of change isn't enough, however; accountants must be excited and motivated about new ways of doing things.
With the introduction of Human Resources, people in an organization have taken a new role. Long gone were the days when an accountant is a clerk. In today’s day and age, an employee is an asset for that company. They are a major investment and companies thrive in protecting their interests and development. Human Resources (HR) have developed and now is a full fledged field. Most companies have some sort of Human Resource management. Basically where there is hiring and firing, there is Human Resources activities involved. Whether it is a small firm or a large corporation, Recruitment and Selection is needed in every kind of organization.
HR defines the organization objective to its employees. It makes the people involved to be part of the organization and work towards a goal. It also enhances ones responsibilities more clearly. The job activities and profile will be to work towards organizational goal yet at the same achieving personal objectives. Hence, in HR employee’s development is very important whether by relationship building or through training. All kinds of skills are taken into accounts and measure before an employee is hired. Career plans and objectivity in life is top priority as this will determines whether the prospective employee is a good investment or not.
A major role of HR is Recruitment and Selection, which will be the topic of this article. The Recruitment and Selection procedure in any organization is most important, as they are the foundation for which the company makes the decision of hiring and invests in an individual. Selection means to choose the best candidate for a particular job, keeping in mind how his goals are in tune with the organization’s goals. HR has made this process of selection sophisticated and more challenging. Educational background and years of experience are no longer the only major pre-requisite. What people know is less important than who they are. Hiring, is not about finding people with the right experience. It's about finding people with the right mindset. These companies hire for attitude and train for skill. A mix of ten different intelligence’s: deductive, inductive, mechanical, memory, numerical, perceptual, reasoning, spatial, verbal, and vocabulary. In addition to that five other elements which makes up a personality of an employee : extroversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience. Ask any ten human resource managers how they select employees and you will find that most of them work from the same set of unchallenged, generally unspoken ideas. Their way of thinking and the employee selection procedures that stem from it involve precise matching of knowledge, ability, and skill profiles. They see employee selection as fitting a key - a job candidate - into a lock - the job. The perfect candidate's credentials match the job requirements in all respects. Only an exact fit guarantees top employee performance. Cook, McClelland and Spencer capture the precise matching idea in the AMA's Handbook for Employee Recruitment and Retention:
The final selection decision must match the 'whole person' with the 'whole job.' This requires a thorough analysis of both the person and the job; only then can an intelligent decision be made as to how well the two will fit together...stress should be placed on matching an applicant to a specific position.
The bulk of the research we have considered thus far focuses on individual job proficiency in traditional jobs. Despite the widespread use of work teams in today's businesses, there are no studies that look at how well intelligence predicts performance in teams. The same kind of uncertainty exists about the role that conscientiousness plays in generating the often-unrewarded "beyond the call of duty" contributions called organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB).
There are at least five circumstances that should lead employers to consider replacing precise matching with a search for employees with a mix of intelligence. The first two-suggestion rest on the results of the research discussed in the preceding pages. The remaining three have not been tested in the laboratory, but make sense logically.
* When the Job Calls for a Great Deal of Problem Solving. In this case, g influences the ability of individuals to identify problems and to come up with creative ways to solve them. It appears likely, as well, that conscientious men and women assign high priorities to company concerns and thus look for solutions that benefit their employers, not just themselves.
* When the New Employee Will Have a High Degree of Autonomy. Employees in some jobs have little opportunity to show initiative on the one hand or to goof off or goof up on the other. Some of these workers spend the bulk of their day under their supervisor's direct gaze. The pace at which others work and the methods they use are spelled out in excruciating detail and any departure is instantly obvious. The archetypal assembly line job scores high in this respect. Other jobs stand in stark contrast, and require independent initiative. Other things being equal, conscientiousness is more likely to separate high performers from low performers in such low control - low structure jobs than it is in their high control - high structure counterparts.
* When the Things New Employees Learn on the Job are More Important Than What They Bring to the Job. Pilots, surgeons, lawyers, and plumbers bring a well defined set of skills to their jobs. Other jobs are different, however. New employees come to them with little or no direct preparation. They are expected to learn their jobs after they are hired, sometimes with the help of formal training, sometimes without. Sixty or 70 percent of jobs probably fall into this category. For these jobs, the ability and drive to learn the new assignment is paramount, making general intelligence and conscientiousness important keys to success.
* When the New Employee Must Learn the Job Rapidly and Adapt Equally Rapidly to Job Changes. High general intelligence is consistently associated with the ability to grasp new information. Conscientious candidates are likely to strive to do so. Thus, both g and conscientiousness probably characterize individuals who will learn new jobs quickly and deal effectively with change.
* When Two or More Top Job Candidates are Just About Equal in Terms of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. Even in jobs that demand precise matching, the selection process sometimes yields two or more top candidates who are evenly matched in terms of specific requirements. In such cases, the candidate who scores highest in terms of g and conscientiousness is the better choice.
As the first step in a recruiting strategy designed to evaluate the writing of potential hirees, employers should identify the specific writing skills associated with successfully producing documents in their work places. The identified job-related skills will then serve as valid criteria for which potential hirees' writing capabilities can be evaluated. Organizations may carry out this writing skill identification process by consulting their practitioners, consulting writing specialists, or referencing published works. As one example of a published work, authors Claire and Gordon May identify and illustrate several specific writing skills in their excellent book Effective Writing: Handbook for Accountants (1996). These skills include accountants' capabilities to write in a coherent, clear, and concise manner; use standard English correctly, including the proper use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling; design and prepare documents in a professional manner; and document references appropriately.
Cangemi also stresses the importance of thinking creatively, of not being inhibited. His message to auditors is "Here's the software. How you creatively mix it is limited only by the ideas of the people doing the mi. Connecting what you do every day to what you try to do on the computer is integrating auditing, accounts and computing.” "The business world has obviously changed," Cangemi said. "Transactions are more complex and involve greater exchanges of money in all different currencies. At international American Express operations, you can't even create a file for extraction. They break their information down into several computer centers around the world -- and only process one day at a time. Their volume and time sensitivity has led to breakthrough thinking. For accountant to understand this and yet integrate it to his field of work.
Employers of management accountants share a number of common interests and concerns when facing the challenges of the recruitment and training of tomorrow's management accountants, whilst having to maintain a high-quality personal development programme for today's student. In addition to serving member customers directly, it was essential to look at links with their indirect customers--the employers.
Employers may also like to consider the following terms at the time of recruitment:
* Trainee exchange schemes and employer/ educationalist placements.
* Provision of in-house post-qualifying training courses.
* Better business exchanges.
* Benchmarking in activity-based management and electronic data interchange. Having actively encouraged employer participation through the Group, and believes that employer contribution is of vital importance to the future success of its policy development and activities which are specifically designed to strengthen the profession of management accountancy to meet the future demand for qualified personnel.
Reading Resumes and Interviewing for Evidence of g. Looking for g is relatively easy, as such things go, since a number of readily observable personal history items correlate highly with general intelligence:
* School Grades. School grades do not indicate g perfectly. Individuals may over- or underachieve relative to their intelligence for a variety of reasons.
Differences in school quality and in cultural and family emphasis on the importance of academic performance may handicap some students, for example. Such things aside, however, the relationship between school grades and g is very strong.
* Vocabulary. Language facility also relates highly to g. Indeed, critics argue that some measures of intelligence are little more than disguised tests of vocabulary and reading ability.
* Problem-Solving Success. Many jobs and hobbies involve problem solving. Previous success in such activities suggests that a candidate has a high level of general intelligence.
Reading Resumes and Interviewing for Evidence of Conscientiousness. Psychologists have not studied the clues managers can use in judging candidates' conscientiousness. Anything we say on this issue is therefore highly speculative. However, we can build on the definition of conscientiousness that says that conscientious individuals are achievement-oriented, careful, hard-working, organized, planful, persevering, responsible, and thorough to tentatively suggest that those making hiring decisions should look at nature and quality of the candidates':
* Preparation for the Interview. The job candidate who arrives at the interview having carefully researched the firm and the job opening, is probably more conscientious than the one who arrives uninformed.
* Dress and Self-Presentation. In the same fashion, the candidate who arrives dressed appropriately shows at least some of the signs of conscientiousness.
· Career Progression. Careful career planning, as well as careful planning in other aspects of an individual's life, would appear to be an attribute of those high in conscientiousness. Thus a logical progression as the job candidate moves from position to position would likely indicate a conscientious individual.
In addition to that he the job candidate must also be aware of basic accounting environment such as :
· Non-liquid assets or immobile assets.
· Somewhat mobile, but less easily converted. (e.g. office furniture, motor vehicles, etc.)
· Easily convertible for resale or personal use. (e.g. laptop computers, tools and materials, crude oil or refined products, etc.)
· Cash or cash-equivalents.
· Pressure to meet deadlines, goals, budgets, or the business plan:
· There are considerable pressures or deadlines either real or perceived to the point that they could seriously impact job performance or decisions.
· Separation of duties that is responsibilities are assigned so that no one individual controls all aspects of a process or transaction. For example, assignment of duties so that one person is not in a position to both create and conceal a discrepancy.
The challenge raised by Bill Gates and other managers to the conventional wisdom of precise matching has solid support not only in their experience, but in carefully crafted, widely repeated research. Study after study indicates that general intelligence and conscientiousness relate strongly to performance across a wide range of jobs and situations. Clearly the time has come for those who set hiring policy to raise their own challenge to human resource managers and industrial psychologists who administer their firms' hiring programs:
One of the important task after an employee is recruited especially a trainee is his orientation. They are coming into a new environment, meeting new people, and are not sure how they will be accepted. Employers can ease the transition and take advantage of the opportunity to get the relationship off to a good start. Welcome your new employee. Smile, and tell them you are glad that they have come to work in your establishment. You can make a big difference at this point. Show them around the facility, pointing out any important features along the way like emergency exits and hazardous areas, for example. Pretend you are showing a guest through your home. You want to make them feel comfortable and for them to relax as much as possible. Introduce them to people you meet along the way. Chances are your new worker won’t be able to remember everyone’s name when they are through with your tour, but you will at least have given other people the chance to learn who the new person is. As you introduce your new employee, explain what job they will be assigned and who they will be reporting to. This will help existing employees mentally fit the new person into what they know of your organization. Introduce your new employee to the supervisor they will be reporting to, if they haven’t already met. Show them their workstation and where to get any supplies they might need. Talk briefly about important s they will want to remember, such as the person responsible for ordering supplies, the payroll person and any others you feel are key to the operation. Prepare a checklist of subjects, which should be reviewed with each new employee and then set aside the appropriate amount of time so that can be done. Let everyone else know that you are not to be interrupted while you are orienting your new worker. You will want to convey to the new person that they are the most important item on your agenda at the moment.
1 Cook, M. F., McClelland, D.C. & Spencer, Jr. L. M. 1992. The AMA handbook for employee recruitment and retention. New York: AMACOM. 104-105.
2 Gatewood, R. D. & Feild, H. S. 1994. Human resource selection (3rd ed.). Fort Worth TX: Dryden Press.
3 Fortune. 1996. Microsoft's big advantage - hiring only the supersmart. November 25: 159-162.
5 Fortune. 1997. Brains in the office. January 13: 38.
6 Wall Street Journal. 1995. The poor? I hire them. May 24: a14.
7 World Executive's Digest. 1997. Hire for attitude, train for skill. January: 44, 46.
8 Thurstone, L. L. 1941. Factorial studies of intelligence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
9 Ree, M. J., Earles, J. A. & Teachout, M. 1991. General Cognitive Ability Predicts Job Performance. TR-1991-0057 (Armstrong Laboratory, Brooks AFB TX) as discussed in Ree, M. J. & Earles, J. A. 1992. Intelligence is the best predictor of job performance. Psychological Science, 1: 86-89.
10 Ree, M. J. & Earles, J. A. 1989. The Differential Validity of a Differential Aptitude Test. AFHRL-TR-89-59 as discussed in Ree, M. J. & Earles, J. A. 1992. Intelligence is the best predictor of job performance. Psychological Science, 1: 86-89.
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