Friday, June 6, 2008

Inside the Head of the Headhunter – Scott Green

Today we go inside the head of Scott Green, Recruiting Manager for SNI Financial, focusing on mid to senior level full time accounting and finance positions. Scott has many years experience in search and staffing in accounting, finance, and specialty consulting.

Scott was kind enough to share his thoughts and experiences in the finance and accounting job market,

reCareered: Scott thanks for taking the time to share your views with our audience. With all the talk of a soft economy, how busy are you these days?
Scott Green: We’re still seeing strength in the mid level accounting and finance areas. There’s a shortage of candidates with 2-8 years of large company and public accounting experience for junior and senior staff positions, due to short supply and increased reporting needs.

reCareered: Any areas you see as especially hot?
Scott Green: The biggest needs today are in Tax and Cost Accounting. New government regulations have caused corporations to expand their work in these areas. We see Tax and Cost accounting being hot for a while. With the weaker dollar, pockets of manufacturing are expanding. Reduced supply of accountants entering the marketplace combined with companies need to reduce costs by replacing higher level accountants with less costly staffers, equates to a huge demand for Staff Accountants. I see these areas being hot for a while.

reCareered: What areas do you see as slow?
Scott Green: The generalist controller market and Senior accounting/finance manager is slowing. As companies further automate and streamline their financial systems, some work previously done by a controller may now be handled by managers or seniors with less experience (and less cost). In general, greater automation allows companies to push more work downstream, creating increased demand for managers, and high demands for senior staff.

reCareered: With the baby boom retiring, do you see companies increasing their willingness to train new employees, especially in specific software user skills?
Scott Green: Companies are getting stingy on training new employees on basic skills and software skills, because turnover has gotten so high. In addition, software becomes outdated so quickly, that employers are getting a lower ROI on training investments (except as a part of new systems roll out). So employers are looking to hire people with existing specific software skills, that can hit the ground running.

reCareered: What other things do today’s employers look for in candidates?
Scott Green: As a rule, hiring managers look for subject matter experts – people with comparable industry experience, who have already solved similar challenges that their company faces today.

reCareered: Do you see an age bias in hiring managers, even with the large numbers of Baby Boomers retiring?
Scott Green: Especially for Senior Managers and Controllers, there’s a challenge in securing a job where they are considered “overqualified”. It’s not fair, and it may not even make sense, but it’s a reality with many hiring managers, regardless of their company’s EEOC policies. I’d guess the fear of over qualification is driven by maybe 75% political concerns of a more experienced direct report, and 25% cost concern.

reCareered: So how do you recommend Controllers and Senior Managers react to the softness in their segment of the market?
Scott Green: Get started now, because it may take you longer to change jobs or find re-employment than you anticipate. Consider that you can provide a great deal of value for smaller companies (than your past employer) in similar industries.

reCareered: When evaluating a potential job offer, what do you recommend?
Scott Green: If you have a good boss, you’ll have a good job. If you have a bad boss, you’ll have a bad job. The best path to career success is finding a good mentor and leader. But people don’t do a great job researching a boss’ personality, willingness/ability to mentor, or talk to the boss’ current direct reports.

reCareered: Any suggestions for people currently in the midst of a job search?
Scott Green: A “door opening” or “distinctive” resume is typically overlooked in the search process, but can make a huge difference in a candidates’ success. I highly recommend that all candidates take a sales course (especially if not in sales) - Nearly all unemployed (and employed) workers in today’s economy must learn selling/marketing fundamentals in order to promote themselves effectively which to increase their career options. Accounting managers are seeking candidates who can market the value of the accounting function within the corporation.

reCareered: Other than taking a sales course, what would you suggest to someone who’s not looking for a job, due to uncertainty in todays’ economy?
Scott Green: The economy’s soft, and business is constantly changing. Both bring uncertainty to your current job. Carve out 1-3 hours each week for your own personal career development. This can include networking, investigating careers and companies, investing in yourself, training and reeducation in new skills.

Scott, thanks for your insight today. If mid level Accounting and Financial professionals are looking for a solid recruiter for Chicago area employers, email your resume to Scott Green at

About SNI Financial: SNI Financial™ is a professional search division of Staffing Now, Inc., focusing on mid to senior level full time accounting and finance positions for our clients. They work closely with candidates in order to best represent them to client companies. They actively search for positions to meet the career goals of candidates. SNI represents candidates throughout the course of the interviewing and hiring process until an offer is made, accepted, and all parties are completely satisfied.

About reCareered: If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

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