Advice for hiring accounting professionals for your hybrid environment

  • 29-05-23
  • Louise Kelly

With hybrid working models continuing to be important to job seekers, it's crucial to identify candidates who are likely to thrive in this environment and what sets them apart.

One key attribute to look for when interviewing candidates for hybrid working roles is their learning agility i.e., their ability to quickly adapt and learn new skills and knowledge in a constantly changing environment. In a nutshell, it’s knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do. And if your team is lucky to have this skill, it can supercharge your team’s performance!

Learning agility sounds great but how do you identify it? Here are some tips on recognising high performers in an interview:

Ask about past experiences of learning new skills or adapting to change

One way to gauge a candidate's learning agility is to ask about their past experience. Look for examples where the candidate was able to successfully learn and apply new knowledge or skills to help adapt to the changing situation. The key is to remember that the exact situation is not what is important here, it is about how the candidate handled the change and what they did for a successful outcome. For a truly exceptional answer to this question, the candidate will also be able to objectively reflect on that experience and suggest how they might do something different going forward!

Ask situational questions

Use hypothetical scenarios and situational questions related to the job they are interviewing for. Present the candidate with a scenario that requires them to quickly learn new skills or knowledge and ask them how they would approach the situation. Candidates who have had to learn new skills etc. will be able to come up with solutions to a variety of issues without too much thought. They will have a good sense of what resources they would call on and how to use their past experience going forward.

For more information on situational questions, please click here to view our employer’s guide to interview questions.

Ask about their approach to continuous learning

Employees who are committed to continuously developing their skills and knowledge – both technical and soft skills are generally high performers. Ask your interviewees how they approach continuous learning and stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments. Try to get a sense of additional learning they have done that has been necessary (i.e. changes to accounting standards) versus those they have chosen extra-curricular study (i.e. exploring data analytics tools or developing leadership techniques). Great candidates proactively want to continue to learn and apply new skills to their careers going forward.

Look for candidates who are adaptable and flexible

Adaptability and flexibility are key attributes of high performers. These candidates will be able to adapt to changing circumstances, are comfortable with ambiguity, and can work effectively in a variety of different situations. They can thrive in a hybrid working environment where flexibility and adaptability are essential.

By asking questions aligned with the above tips, you will identify those candidates with high learning agility and therefore, will most likely be high performers. Focusing on adaptability, problem-solving, and continuous learning will help you identify those individuals who will thrive the most in a hybrid working environment.

If you would like more information on the market, interviewing techniques, or more tips on hybrid working environments, please contact us at 02 8324 5640.