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News & Events

Hiring Headaches You Can Avoid: Fruitless Screening

BY: Clique Studios | May 17, 2019


 

Screening candidates is an important part of the hiring process. Determining which candidates to call in for interviews, which to keep in your talent pool and which to leave out lets you maximize the time spent on face-to-face interactions. However, there may be elements of your hiring process that are unknowingly causing you to eliminate top talent. Follow these guidelines to make sure your screening process yields the types of candidates you seek.

 

Write Effective Job Postings

When you write effective job postings, you gain qualified candidates. Make your postings exciting by showing why a talented person may be interested in the role. Include only the top five key responsibilities, tasks and skill requirements. Talk directly to job seekers rather than saying “the right candidate” to make it more personal and help them envision working for you. Use descriptive words in short sentences. Explain how the role helps your company achieve its mission. Share your company vision and values and top employees’ personality traits for candidates to determine whether they fit with your culture.      

 

Use an Effective Applicant Tracking System

Implement a user-friendly applicant tracking system (ATS). Candidates want an efficient method to apply for jobs online. Hiring managers need an intuitive ATS interface that takes little effort to understand and use. ATS features should streamline candidate management. ATS integrations need to work with tools and platforms your hiring team uses to be most effective. Your ATS should provide effective recruitment metrics and reports to evaluate your hiring team’s performance. 

 

Train the Interviewers

Make sure your interview team is properly trained. Each person needs to understand the job and be able to answer common questions about what a typical day is like, who the internal and external customers for the position are, and which milestones and metrics the new hire will be evaluated by. To ensure consistency among interviewers, you may have newer interviewers shadow experienced ones, then have them switch roles and provide feedback. Before the interview, the new interviewer meets with the experienced one to present their plan of action, including questions and follow-up questions they plan to ask, answers they anticipate and how the questions will help make a decision. The experienced interviewer provides feedback to the less experienced one. During the interview, the new interviewer leads while the experienced one listens and interjects if needed. After the interview, both write notes and rank the candidate. Both discuss feedback and tips to improve the interview process.

 

Improve Your Screening Process With an Experienced Finance Staffing Firm

Work with Chicago-based Marco & Associates to fill your finance staffing needs. Our technical accounting and finance backgrounds allow us to understand your unique business challenges and leverage our extensive network of professionals to provide unmatched human capital solutions. Talk with our seasoned recruiters today.


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Master the Art of Accounting and Finance Consulting

BY: Clique Studios | May 17, 2019


 

If you are a senior-level accounting or finance professional seeking a flexible schedule and the ability to work on a variety of challenging assignments, then working as a consultant may be for you. Companies need highly skilled accounting and finance consultants on an interim basis to address a range of business challenges. With a high level of experience and a loaded skill set, you may be a top candidate to work as an accounting or finance consultant.

 

Accounting Consulting Skills

As an accounting consultant, your objective is to provide clients with services that help them analyze financial information so they can make business decisions. To work as an accounting consultant, you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance and a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designation. Additional designations, such as a Certified Information Systems Auditor, Chartered Global Management Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor are preferred. As an accounting consultant, you analyze financial documents, offer advice to increase profitability, predict future costs and revenues, and ensure compliance with financial regulations. You also prepare and file financial reports and documents, conduct tax research and find ways to improve financial reporting processes.

 

Finance Consulting Skills

As a finance consultant, your objective is to help clients accomplish financial goals by assessing their financial situation, developing and presenting financial strategies and plans, and monitoring changes in financial status. To work as a financial consultant, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance. A Master of Business Administration or graduate degree in a related discipline is preferred. As a finance consultant, you begin by gathering client information about investments, asset allocation, and tax planning to asses their financial situation. Then, you evaluate the client’s risk tolerance, help establish financial goals and develop financial strategies to attain those goals. Next, you explain the proposed financial plans and options, including advantages and risks of each, answer questions, relive concerns and gain client commitment to carry out the plans. Then, you analyze financial plan results, create and evaluate new financial strategies, and recommend changes in their goals. Throughout the process, you prepare financial status analyses and reports to show the client where they are financially, where they want to be and whether they are on track to get there.

 

Fill Your Accounting and Finance Consulting Needs With Marco & Associates

As Chicago’s leading accounting and finance recruiting and consulting boutique, Marco & Associates connects organizations ranging in size from small startups and not-for-profits to large, publicly traded corporations with professional accounting and finance experts. Talk to us today about your consulting needs.


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Hiring Headaches You Can Avoid: Search Fatigue

BY: Clique Studios | May 10, 2019


 

 

Like many employers, you may struggle to fill open roles. Although the skills shortage may be to blame, the longer you take to find qualified employees, the longer you remain operating below peak performance. You want to position yourself so when positions open, you have enough qualified candidates to choose from to continue business processes. Learn to overcome three of the most common obstacles to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your hiring process.

 

Cultivate Your Candidate Pools

By continually adding to your candidate pools, you always have talent to reach out to when a job opens up. A candidate pool is a small, targeted group of candidates who are prescreened, pre-assessed and potentially ready to work for you because of previous interest in a job posting. There are eight streams of talent you can use to cultivate your candidate pools: advertising, automation, candidate mining, market presence, networking, referrals, talent manufacturing, and talent scouts. Evaluate how your company accesses each stream and which streams lead to successful hires. Determine which streams hires from the last six to 12 months came from and which streams were underused. Focus on cultivating candidates from each stream to add to your pools.

 

Implement Accurate Interview Methods

Use interview methods that reveal whether a candidate truly can perform the work duties. For instance, think about whether each technique reveals true proof of a candidate’s fitness for the role. If it does, find out how to streamline the technique and receive the same proof. If not, determine how to replace or eliminate the technique. For instance, video interviews may be recorded and reviewed multiple times, so more team members can participate in hiring decisions. Using artificial intelligence technology, deep machine learning and facial recognition software to assess taped interviews reveals facial expressions and subtle movements to determine whether the information provided matches previous high-quality hires. Giving interviewees a problem from the job to solve lets you assess their solution and the steps they took to reach it.

 

Maintain a Candidate Pipeline

Cultivating a candidate pipeline means having potential hires available to choose from when needed. To assess your company’s pipelining strategies, begin by answering questions about your most critical roles. For instance, if candidates for each role are not yet ready to be hired, your pipeline needs to improve. To find qualified candidates, determine what type of person fits best with your company environment. Think about which types of candidates to target, such as those who qualify for your most frequently vacant and hard-to-fill roles. Determine how to advertise your employer brand to generate interest in joining your pipeline. Keep your pipeline engaged through email campaigns, offering an e-newsletter, and hosting events.  

 

Avoid Search Fatigue by Partnering With a Leading Chicago Staffing Firm

As Chicago’s leading boutique accounting and finance executive search and interim contract placement firm, Marco & Associates provides qualified candidates to help meet your business goals. Reach out to us today.


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Change Management Is a Process Not a Project

BY: Clique Studios | May 9, 2019


 

A change management consultant works closely with your company to design, build and implement strategies to enhance business performance. The consultant’s specialized expertise helps to design and implement process and change interventions that generate value for your organization. Their proven ability to build, manage and foster a team-oriented environment and creatively work at problem-solving make them excellent leaders for change management. Find out how a change management consultant can benefit your company.

 

Determine the Need for Change

A consultant may begin by considering the reason for change. Although most people are uncomfortable with change, companies need to evolve to maintain their competitive edge. As a result, a consultant considers your culture and leadership goals when determining which approach to take.    

 

Create Urgency

The first step in creating organization-wide support for change involves creating a sense of urgency. In addition to using data and statistics to explain the reasons for change, the consultant communicates in an honest, convincing way about market pressures, competition and how the changes set up your business for additional success. Having leadership on board encourages enthusiasm about the change being positive, which trickles down throughout the organization.

 

Form a Coalition

During the second step of change management, a consultant further lays the foundation for change by involving those who know it will be for the better. Having supporters lead, explain and sustain the sense of urgency and need encourages those who are against change or undecided to get on board with wanting change. Having a mix of people encouraging change promotes buy-in from employees at all levels.

 

Create and Communicate a Vision

The third and fourth steps involve developing and communicating a clear vision of what the change will look like. The consultant helps create one or two sentences to explain the result of change. They frequently and effectively communicate the vision throughout your company. People can ask questions to better clarify what needs to happen and why. When the vision is easily explained and understood, buy-in comes more readily.

 

Remove Obstacles and Celebrate Wins

In the fifth and sixth steps, most people should want to achieve the vision being promoted. For those who are not yet on board, the consultant works to remove the obstacles. The consultant creates short-term, achievable targets that move the organization to attaining long-term change. Each win results in rewarding those who work to reach it.

 

Build on and Anchor the Change

The seventh and eighth steps involve keeping the process going to achieve long-term change. The consultant helps by continually searching for improvements, change agents, ideas and wins. They also promote continuous change as part of company culture by encouraging leaders to continue supporting the change and sharing success stories.

 

Find a Change Management Consultant in Chicago

Marco Management Solutions specializes in placing change management consultants on a project, interim and consulting basis. Contact us today to learn how we can help you overcome organizational challenges to implement effective change.


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How to Position Your Expertise and Experience in Your Finance Career

BY: Clique Studios | May 3, 2019


 

As a professional in the often-changing world of finance and accounting, you need to demonstrate your hard and soft skills to stay competitive. One way to exhibit those skills is on your resume. Showing employers your unique combination of knowledge, skills, certifications and accomplishments makes you the choice candidate for a position increases your odds of being contacted for an interview. Follow these guidelines to showcase your expertise as a finance professional.

 

Identify Your Goal

Before creating your resume, develop a clear finance or accounting job target. Perform a quick search to see what types of roles fit your interests and what their qualifications are. This narrows down which skills and experience to focus on.

 

Summarize Key Qualifications

Briefly explain your strengths and key qualifications under the Professional Profile and Areas of Expertise sections in the top half of the first page. Highlight your specific skills and knowledge, including industry certification and licensure, to show the scope of your professional experience. Include keywords related to your accounting or finance career, such as P&L management, operating and working capital, cash-flow management and modeling or business valuations.

 

Focus on In-Demand Skills

Mention your top skills that employers are looking for. Accounting skills include recording accounting transactions, understanding applicable accounting regulations, preparing financial statements and budgeting. Analytical thinking involves looking at a situation, understanding how it works, interpreting what it means and creating an intelligent response. Leadership skills include project management, collaboration and guiding others. Intellectual curiosity includes learning and advancing at every opportunity. Software skills include proficiency in predictive analytics, accounts payable automation, SAP accounting software and Oracle. Commercial acumen skills involve understanding the relationship between a company’s financial behavior and marketplace demands and an interest in trends shaping the industry.

 

Emphasize Accomplishments

Use the rest of your resume to provide additional information on your accounting or finance background. List each employer and a brief paragraph of basic job responsibilities and bulleted list of accomplishments and quantifiable results. For instance, “Instrumental in revenue and income growth of 81% over a 12-month period, through both organic growth and acquisitions. Increased cash flow by $19 million by consolidating credit-analysis function, reducing outstanding receivables from 45 to 13 days and minimizing risk from marginal customers.”

 

Have Your Resume Reviewed

Ask a professional outside your company to review your resume. Request feedback to improve the quality and presentation of information. Because your resume helps determine whether you get called in for an interview, you must show employers you are the best candidate for the role.

 

Build Your Finance Career With a Top Chicagoland Recruiting Firm

To move to the next level in your finance career, get in touch with Marco & Associates. Our seasoned recruiters invest the time to understand your experience and what motivates you; then uncover opportunities to move you toward reaching your goals. Get started by talking with us today.


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Top Skills You Need to Be a Successful System Business Analyst

BY: Clique Studios | May 2, 2019


 

If you work as a system business analyst, or if you are interested in becoming one, you need to know what skills are most important to build a successful career. As a system business analyst, your focus is on the requirements that specify how a business system supports or enables work activities in a business process and the user roles performing the work activities. For instance, if the solution to a business problem involves application software, you work with application software experts to define the business rules the solution needs to support. Read on to learn about other requirements needed to excel as a system business analyst.

 

Educational Background

To work as a system business analyst, you need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field. Experience in business and computer programming is preferred. Practical experience and leadership skills are needed to move into management roles.

 

Business Domain Knowledge

Succeeding as a system business analyst means having strong business domain knowledge. As industries such as financial services, healthcare and telecommunications, and business functions such as HR, customer billing and procurement continue to evolve and increase in complexity, you need to stay informed on current trends, nuances and related issues. Such extensive knowledge prepares you to engage with domain and functional subject matter experts using technical jargon to complete your work.

 

Technology Recommendations

As a system business analyst, you review information and make assessments to provide a company with technology recommendations. You focus on the organization’s technological needs and benefits along with the financial implications of upgrading their systems. Then, you install the software and equipment, test the software and hardware installed, write instructions on how to use the system and teach employees how to use it.

 

Analysis Tools

System business analysts use business system models and diagrams to spec out a system design. Examples include using activity diagrams, use cases, user stories, entity relationship diagrams and state transition diagrams. Your design includes a recommendation on how to implement the requirement into code. You may evaluate code, review scripting and/or modify code. Or, you could present the design considerations to software architects and developers who transform the business requirements into code. You will also pinpoint where changes need to be made and incorporate new data into the project.

 

Stakeholder Engagement

In your role as a system business analyst, you need to deeply engage with highly sophisticated stakeholders, system users and the technical community, including solution architects, developers, DBAs and more. You facilitate workshops, meetings, interviews and more to translate technical issues, verify and explain technical/architectural complexities in language your audience understands, and answer questions in a clear manner.

 

Find Your System Business Analyst Role in Chicago

Talk with the expert recruiters at Marco & Associates to find a business analyst role. Let us become your career partner by providing guidance and proactive coaching. Reach out to us today.


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The Strategic Value of a Consultant: Reaching the Right Goals

BY: Clique Studios | April 25, 2019


 

Reaching your business goals requires working with proper team members. Part of the process involves raising capital, reducing expenses, tax planning, and other financial responsibilities. Because you probably excel in areas other than finance, you need to bring aboard an expert to ensure you have a solid plan in line with your long-term vision for the company. Hiring a financial consultant is one key to reaching your business goals.

 

Providing Expert Advice

A financial consultant weighs the financial impact of decisions. As an objective professional, they see simple problems you may not, such as cost cutting or new business opportunities, and know how to focus on actions that will get the best results to make your company more profitable. A consultant creates accurate projections and advice for investment opportunities, exposure to risk, and places you can save money. They improve your business plan and predict potential challenges you may not have considered.

 

Raising Capital

A financial consultant helps to raise the necessary capital to reach your business goals. Strategies may include creating a cooperative, preselling on social media, crowdfunding, and securing venture capital. A consultant works with you to determine your capital needs and which strategies match your goals.

 

Reducing Expenses

A financial consultant helps to decrease business expenses. They analyze your business processes, procurement practices, and other spending areas to uncover where improvements may be made. The consultant finds ways to reduce one-time costs and recurring expenses. With the implemented strategy, they also could find ways to increase revenue.

 

Tax Planning

A financial consultant provides recommendations to maximize tax savings. Strategies may include offering an employee health plan, increasing contributions to your IRA or company retirement plan, uncovering deductions, or tracking expenses.

 

Saving Time and Money

A financial consultant saves you time and money. Instead of using your limited resources to learn financial lessons through experience, work with a consultant with the expertise to handle complicated financial matters in an efficient, effective manner. They can further benefit your company with innovations like an internal accounting system to control expenses and track where your money goes.

 

Serving as a Mentor

A financial consultant serves as a mentor. They know that there is more to business success than simply making money. In addition to reviewing your bottom line, a consultant explains the financial challenges facing your business and industry along with strategies to push through them. Using this information will help you make more informed decisions.

 

Partner with Top Financial Consultant Recruiters in Chicago

Partner with top financial consultant recruiters in Chicago. Reach out to Marco & Associates today for help reaching your business goals.


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The Strategic Value of a Consultant: Fresh Perspective Within a Narrow Scope

BY: Clique Studios | April 19, 2019


 

As a business owner, you take a hands-on approach to develop your company. As you stay busy working in the trenches, you may believe that you are able to do most things by yourself. However, you probably are not a financial expert and already are busy handling the daily responsibilities of running your business. You are better off bringing aboard someone with a fresh pair of eyes who can evaluate ways to increase revenue and decrease costs while maximizing your company’s impact. A financial consultant may be the game changer you need to grow your business.

 

Managing Change

Because a financial consultant provides a new perspective on handling company issues, they are excellent at managing change. For instance, they provide an objective perspective on realistically achieving your goals before deadline and offer ideas to continue moving toward them. Because a consultant understands changes in markets, technology, competition, and government regulations, they may provide strategies for successfully adjusting. Also, since most people are resistant to change, your employees may feel anxiety and fear when thinking about changes being made within your organization. A consultant is trained to explain the benefits of those changes and how they will improve individual jobs, departments, or the company in general. They also will take the blame for unpopular changes like workforce reductions and other cost-saving measures.

 

Implementing Best Practices

Since a financial consultant is a leading expert in their field, they know how to implement best practices within your organization. Because industries and markets change, the most efficient and effective ways of conducting business operations change as well. Bringing current best practices to your company means saving time and money while achieving maximum impact.

 

Infusing Creativity

By having a fresh perspective on your company, a financial consultant provides ideas for innovation. In many cases, employees become so comfortable with their jobs that they forget to think about the bigger picture within your market. A consultant brings a fresh pair of eyes to examine your business and share valuable insights to boost internal creative thinking.

 

Training

When your employees need fresh training on a financial topic, hire a consultant. They can present a course or day-long presentation on a variety of financial issues. The consultant blends theory and practice to deliver high value to your organization.

 

Weighing the Impact of Decisions

When discussing potential impacts of strategic-planning decisions, a financial consultant is helpful. Because they come to your organization as a blank slate, they can objectively determine whether certain decisions are worth the investment, whether other decisions may save more money, and which actions would get the most desirable results. They make accurate projections and provide advice on opportunities, risk exposure, and ways to save money that you may not have considered.

 

Bring Aboard a Financial Consultant with Help from Top Finance Recruiters in Chicagoland

Let Marco & Associates’ top finance recruiters fill your financial consultant needs. We provide experienced Chicagoland consultants who analyze and fill your business needs. Get in touch with us today.


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The Strategic Value of a Consultant: Risk Mitigation

BY: Clique Studios | April 18, 2019


 

As a business owner, risk is an issue you have to face. Uncovering specific risks is both challenging and time consuming. If you miss even one, having an event occur could result in a significant reduction of your bottom line. Even if you uncover all of your risks and try to eliminate them, eradicating some may be prohibitively expensive and impede business growth. You need to create a plan for mitigating risks to manage adverse outcomes. Hiring a consultant to handle risk mitigation is the key to finding a balance between peace of mind and profitability.

 

Risk Management Process

Because your business faces many risks, you need risk mitigation to be a core part of strategic management. Risk management helps to uncover and manage the risks facing your company and increases your odds of reaching business objectives. An effective process includes identifying risks surrounding business activities, assessing the likelihood of an event occurring, knowing how to respond to those events, implementing systems to handle the consequences, and monitoring the effectiveness of the approaches and controls. Your process of risk mitigation can improve decision making, planning and prioritization; help to more efficiently distribute capital and resources; anticipate potential issues; minimize potential damage; and significantly increase the probability of delivering your business plan on time and within budget.

 

Risk Evaluation

Risk evaluation helps to determine the significance of risks and decide whether to accept, minimize, reduce, or prevent them. A consultant may begin by uncovering risks, considering the consequence and probability of each, and ranking them by high, medium, or low probability according to business needs. The significance and likelihood of the risk occurring may be rated on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being least significant and 10 being most significant, then plotted on a risk map. The map provides visualization of risks in relation to each other to determine their extent and plan controls to implement to mitigate the risks. The risks may be compared to your business plan to determine which could affect your objectives, legal requirements, costs, and investor concerns. The consultant may decide to accept a risk if the cost of elimination is prohibitive; transfer the risk with insurance; reduce the risk with safety measures; or eliminate a risk by changing how a product is produced.

 

Preventative Measures

Risk mitigation involves putting processes and controls in place to deal with consequences of potential threats to your business. For instance, financial reserves may be set aside to ease cash flow problems. Such processes and controls help to ensure business continuity if adverse events occur. Because risk assessments evolve due to internal or external changes or as your business grows, the assessments should be regularly reviewed.

 

Find a Risk Mitigation Consultant Through a Leading Chicago Staffing Agency

Let the seasoned recruiters at Marco & Associates find the consultant you need to mitigate risks. Reach out to us today.


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3 Reasons to Consider Financial Consulting Jobs

BY: Clique Studios | April 12, 2019


 

Financial consulting jobs are performed by experts in finance, economics, and investments who help other professionals to make informed financial decisions. Consultants provide internally focused financial advice to help companies increase shareholder value and improve capital efficiency. They might assist with creating a mergers and acquisitions package or design a compensation strategy for executives. Or, a consultant could work in the corporate finance division of a business or work independently or with a consulting firm. If these responsibilities sound appealing to you, you may want to consider a career in financial consulting jobs.

 

Income Potential

Financial consulting jobs offer high income potential. When you cultivate special knowledge and skill training in a particular area, you become even more valuable to an organization and are paid accordingly. As an expert in your field, you have a defined consultant role and deal with similar issues for various companies. Because of your narrow focus, study, and experience, your skill set tends to be in high demand, providing the opportunity to command higher income. As a thought leader in your area, companies look to you for your expertise to complete the work you excel in. Your passion for your work and willingness to do what it takes to succeed make you an invaluable team member.

 

Advancement Opportunities

Financial consulting jobs offer plenty of opportunities for advancement. The more credentials, skills, experience, and visibility you have, the more in-demand your services will be. Your combination of those elements will help you be brought aboard to assist more companies. Combining your credentials, skills, and experience shows that you follow standardized practices, are adept at individual and collaborative work, and provide companies with results. Having a third party recognize your skills shows personal accomplishments, a high level of commitment to your field, and enhancement of your professional reputation. Employers know that you are highly competent with your work, participate in professional development, and have strong ethics. Showing credibility in these ways differentiates you from other consultants and increases the rate at which you are hired.

 

Continuous Learning

Financial consulting jobs offer continuous learning. Because of the versatile nature of the work, you may be hired by large or small companies or public, private or nonprofit organizations to solve problems and achieve strategic goals. The variety of jobs teaches you to easily adapt to new work environments, people, and challenges. You continually refine your skills and increase your experience level every time you take on a new project. You stay on top of industry trends, determine which skills are in high demand, and set out to gain them. In addition to technical skills, you continually refine your communication, collaboration, and other soft skills required for leadership.

 

Find Financial Consulting Jobs in Chicago with a Boutique Staffing Agency

When looking for your next financial consulting job in the Chicago area, talk with Marco & Associates. Our seasoned recruiters can place you with top clients looking for the skills and experience you have.


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