Recruiting Is Not a Numbers Game, It’s A Jigsaw Puzzle


Proper recruiting for senior finance and accounting positions requires a solid understanding of “fit” to present the right candidates.

Our clients are constantly amazed at how the very few people we send their way always seem to make it to the very top of the list of favorites and take the position, while the firms that send so many candidates just seem to waste their time. 

The brand name firms that put out the big nets in terms of job postings, continuous recruiting and lackluster filtering seem to fill your inbox with candidates just to show how hard they are working on your behalf and how strong of a supplier they are in the field.

Don’t Be a Dart Board

This inflow can make you feel as if they are throwing darts under the assumption that one will eventually hit the bullseye or at least come close enough that you give them a try. This is a “Numbers Game” approach and surprisingly, more hiring managers than you would think seem to think this method works. The true cost of a hasty or even bad hire is food for another blog post, but let’s agree here to avoid this fate at all cost. 

Rather than playing barroom darts, we see filling your key finance and accounting positions differently. To us, each project is just like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen table, where we search for only that one piece in a pile of thousands that fits perfectly into place. 

To find that elusive, perfectly shaped piece, we have to analyze the vacancy thoroughly, sort through and compare many in the pile for potential and test out the closest matches before we can confidently place the piece and smile. We get to use elements like education, and experience like a puzzle master takes advantage of color, edges, and even a bit of intuition, but in the end, there is just one piece that fits. 

Haven’t we all been tempted to push just a bit harder that we need hoping it will work despite knowing it’s not quite right? But we know that all this temporary success would cause more problems and mismatches later. 

Close is Not Good Enough

The old saying that “close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades’ applies right on the nose to recruiting in finance and accounting and even better for jigsaw puzzles, but thankfully there is some grey area that professionals with experience can exploit in your favor when it comes to recruiting for finance and accounting leadership and senior positions. 

As we discussed in the blog post, It’s What’s Between the Lines that Matters Most, you shouldn’t get too caught up in overly restrictive “rules” like at least 3 years of X and use of Y software but rather focus most on potential, past excellence and fit for the company and your department. These are the puzzle edges that need to be just right and only those recruiters that can see where the edge really is can help you find that piece. 

A Proven System Works Wonders

Another reason a jigsaw puzzle is such a perfect analogy for recruiting and placement for finance and accounting is that it does take time and patience but a proven system cuts down on not only the frustration but also produces results much quicker. 

Just like you know an edge when you see it, we know the candidate that’s right for your team.  We recognize the battle scars of too many month end closes to count, the scars of corporate finance battles won (and lost) and can accurately predict how these lessons will translate into leadership and success at your company. 

We also know when to spot talent that needs a chance to prove itself as well as hard workers that will excel within your culture and are ready for it. 

Ready to Finish Your Puzzle?

Perhaps you have a puzzle piece missing right now or soon and want the kind of help discussed above.  The CSP team will be happy to discuss how we help companies and departments like yours through a variety of packages, custom designed to fit your needs. 


About The CSP Group

Based in St. Louis with offices in San Diego and searches performed nationwide on behalf of privately-held companies with between $20 and $500M typically, the CSP Group prides itself on uncovering the very best candidates for the most well defined positions, drawing upon their own personal experience as senior level Finance and Accounting professionals to uncover and convert passive potential hires into excited, motivated applicants.  We represent our clients with commitment and integrity while also building and placing great value on our reputation amongst the strongest and most upwardly mobile candidates in every market segment and geographic region we serve. 


Contact CSP Group today to discuss your current or projected openings. 

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