Hiring an accountant is no pick off the top-of-the-pile. It is an exploration of the accountant personality traits that mesh with your team. No need to settle, we’ll help ease the hiring process and assess characteristics to look for with accountant personality tests.
In this article:
- What makes a great leader?
- CEO personality traits
- Accountant personality tests: Myers-Briggs Test vs Caliper Profile
- Ideal accountant personality traits
What Makes A Great Leader?
We could list qualities that define great leaders but one size does not fit all. There is one striking feature most leaders possess, it is permeability; great leaders bend like trees. Sure, you’ll find no shortage of stick straight branches and rigidity on Wall Street but every tree knows you can’t fight the wind. Moreover, the supportive body of a great leader isn’t easy to define either.
Sorry if we’ve been too dumb to respond to you. Please cite evidence of exceptional ability in a few bullet points. Nothing else matters—Elon Musk
Fluidity and flexibility are needed to build a great team. The hiring process requires openness and self-awareness to discover the right person. As each great leader knows, what is needed in the startup phase can look very different as a company establishes roots. So a constant analysis of job compatibility in the accountant hiring process is just the ticket.
The Great Resignation
The pandemic taught workers that life is fleeting. It brought even more lessons that health and wellbeing trump work. Mix in side effects of low wages and high inflation, and suddenly a large portion of the labor force is dissatisfied. Thus spurred the great resignation.
The great resignation is a walk-out from things deemed “not worth it.” Even the best managers can’t deal with it in broad strokes because each employee is demanding something unique. Any company riding the employee attrition wave, risks a loss of business, as remaining employees balance extra responsibility. So companies have to find ways to encourage longevity, that starts with accountant recruitment.
So as you begin the accountant hiring process, keep a quality-over-quantity mindset. That way you aren’t in a situation with an incompatible accountant who is just as unhappy as you in the role. This sentiment feeds the precarious event of a great resignation at your company.
CEO Personality Traits
Before diving into accountant recruitment take the time to get to know yourself. Look in the mirror, perform a self-analysis of what you and your company need. Having a good understanding of your personality as a leader will help you find the right candidate. You could view recruiting much like how we look for people in intimacy. Not to say you should be looking for your next partner but equate value to the working relationship.
Take a look at findings from dating site algorithms. When dating, short-term relationships tend to be based on the surface traits of a person—appearance, job status, etc. Long-term relationships tend to be rooted in the abstract qualities of a person—determination, kindness, passion, etc. Thus as a CEO, shift thinking from your preliminary needs to the abstract. It will take introspection and vulnerability on your part, but at the very least you nail down your side of the workship.
For Example: you may need an accountant to run financial analysis and modeling, but you may want a sounding board during your company’s IPO. Those are two very different financial shoes that not every accountant could fill.
Dark CEO Personality Traits
Are you a dark horse? Nobody wants to work for the Harvey Weinstein’s or Scott Rudin’s of the world. Pushing an employee to the limits of their psyche won’t foster any loyalty to your business, certainly makes for poor output, and causes irreparable damage. There is no excuse for abuse in the workplace.
That being said, personality clashes deserve honorable mention in this discussion. Dark CEO personality traits may creep out with the wrong mix in the boardroom. Shadows come out to play, weaknesses are exposed, manipulation and projection are abundant with bad job compatibility. A personality test will help avoid these situations saving you and your new accountant time, money, and HR meetings.
Your accountant must understand you and your business. Low accountant compatibility could derail job performance. Plus a lack of clarity in business operations will affect tasks like reporting income/expenses and filing taxes, which chips into your take-home pay.
Finding good partners is the key to success in anything: in business, in marriage and, especially, in investing—Robert Kiyosaki
Why not go for the ideal individual to meet your accounting needs. After all, the person looking over your money is almost as close as kin right? A compatible accountant will embody these financial traits:
- Keen insight into your business mission
- Specialization in your industry
- Can carve out a financially sound path for all departments
- Maintains reporting compliance with all governing bodies
Accountant Personality Tests
Your ideal accountant is one personality test away from payroll. Here is an exploration of popular personality tests to inform your accountant hiring process.
Myers-Briggs Personality Test
The Myers-Briggs Test is a well-known personality test. It is based on Carl Jung’s theory that our personality can be organized into 4 distinct qualities—sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. Katherine Cooks-Briggs developed the test to determine how much these qualities dominate our mode of expression. You can see the breakdown of the Myer-Briggs personality categories, and the meaning of each letter in the table below:
|Where a person derives energy||How a person gathers information||How a person forms decisions||How a person approaches decision making (using SNTF)|
|E = Extroverted||From other people|
|I = Introverted||From being alone|
|S = Sensing||Through facts or evidence|
|N = Intuitive||From ideas or theories|
|T = Thinking||Using logic and rationale|
|F = Feeling||Using emotional or sensory cues|
|J = Judging||Thinking + Feeling|
|P = Perceiving||Sensing + Intuition|
The test results in a 4 letter combination out of a total of 16 possible combinations. A person’s letter combination defines their personality and how they will respond in their environment. Even more, the Myers-Briggs Personality test can broadly estimate how an employee will fit into a work role.
Myers Briggs Accountant Personality Traits
The Myers-Briggs Test is a simple way for small and mid-sized companies to discover compatible accountant personality traits. During the accountant hiring process, pay attention to these letters in your accounting applicants:
- For an accounting role with a high volume of face-face interaction, E’s will be ready to meet at the drop of a dime. Not to say I’s are incapable of talking, but they may prefer scheduled chats and will need time to reflect.
- S and T are popular letters for accountant personality types. Why? These personality traits exhibit a predisposition towards fact-based findings and pragmatic judgments, critical to accounting analysis and auditing.
- Scaling for N and F is good for advanced financial modeling. This task demands foresight of how a company’s endeavors will play out in the future, based on gathering a wide set of data and industry knowledge.
Our personalities are not set in stone; we evolve and grow over time. Thus, Myers-Briggs personality test results may change depending on a variety of life factors. So when using this test as support for hiring an accountant, give attention to the degree a candidate scores in each personality category. Extreme percentage ratings, low or high, will bring out more differences between two personalities; neutral ratings smooth over any gaps.
The Caliper Profile Test
This test hones in on a customized persona that a company desires for a role. It is divided into two parts, personality and cognitive ability, with 180 questions in all. The questions are tailored to the profile the company created, and they assess analytical and creative thinking specific to the role. It is an objective way to gauge:
- How a person would fit with the team
- How they would perform at the job
- A candidates motivation for work
There is no way to prepare for the Caliper Profile to ensure employment. The test probes an applicant in multiple ways, to measure associated traits holistically. Personality traits are grouped into 4 different sections:
- Leadership: this category would rank for traits like assertiveness, delegating, sense of urgency, or risk-taking
- Interpersonal Skills: this category would rank for traits like empathy, helpfulness, collaboration, or teamwork
- Problem Solving: creativity, flexibility, attention to detail, or abstract thinking
- Organization and Time Management: self-awareness, accountability, or continuous learning
Caliper Profile Accountant Personality Traits
The Caliper Profile should be used by large companies that have specific goals in mind. It is not recommended for a startup or small business because the test takes around an hour. For a small venture, it could be cumbersome and inhibit the accountant hiring process.
This test is customized to your company, your team, and the accountant personality type you desire. Since the Caliper Profile is personalized, there isn’t one catch-all result that equals the perfect accountant. That being said, high marks in the cognitive portion of the test would be practical for any financial position. Many of those questions are conducive to the accounting function because they center on mathematics, puzzles, data sets, etc.
Personality traits in the Caliper profile are up for discussion in accountant recruitment. Keep in mind the ideal accountant is expected to maintain reporting compliance. So motivation should be linked to performing a job accurately, ethically, and with a high degree of trust. Additionally, time management and organization are always welcome in accounting; as long as the free world has financial deadlines, accountants will need to meet them.
Best Accountant Personality Traits For Your Business
You can never predict how a relationship will evolve, or the sum of two parts. Once the relationship gets going, the collective experience will determine your satisfaction. That doesn’t mean that you should just go for any individual and hope that jointly you will find common ground. If you have had trouble finding the most compatible accountant personality traits, consider a personality test.