4 Tips for Hiring Temporary Workers During Tax Season
Tax season is just around the corner, and, depending on your workload, you may once again find yourself considering whether you should hire temporary tax preparers to ensure your accounting firm doesn’t get bogged down by a backlog of work.
Hiring temporary workers offers numerous benefits to busy CPAs. And thanks to the rise of technology and remote work, you can now hire individuals to help with everything from administrative tasks to simple and complex tax preparation work—whatever suits your needs best.
Here, we’ll go over a few tips you should keep in mind to find the right seasonal workers. We’ll also share practices to keep things running smoothly when you bring on a new person.
How to Hire a Temporary Employee for Your Tax Practice
Once you decide you want to bring on temporary help for the busy season, it’s crucial you find not only the top talent available but also the right person for your firm.
You should always start by evaluating the internal needs of your firm. Take the time to figure out what can be done by your current employees—or yourself, if you’re a solo practitioner—and identify what you really need help with. Also, consider the culture of your firm. Even though the position is only temporary, sometimes, tax accountants find they have enough work to do that they’d like to extend the temporary worker’s contract. So, to ensure a successful hire, it’s crucial to have a game plan in mind and clear expectations of what you’re looking for.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind both before and after you begin the hiring process:
Create a clear, detailed job description.
An effective, well-written job description clearly answers the question: “What will this person do in this role?” Writing a good job description will ensure you attract qualified talent to apply for the role—which saves both you the time and frustration that come with interviewing candidates who aren’t really qualified because they weren’t clear on what the role entailed or required of them. It also sets the foundation for optimal work performance once you hire a person because it clarifies their responsibilities, the results you’ll expect of them, and how their performance will be evaluated. A good job description should contain the following information:
- Job title
- The purpose of the job
- The position’s duties and responsibilities
- Required qualifications for the job
- Preferred qualifications
- Working conditions
Work with a recruiter or hiring agency.
Even though bringing on a temporary employee will reduce the amount of work on the shoulders of you and your staff during tax season, recruiting the person will, unfortunately, add work for a little while. Even if you and your team don’t have the time for it or have little experience hiring temporary employees, you don’t have to miss out on the best candidates or bog yourself down with this task. Recruiters who work for hiring agencies have access to pools of candidates and years of experience helping accountants just like you find the right temporary employees. They’ll post the job description for you, get a sense of what you’re looking for in a seasonal worker, screen candidates, and then send only the cream of the crop to you, thus saving you time and ensuring you have access to a great talent pool.
Be willing to extend contract length.
In the past, many temporary tax workers were perfectly fine with a three-month contract with an accounting firm. Now, however, much of the best talent is actually seeking longer contracts: in the range of about six months. This is something to keep in mind as you start considering your needs and vetting candidates. There’s another reason you may also want to consider being flexible about contract length: If you have a really good experience with a seasonal employee, you may want to renegotiate the terms of their contract to have them help with post-tax-season cleanup. And, once next year’s tax season rolls around, remember: Finding a person you really enjoy working with means you can reach out to them again and have them come back, saving you the trouble of having to find a new worker and ensuring another positive experience with the same person.
Empower seasonal workers with seamless tech.
Once you bring your new candidate on, make sure you have the right tech stack in place. Technology like SmartVault makes collaboration easier and much more secure, especially when remote workers are on your team. Clients, permanent employees, and seasonal workers alike can access documents from any location—which also allows you to source the best talent available, even if they’re not in your city. SmartVault also stores all client documents in one place, thus helping to keep your workflow organized, streamlined, and easy to follow. This is incredibly helpful for allowing temporary workers who need some time to adjust to the way your accounting firm does things to hit the ground running.
From empowering remote work and bringing teams together to powerful features and bank-level security, SmartVault helps accounting professionals elevate their practice and improve how their teams and clients collaborate. We offer Seasonal Worker licenses to let your seasonal employees access SmartVault, securely and from anywhere, so they can help you get through the busy season.
To see SmartVault’s document management system and client portal in action, schedule a quick demo with us.