Stephanie Shine Sheds Light on Employment Retention Strategies - Southern Business Review


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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Stephanie Shine Sheds Light on Employment Retention Strategies

Stephanie Shine is the vice president and director of Permanent Placement Services in Arkansas for Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

Shine manages a team of recruiting professionals and also provides strategic staffing advice to clients and job seekers regarding hiring and compensation trends in the market. She serves on the boards of the Rotary Club of West Little Rock, the Accounting & Finance Women’s Alliance and the Institute of Management Accountants.

Shine holds a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Business Administration in management from Missouri State University. She is co-founder of the annual Arkansas Financial Leadership Summit.

What skills do employers want that they’re having a hard time finding in job candidates?
For accounting professionals to remain competitive in today’s strong hiring market, they’ll need to know more than how to crunch numbers, complete expense sheets and depreciate fixed assets. Aside from traditional accounting knowledge, they’ll want to make sure they have a strong set of soft skills to offer employers.

Soft skills have become increasingly important because those strong interpersonal skills can help one navigate today’s highly collaborative work environment. Many of these skills can be learned on the job or through networking and mentoring, and some of the most coveted skills include communication, leadership and critical thinking.

Over the last year or so, accounting automation has grown wildly popular at many organizations and accounting firms. And a lot of local finance leaders often admit that they’re have trouble hiring staff who bring enough technology skills to the job.

How do our current low unemployment rates affect the way you do your job?
Recruiting to fill job vacancies, particularly those with low unemployment rates, is becoming more of a challenge than in previous years. The skill sets that hiring managers seek continue to evolve, making it increasingly difficult to find professionals with the needed mix of specialized and soft expertise.

Often, I find myself coaching clients that aren’t finding the talent they need in today’s competitive job market to try new hiring approaches. For example, identify the must-have attributes for the position and then determine the nice-to-haves that can be developed through on-the-job training.

Robert Half was recently honored by Forbes as being among the “Best Employers for Diversity.” What’s a bottom-line argument for the benefits to a company of a diverse workforce?
I’ve seen firsthand the impact a diverse workforce can have on my team and our happiness at work. Diversity is part of our company culture and it’s important for organizations like ours to focus on building and maintaining those relationships. The different backgrounds and experiences of our recruiting team add value in finding qualified candidates to complement the complex and evolving needs of all our clients.

What strategies — other than the obvious, pay raises — are employers using to hold onto valued workers?
Once turnover starts, it’s often too late to stop it from happening. Companies should make sure they’re checking in regularly with their teams to evaluate performance and discuss career development before valuable talent walks out the door. Retention needs to be a top priority for hiring managers, particularly for accounting and finance professionals who can be difficult to replace on short notice.

A healthy work-life blend is essential, and employees need to know that their managers understand its importance. Now more than ever, employees want nonmonetary perks like more vacation time, telecommuting options and flexible schedules. Companies with successful retention strategies examine challenges from the employee’s point of view and realize that top talent wants to feel appreciated.