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Need Accounting Help? How To Decide What Position To Hire

As your small business grows, so do your financial management needs. Most small businesses begin with the owners or their family members handling the money, recording income and expenses on the books, producing any financial records, and planning for the future. But have you grown beyond your ability to keep up with what needs done in these areas?

If the answer is yes, here’s a short guide to deciding whether you need to hire an accounting clerk, a bookkeeper, a controller — or even something more.

What Needs To Be Done Now?

When most businesses decide to take the plunge and hire help, it’s because the current situation has become unsustainable. If this is the case, you need to triage your immediate and practical needs so you can address them first.

What are your biggest issues right now? Are your company books out of date? Do you have trouble understanding more than the most basic aspects of your accounting software? Are you falling behind in technology that competitors can offer or planning your business needs? What short-term financial goals seem out of reach with your current load?

What Are Your Business Goals?

Once you know what you need right now, think about what you will need in the near future.

For instance, is your company still in the growth stages, getting a foothold in the local market and creating a valuable brand? Do you expect to take it to a new market, introduce new lines, or expand beyond your local area? Do you want to go international in the next few years? Will you need to do significant investing in new technology or opening new locations?

Different scenarios call for different professionals. A business that just needs to grow slowly and boost their profit margin may benefit from a bookkeeper or controller. One that wants to expand into new waters might need a Chief Financial Officer to steer them.

What Can You Afford?

Is your company still on a tight budget? Then you may have to consider seriously the type of help you can afford to hire. Hiring a CFO is an expensive idea, but expecting to get CFO level work from a bookkeeper salary isn’t realistic. Determine what you can pay and then make a plan to use it to meet your biggest needs. You may be able to do this with a combination of full-time employees, part-time employees, and temporary help.

What are Your Options?

Now that you know what you need and can afford, how can you match that to the position? Here’s a breakdown of the various positions you can hire.

  • Accounting Clerk. The least expensive role, an accounting clerk tends to focus on data entry and reconciliation of one or two categories — such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, or general ledger. It’s a limited scope that generally doesn’t engage in any supervision and only does limited analysis.
  • Bookkeeper. A bookkeeper often does a lot of the daily leg work of entering data, creating reports, and performing closing tasks as well, but they do it over the entire company’s books. Because of this expanded scope, a bookkeeper can do more planning, analyzing, and problem solving.
  • Controller. A controller is more proactive about company finances, security, and efficiency. They generally don’t do much daily entry, but oversee those who do it. They’re also a resource for management for help with strategizing and planning ahead.
  • Chief Financial Officer. The CFO is the most expensive option and should oversee a staff. The CFO spearheads changes, future growth, new technology adoption, and large company projects. They work at an equal level with other executives and must intimately know the business operations.

Which of these positions sounds right for you? No matter whether you need more day-to-day help or assistance planning your next steps, BIRK Staffing & Technical Services can help. Our accounting professionals cover the entire spectrum of accounting functions so you can get exactly what you need. Call today to learn more.

Effects of Technology in Application Submission

In today’s market technology is moving at lightening speed.  It seems every 6 months we are dealing with new software and constant updates.   But remember once you put that resume out there is social media or submit it to a website for employment.  It’s OUT there!  Making critical mistakes defeat all the time and effort you put forth to get it out there and now you may not be able to correct it!  Some very common mistakes are of course, spelling, grammar, and the worst -(incorrect phone or email address).  Here is a list of mistakes that can really impact your search, especially if you are looking for big bucks!  
  • Complete application – If you really want to look like you don’t care, have no attention to detail, and can’t follow directions – don’t complete the process/application or put in “see resume”! An application is a legal document that can only be filled out by you to be valid.  It will be a part of your employment record if hired.  Make sure to carefully read the paragraph where you sign it, most of the time is states that if you falsify information it is grounds for termination.  This is why most employers want it done correctly and complete.
  • Email – Today you can have several emails.  So my suggestion is make one specifically for your job search.  Make sure it is professional and does not reflect anything negative or not politically correct!  This is definitely a reflection on you and says something about your character.  Also, make sure on your application or resume it is correct and not misspelled.  Otherwise you will wonder why no one is contacting you.  You would be surprised how many people have incorrectly spelled email addresses on their resumes.
  • Social Media – Make sure that your personal social media is blocked from the public during your job search.  You may be someone with a good sense of humor and think something is funny.  But if a potential employer sees it and disagrees, it could cost you a job and you may not know that is the reason.  Everything you put out there on-line is out there forever – that is the rule you should live by.  Employers are not suppose to make decisions based on your social media – but how would you know.
  Please make sure that all your information is correct on your resume.  I cannot tell you how many people send me resumes with wrong email or phone numbers.  People change their email and phone numbers, like I change my socks!  They forget to change it on their resumes, and other places.  There is a lot of social media we as people must maintain!  Good luck with your job search and if you need additional help, please contact BIRK Staffing & Technical Services we can help with your search.–>

Phone Interviews

Phone Interviews

How do you handle the phone interview without freaking out? In this economy a lot of companies and recruiters do not want to waste your time coming in for an interview yet. Companies time management is key for them. So preliminary discovery is very important, and proves to be productive for both the candidate and company. The concept of a phone interview can be as stressful as an interview in person for some people.  Here are some basic theories that work!
  • Your phone picks up all sounds around you – Most updated phones can pick up all the noises around you.  For example, babies crying, kids playing, loud vehicles, TV’s, wind and many others.  Make sure you are in a quite area that you can concentrate on your answers and questions you may have for the interviewers.
  • Preparation – Make sure you have your resume handy – Have your reference information, as well as your educational information.  I know you think you know everything about your own life!  But when nerves come in to play mistakes can be made.  Your looking to make your best first impression.
  • Don’t wear your PJ’s – We all like to be comfortable while home – but not for a phone interview.  Be showered and dressed – I would also be at a home workstation with your laptop.
  • Speaking – This is the opportunity to be articulate, knowledgeable and show your presentation of grammar skills.  It is a full reflection of the picture they will create in their own mind.  You know sometimes when speaking to someone you’ve never seen, based on their voice you create an image of what they will look like.
  • Following up – The follow up is the most important!  Don’t forget to ask for the email, correct spelling of their name or look them up on “LinkedIn”.  Send emails to whom ever you spoke with thanking them for their time and the interview.  This amplifies your interest in the position, and reminds them of you.
In today’s market many companies are trying many different methods to interviewing.  Including heavy usage of employment recruiter’s and staffing agencies.  The phone interview is just one of them, but has been very time management sensitive.          




We at BIRK Staffing are excited to introduce our blog page!  It will cover updated information about the job market and mention hot jobs hat BIRK Staffing has available.  Also give you a better idea of the type of jobs as well as some of the hot suburbs we do staffing for.  For example Elk Grove Village, Itasca, Des Plaines, Wheeling and the Northside of Chicago are some of the hot beds of activity for BIRK.  We have plans in the works of opening a new BIRK Staffing in the Buffalo Grove or Arlington Heights area.  That location may change as we get closer to the opening.   This is done because we have several large corporations in the Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg and even Libertyville areas, we would be able to better assist them if one of our offices were farther north.   BIRK Staffing does do hiring of high level management positions,  administrative/office and skilled and unskilled labor.  The skilled labor positions include maintenance mechanics, manufacturing supervisors, certified forklift drivers, and department leads.  Stay tuned for more information.

4 Tips to Ace Interviews in a New Field

Changing careers is a daunting process. While you may feel ready for a big change, the practical challenges of actually accomplishing this change are many and varied. If you’ve decided to strike out on a career shift, don’t let the interview process for your new position make you stumble. Here are a few tips to help you ace it.
  1. Tailor Your Resume
Your resume is the first look that future employers have at your skill set and history. But your resume probably fits your old job more than your new one. Remake the resume with an eye to your new position instead. Start with your education, highlighting elements that can relate to the new career and downplaying those that don’t connect. Rather than simply listing prior positions and duties, put them in a more generic context that shows off your skills. Were you a shift manager at your previous job? Then list how you managed a team of diverse individuals, worked directly with customers, handled service issues, or ran the office alone. Every job has aspects that can relate to a broader set of work skills, so talk up these parts.
  1. Focus on the Future
Don’t dwell too much on your past work history, except those parts that show a clear relation to the job for which you’re applying. Instead, focus on how your experience shows that you can change and grow. While detailing your work history with the interviewer, make a clear path from earlier jobs to newer ones that required you to take initiative, grow your skills, build confidence, and take on additional responsibility. Relate specific anecdotes in this way as well.
  1. Prepare for Gaps
Midlife career changers invariably have some gaps in their resume. Realistically recognize these before meeting with potential employers so you can prepare to handle them. Are you missing a degree that many other applicants will have? Have a concrete plan to make up for that gap in the near future. Don’t have work history in your field? Substitute volunteer work in that field or prepare a few samples pieces to show your potential. Be specific about ways that your experience or existing education will help you be prepared for new challenges. Are you changing from a corporate career to teaching, for instance? Perhaps you want to discuss how your real-world experience will benefit students and ways that you’ve enjoyed inspiring or mentoring others. The idea is to show that you have enough building blocks to hit the ground running.
  1. Learn About the Culture
New fields usually equal a new culture. Enthusiasm and initiative can make up for a lack in other areas — particularly in a job market with fewer applicants. Research the new company and consider how you can add value to it. In addition to each specific company’s culture, think about the field in a broader sense. Why are you getting into this field? Does it tend toward creativity or independence? Then think of some anecdotes for the interview that show your creative thinking in past situations. Is the field more group-oriented? Then prepare an example of how you work in diverse or challenging groups. Interviews in a new career field require a little creative planning. But it’s a jumping-off point for a whole new world of fulfilling and exciting work. Start your journey today by meeting with the employment experts at BIRK Staffing & Technical Services. For more than 20 years, we have helped people in all fields and positions to find a great new chapter in their work life. We can help you too. Call us today to get started.

BIRK Staffing & Technical Services
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Park Ridge, IL 60068

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