Following the article I posted yesterday about candidates needing to be able to sell themselves as solutions, and showcase the added-value they can bring to an organization, one of my astute readers (thanks Michael!) sent me a published advertisement that he thought related closely to the concepts I was trying to get across.  He came across a Full-Charge Bookkeeper listing (pasted below) that starts out looking like any other boring, formulaic advertisement on the surface.  When you get near the end, however, you’ll see a special twist that the company has thrown into the application process!

Personally, I’m astounded that more and more companies haven’t adopted this approach in their hiring process.  If you’re really looking for the best and the brightest talent, and for employees who are articulate, creative, and willing to go the extra mile, why not challenge them to make the case for themselves — beyond simply sending in their resume in zombie-like fashion?  The answers to questions #4, #5, and #6 at the end of this advertisement would reveal far more about the mindset and interest level of the various folks in your candidate pool than all of the other stuff in this ad put together, I’d conjecture…

Full Charge Bookkeeper for Retail E-commerce Company

We are looking for an experienced Bookkeeper to join our operations team. This position will report directly to the Controller. Must have 3+ years of work history as a bookkeeper with strong references. We are looking for a person who can check and enter data with precision and find the source of any irregularities. Good interpersonal skills and phone and writing skills will be required to work with our many vendors and clients.
We seek only those with a wide array of experience, ready to get their hands dirty in all aspects of book keeping.
Experience in an e-commerce company is a plus.
Primary Responsibilities:
• Accounts Payable (Checking Invoices for accuracy against PO System)
• Accounts Receivable (Light collections from corporate clients)
• Reconciling Settlement Reports to Deposits (Containing several thousand transactions)
• Reconciling Bank Statements
• Preparing Monthly and Quarterly Tax Reports
• Handle Customer Credit Card Charge backs (Write letter to Bank)
• Data Entry into QuickBooks Pro
• Running Reports
• Some light administrative duties
Employee Skills:
• Exceptional, Clear & Concise Writing Abilities For Correspondence with Vendors & Customers
• QuickBooks
• MS Excel
• MS Access
• Good problem solving and multi-tasking skills are essential.
• Professional, High-energy, team-player
Employee Requirements:
• Extremely Organized and Detail Oriented
• Fast Learner With Desire to Grow Into New Skills
• Ability to Handle Large, Fast Paced Workload
• At least 3 Years As a Bookkeeper
• Must possess a positive attitude and be friendly and professional.
3 days per week (approximately 20 hours per week), on-site in Georgetown offices
Full-time may be a possibility
Please reply with the following information. Please include all information, or your reply will not be considered.
1. Your pay history and desired pay
2. Your desired schedule
3. Your resume
4. A 1-2 paragraph answer to this question: “What can you offer to add value in this position?”
5. A 1-2 paragraph answer to this question: “Why would you love to have this job?”
6. A 1-2 paragraph answer to this question: “What is the single most important thing in the accounting department that makes a great company different than an average company?”