How We Vet Our Finance Talent
by Kelly Hansen, on Jul 6, 2018
Here at Paro, only the top 2% of financial experts that apply are invited into our network. We know how important it is to get the right financial professional on your team and up to speed quickly, and we make it easy by finding the experts for you. Here’s how our six-step process works:
Our application process is extensive by design to capture information that allows the Paro platform to narrow down the applicant pool to the most qualified talent. In addition to a resume/profile review, each applicant is asked many qualitative questions to gauge their true interests and intent. Our platform also asks them questions to better understand their background and communication style. Our goal is to get the fullest picture possible of who the applicants are and what they do.
How do we know which applicants to move forward? There are a few things our platform looks for in the application review.
Our ideal candidates have at least 4 years of experience in their service line (or something outstanding about them that makes their work equivalent). They also have great communication skills—the kind that make us think “This person knows how to communicate and deliver excellence to clients.” These candidates are the ones that are selected and sent on to the next round.
This is where things get serious.
Everyone knows it’s not enough to talk the talk when it comes to financial expertise. You have to be able to back it up with the technical knowledge to set you apart.
That’s why the skills assessments are unique to each service line, from bookkeeping to FP&A to CFOs. These assessments test essential knowledge and proficiency in a given service. Only the most exceptional performers are accepted.
After testing candidates’ expertise in our skills assessment, we also want to see how they’ll perform when faced with the complex needs of our clients. Applicants are then assigned to test projects, dependent on service line. These multifaceted projects mimic real-world scenarios that our financial experts will face with clients.
How do we measure success on test projects?
First and foremost, we look for excellent communication and delivery:
- How did the candidate explain their work to the client?
- Would a client be able to understand without being overwhelmed?
- Did they ask the right questions to get a full and accurate picture of the client’s needs?
- Did they go above and beyond status quo?
We also look for an accurate statement of work assessment, timely completion of the work, and of course, high-caliber performance. When candidates complete their test projects, it’s easy to see which ones could be a good fit for working with clients in the Paro network.
Interview with the Talent Director
Applicants that make it through the first four rounds are then interviewed by Paro. After ensuring that they have the technical skills necessary to do great financial work for clients, we want to learn more about their soft skills.
Since our financial experts are client-facing, it’s important that they have good people skills and the ability to communicate their thoughts effectively and concisely. Over a video call, our Talent Director speaks to the applicants to get a sense of their abilities in these areas.
In addition, candidates are asked to simulate a client proposal for a test project. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that they can adequately assess and estimate how much time it will take to complete a changing project. Are they able to visualize and verbalize what they will need to complete it? Can they give concrete deliverables and a timeline?
We expect our financial experts to be articulate about the scope of a project with the foresight to ask the right questions.
At this point, we have identified a candidate who is both technically and communicatively stellar. That leads us to the final step in our application process: a reference check. We reach out to each applicant’s references and verify their excellence with the people who’ve worked with them.
At this point, only 2% of applicants are left.
This cream of the crop becomes our freelance talent that serves you. The financial experts of Paro are the best of the best, with the expertise and communication skills that equip them to meet your business’ unique needs.
Kelly Hansen is Paro's Director of Marketplace Operations. She graduated from Depauw University with a degree in Economics in 2009. Before joining the Paro team, she was a Director at a boutique Accounting and Finance recruiting firm. Her favorite app(etizer) is tater tots.