Who to Use as Financial Career References

August 27th, 2014

As part of the normal process of getting a job in finance and accounting, human resource teams will verify the credentials and work performance from your past jobs. This is done a number of ways, either directly by the recruiter or through a third-party background check agency. In either case, having the best possible outcome often has to do with the people you choose to be your financial career references.

Here are some questions that can help you to determine who should be on your list of financial career references and contacts.

Did they work with you in the last 5-7 years?

If you are going to include a financial career reference, consider that over the years people may forget you if it’s been more than 5-7 years on a particular job. References may feel uncomfortable about sharing any feedback about you if they cannot recall what you did back then. Try to use more recent references whenever possible.

Did they supervise or observe your financial work in any way?

It’s really not fair to ask someone to be a career reference for you if they never had a chance to see your work in the area of finance you worked in. Consider that they may be asked specific questions about the quality of your work, the types of projects you worked on, and how well you managed your previous tasks.

Did they also work in finance or accounting roles?

It can be a boost to your ability to get a job in finance if the person being referenced also works in the same industry. How? Because they are keenly aware of how your skills translate to success in a financial role since they know what’s going on in the industry. Choose someone who is active in the financial markets.

Do you have good rapport and stay in contact with them?

No sense using a financial career reference if the person hasn’t spoken to you in years or you have had some kind of falling out. Treat your references well by at least keeping a way of contact with them (social media works well for this) and letting them know from time to time how you are doing and if you are searching for work.

Do your references also have a positive reputation or credentials?

Choosing a solid career reference also means going with folks who also have a solid reputation in the industry. Look to add those who have valuable career experience and educations across leading industries. This will impress the person conducting the reference checks.

Are they easy to get in touch with?

Last, but certainly not least, make sure that your finance career references are relatively easy to get in touch with, either by phone or email. You don’t want to end up losing a job opportunity because the hiring manager cannot get a reference to respond for a request to talk.

Use the above tips as you evaluate who you will use as your finance career references, and regularly update this list as you grow in your career.

How to handle this tough question: “What interests you about our company?”

August 22nd, 2014

Going on job interviews is never easy, particularly when trying to land a finance job. No matter how many you attend, it’s easy to become nervous because you want to make a strong first impression. Even if you have interviewed with the same company more than once, the process  can seem daunting. As with every instance, you will surely run into a question or two that is very tough to handle.

One such interview question that we will answer in this article is “What interests you about our company?

Preparation is a Key Factor

Preparation should be the same across the board when it comes to job interviews and performing your duties at a job. The more you prepare for the task at hand and research the company interviewing you, the more likely it is that you will not have any trouble answering such a tough question. The same can be said for sitting down to work the job once you have accepted the company’s offer of employment. Preparation needs to be a strong focus prior to your job interview in order to find success.

Answer the Question Truthfully

For the most part, interviewers will be able to determine whether or not you are fleecing them or telling them the truth. Interviewers have plenty of experience dealing with all types of people, so they know how to read body language and analyze answers.

You must answer this question truthfully. Do not come up with what you think they want to hear. This will get you nowhere. The more honesty you provide, the more likely it is that the interviewer will be pleased with your response.

If this is financial assignment or role you have never worked before, you can tell the interviewer that you are looking forward to a new challenge that will provide you with an outlet to learn and grow within the industry. If you have worked this position at previous companies, you can tell the interviewer that this organization provides you more of a path to furthering your career than where you are right now. Explain that you want to grow as the company grows, and this is something that can be accomplished at the company for which you are interviewing.

Another way to go with the answer to this question is to discuss your skills as a financial and accounting professional. Explain that your skills weren’t really needed at previous jobs, but that you see this position as an excellent way to utilize and improve your skills.

For some, the job could fall right into a category of interest, which makes this question incredibly easy to answer. Tell the interviewer that you have always been interested in the industry, specifically this position, and that you have dreamed about working in such a job for quite some time.

There is no set way to answer this question because every job is different and every candidate has different skills sets to sell to employers. But, the more honest and upfront you are with the interviewer, you more successful you will be in your search for a job.

Why Hiring for Cultural Fit Matters in Finance Recruitment

August 15th, 2014

When you think about it; hiring employees has turned into a bit of a science these days. From assessments and interview evaluations to social network profiles, there is so much out there to look at, analyze and discuss prior to extending an offer of employment. But, essentially the way that any company decides on a new hire is basically the same — you must perform due diligence prior to making a decision after a round of job interviews.

One of the most important things that must be taken into consideration before a job offer is made is the cultural fit of the candidate. Will he or she blend well with current employees? Will he or she exhibit the same practices, values, and work ethics that the company exudes? All of this needs to be looked at, especially when hiring in the finance industry.

Read on to learn why hiring for cultural fit matters when reviewing financial candidates.

What to Look For in a Financial Candidate

Every candidate you interview for a finance position should exhibit one or more of the following qualities when you take into account their cultural fit:

  • Have they made good career choices?
  • Why did the candidate leave a company for another job?
  • Do they have intellectual curiosity?
  • Do they exhibit passion and energy?
  • Do they have a pattern of success in the career?

You can find answers to these questions by having the candidate answer some tough questions during the interview. A couple of those questions should include:

  • What are a couple of things you would change at your current place of employment if you were the company CEO?
  • What would you say is the proudest moment of your career so far?

When you think about all of this, the most important aspect of hiring in finance is cultural fit. The reason here is that one bad seed can turn your office into a place where no one wants to be for extended periods. It does not matter how experienced or skilled the employee is, if he or she is a bad apple, the culture of the office will change dramatically.

Use Role-Play During Interviews

An excellent way to determine if a candidate in the finance industry will be a strong fit for your company’s culture is to role-play during the interview process. This does not have to happen in the first session, but more towards the second or third meeting.

The role-play can be a scenario that has occurred within your workforce recently or something you think of ahead of time. Have the candidate discuss one of these scenarios:

  • How to save a client from leaving the company
  • How to recover from losing a client at the company

You can then gauge their cultural fit by analyzing how the candidate handles this role-play scenario. Look for the candidate’s ability to handle a difficult situation, how they value the client, and if they are able to think on their feet since this has put them on the spot. Looking for great finance employes in Troy MI and surrounding regions? Why not get in touch with the expert finance recruitment team at Venteon today!

What Makes a Great Finance Manager?

August 8th, 2014

Becoming a finance manager in today’s competitive industry can be very difficult, but it can be done if you go about it the right way. There are a variety of aspects that go into being a great finance manager and not all of them involve the track record or work history of the person who has been promoted. If you can find the right balance of being a leader and being a manager, then you will be known as a great finance manager at your place of employment.

Never ‘Know it All’

One of the first things you to do is never have a ‘know it all’ attitude when working as a manager in the finance industry. The manager with a ‘know it all’ attitude will not have the respect of his or her employees. When this happens, the department will suffer and the work will not be completed on-time or with high quality. A great finance manager will listen and use input offered by employees, they value opinions of others and will consider alternatives offered by employees.

Always Work as a Team

A great finance manager will work as a member of a team all the time, not just once in a while. A manager will never use the word ‘I’ or work singularly. He or she will also find it easy to thank their employees and praise them when the job is done correctly. The manager will never take praise for something their employee did. Instead, they will complement the entire team and make it known that the department succeeded as a whole.

Everyone is Treated as an Adult

We have all had that one manager during our career that treated us like a child. A great finance manager will not treat his or her employees like children. Instead, they will be treated and respected like an adult. They know how to delegate, give other people responsibility and then hold them accountable for their actions. When this is done, the respect level of the employees for the manager is very high.

Involvement is Key

If you want to be a great finance manager, make sure you are involved in the projects occurring within your department. Roll up your sleeves, tackle the big issues, and work hand-in-hand with your employees. Do not sit behind a closed office door and wait for your employees to tell you the project is complete. Offer a helping hand as much as possible so employees can put their trust in you.

Be a Problem Solver

Some of the best finance managers today are problem solvers. They are able to help employees break barriers, achieve success and solve any problems that arise within the department. When a finance manager is able to solve problems, with the help of their employees, the department will be very cohesive.

Candidates In The Spotlight – Accounting & Finance, Troy, MI

August 7th, 2014

Big 4 Experience Associate

  • MS in Accounting
  • 6+ years of experience
  • CPA
  • Worked on clients in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, automotive, healthcare and insurance
  • Serviced a variety of client-specific audits such as Business Combinations (mergers and acquisitions), opening balance sheet (OBS) audits and combined / consolidated audits
  • Gained extensive knowledge of the inventory risks, controls, and cycles


Corporate Senior Internal Auditor

  • Senior auditor with a Fortune 500 organization
  • Currently in the financial services industry
  • Extensive experience with SOX and controls
  • Executes and supervises financial and operational audits
  • 6+ years of internal audit experience
  • MBA
  • Currently studying for CIA license



  • Accountant with 4 years of experience that is currently working for a large privately held company
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with a good understanding of financial (ERP) systems and has a core understanding of financial accounting fundamentals.
  • Experiences with preparing journal entries, maintenance of the corporate general ledger, supporting monthly close process and assisting with monthly variance analysis to support business improvement initiatives.


Big 4 CPA Senior Tax Associate

  • BA in Accounting, CPA License
  • 5+ years of experience
  • Review and prepare partnership and corporate tax returns at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Review provision work papers and prepare summary schedules and reconciliations.
  • Perform tax provision analysis at quarters and year-ends.


Financial Analyst

  • Master’s Degree in Finance from the University of Michigan
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Michigan
  • 2 Years of financial analysis experience within the Automotive Manufacturing industry
  • Budgeting, Forecasting, Variance Analysis, Financial Modeling
  • Large ERP Systems experience ( QAD, Oracle, Peoplesoft )
  • Strong Microsoft Excel skills ( V-Lookups, Pivot Tables )




Detecting Performance Problems in an Engineering Candidate’s Interview

July 28th, 2014

Conducting a detailed job interview is one of the more tedious tasks that a hiring manager has to do to find the best engineering employees. Even though interviewing endless job candidates can be daunting and tiresome, you still need to focus on each individual candidate and what they have to offer your company. This includes whether or not they have had performance problems during their engineering career.

Know Which Questions to Ask

One of the first steps in detecting performance problems in an engineering candidate’s interview is to know which questions the interviewer should ask. Every interview is different, even though they might seem similar at times, but questions need to be prepared beforehand so you know the interviewee is being challenged as much as possible. Some important questions to ask include the following:

  • Have you ever had to reinvent your job due to a changing environment or circumstances at your current or previous employer?
  • How have you progressed as an engineer from day one on the job to this point in your career?
  • What are the relationships at your current employer when it comes to reporting to superiors?
  • How many hours per day do you need to work in order to complete your assigned projects?
  • How well do you respond to constructive criticism?
  • How much structure or direction do you need while at work in order to complete your projects?
  • When you make a decision on the job, do you typically ask for forgiveness or ask for permission?

Discuss Anger With Co-Workers and Customers

Everyone who has ever worked a job will have experienced a time when he or she has become angry with a co-worker or a customer/client while on the job. When this happens, it is important to know how the employee will react to the situation. When you are sitting down for a job interview with an engineering candidate, be sure to have the candidate explain such a situation to you in order to determine how they would handle this problem when working for your company. This is an excellent way to gauge how they will perform on the job.

Discuss a Time When the Employee was Right, But Still Had to Follow Guidelines

Many times, engineering employees will experience a time when he or she is right about something, but will have to ignore it because they must follow guidelines set forth by their employer. Broach this subject with your candidate to determine if they stayed loyal to the company and followed those guidelines or went out on their own and did what they thought was right at the time.

You can learn a lot about an engineering candidate in a job interview, especially when it comes to their performance. Be sure you take an extra-long look at their history before making a decision. For access to skilled engineering candidates in Troy MI, be sure to speak with a recruiter at Venteon technical today.

10 Questions All Employers Ask in Interviews – Job Seeker Success

July 22nd, 2014

Let’s face it; preparing for a job interview takes a lot of time and research. It’s almost like a job in and of itself.  Why not make the most of this activity? There is one way you can set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd–to fast track your way to success. Prepare for an interview by studying the 10 questions all employers will usually ask no matter the position that needs to be filled, below:

#1 What are your thoughts about your previous supervisor?

This can be a very scary question to be asked during a job interview, but it is a common one. The interviewer wants to know how you respect your supervisors and what type of attitude you will bring to their organization. Under no circumstances should you ever badmouth your previous supervisor or employer, no matter what happened while employed there.

#2 How come you want to work for us and not our competitor?

If you come across this question during a job interview, make sure you have an excellent answer lined up because it can secure a job offer. This is where a little bit of research comes in handy prior to the interview. Look up the company, what it does, what its workforce consists of and what its revenue looked like last year.

#3 How do you deal with criticism?

Criticism is a major part of the workplace, whether it is constructive or negative, which is why employers will ask you this question in almost every job interview. If you do not handle criticism well, do not make it known. Instead, take the time to mention that it is a weakness of yours, but you are working on fixing that regularly.

#4 Are you self-motivated or do you need other to stimulate you?

Depending on the company at which you are interviewing, it might not matter how you answer this question. Some companies love self-starters while others would rather have their managers motivate their employees.

#5 What rewards do you want in your career?

An employer wants to know where you are going in your career, but they also want to know what you expect as a reward for your hard work and dedication. There is nothing wrong with answering this question honestly, just make sure you do not come across as someone who is solely focused on the rewards in life.

#6 How did you increase your value to your previous/current employer?

This is a very important question that interviewers love to ask. The answer to this question helps the interviewer know what type of worker you will be and what value you will bring to their organization.

#7 How will you succeed in this job since it is new to you?

If you find yourself interviewing for a job that you have never worked before, be sure to have a strong answer prepared for such a question. It will be the dealbreaker with the interviewer. You need to have a plan for success created for any job you interview for these days.

#8 How long will it take for you to make a contribution to this company?

This can be a scary question to face, but it is a common one. Companies want to know they are hiring an employee who will make an immediate impact, no matter the difficulty of the job. Have a 30-60 day plan of action and speak about this in the interview – focusing on solving problems.

#9 How are your references going to describe you?

This is the perfect time to talk yourself up, especially if you know that your references will provide glowing recommendations to the interviewer. You can also call your references up and prep them in advance if you like.

#10 What is one thing you want to avoid in this job?

This can be anything from a lack of being challenged to difficult co-workers to struggling to meet your goals. Answer this by thinking of your strengths and identifying what you do to overcome boredom, overwhelm, and other factors at work.

How to Create and Manage Efficient Engineering Teams

July 17th, 2014

The secret to a well-managed project is an efficient engineering team. Yet, for many companies, recruiting and assembling top performance engineering teams can be tricky.  Good engineering employees are hard to find, especially in the current job market.  The best engineers are generally snatched up fast by large firms that can offer them high salaries and professional development opportunities.

Develop and Manage a Strong Engineering Team

Despite these factors, there are some ways any size company can create and manage a more efficient engineering work team. Learn here about building your engineering “dream team”.

Define What Efficiency Means 

For each company the term “efficient” means something different. In the engineering world, being efficient may be delivering a new product or improvement under budget or before an important deadline. Efficiency may also be measured in the tasks presented for each project. Decide what areas your organization needs to improve upon and hire the engineering pros who have the ability to make a difference here.

Focus on Key Engineering Skillsets

In recruitment efforts, your job is to hire the most skilled engineers for your company. Once you have identified the core efficiencies your staff need to become better at their work, you’ll have a better idea of what your new engineers need to be successful too. Hire engineers who possess strong organization and project management skills, technical acumen, and new software knowledge.

Hire Temporary Engineering Staff

Engineering professionals may be hard to come by, but when you partner with a staffing agency like Venteon, you will be able to fast track your recruitment efforts. Hire temps to fill in for vital skill gaps, or for short term engineering projects so that you can better manage them. Temporary engineering contractors are often seeking ways to become part of your team on a regular basis, so they tend to work harder and at affordable rates to meet your project needs.

Use Cloud Based Engineering Technology

Managing engineering teams starts with having a central location for tracking all projects and tasks. Use a cloud based engineering product to enable all engineers to communicate and collaborate on project around the globe. Cloud engineering software frees up teams to focus on actual work at hand, without getting mired in pointless meetings and delays caused by non-accountable team members. Reporting and analysis offers greater management insight to keep engineering teams on track.

Following the above tips can help your business run smoother when it comes to your engineering teams. Consider the benefits of hiring temporary engineering professionals from Venteon in Michigan for special projects or to augment your current and future engineering work groups.

Candidates In The Spotlight – Engineering, Troy, MI

July 14th, 2014

Mechanical Design Engineer

  • Bachelors of Science – Mechanical Engineering Technology (3.52 GPA)
  • 2 years of SolidWorks design experience
  • Created and set up BOM
  • Researched suppliers data base to ensure cost effectiveness
  • Excellent communication skills

 Entry Level Engineer

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University
  • 3.68/4.0 GPA
  • 2 semesters of C+ programming
  • Basic PLC knowledge
  • Very well spoken and professional
  • CO-OP in a Manufacturing Environment
  • Immediate availability

 Field Service Technician

  • Power Technology Diploma, 2012 Michigan Institute of Aviation & Technology
  • 10-Hour OSHA General Industry Safety, 10-hour OSHA Construction Industry Certificates
  • Mechanical and Electrical troubleshooting
  • Hydraulics and PLC knowledge
  • Willing to travel

 Mechanical Engineer

  • BSME from Wayne State
  • Internship experience with Tier 1 auto supplier
  • Proficient in CAD drafting and 3D modeling using NX Unigraphics and AutoCAD
  • Create 2D drawings and 3D design work in support of HVAC design
  • Carry out checks of 3D design to ensure proper fit of all components
  • Strong communication skills

 Account Manager

  • 10 years automotive experience
  • BSME or similar degree
  • Existing relationships with automotive Tier 1 clients
  • Ability to work independently or in teams

 Automotive Engineers

  • 5+ years of automotive engineering experience
  • Heavy Plastic injection molding experience
  • Experience with Glass encapsulation
  • BSME or similar degree
  • Strong in Quality or Process Engineering

 Program Manager

  • 3-5 years of automotive experience
  • Experience with automotive interiors
  • APQP, PPAP experience
  • Strong program and project management skill
  • Heavy experience with launch activity


Tips for Shifting Your Engineering Career

July 7th, 2014

If you are considering a shift in your engineering career, you need to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. As a professional, you’ll want to avoid changing things haphazardly because this can cause you to struggle with advancing in your field.

Why would any engineer want to shift his or her career? The reasons include: being stuck in a dead-end job, wanting a new challenge, moving up the corporate ladder and much more. In this article we discuss the best tips for those making a career shift in the engineering field today.

Take a Long Look at Yourself

The first thing you need to do is take a look at yourself and where your career is right now. What is it that motivates you at the office each day? Do you enjoy going to work each day? Or, do you dread walking into the office? Are you being challenged with what you do? Are you being productive? If not, you need to be fair to the company and stop working for them. They deserve the best work from all of their employees, not just some.

Discover Job Opportunities

Once you investigate yourself, you need to figure out what your job opportunities are. They can be in the town you currently work in or somewhere else in the country. You might even want to shift your engineering career to a new zip code. There are plenty of jobs out there, but you cannot work all of them, so you need to put together a short list of jobs you wish to work. With a short list you will be able to focus on just three or four jobs. Research all of these positions, the company offering the job, and anything else you deem necessary prior to applying.

Name Your Career Goals

In order to shift your engineering career you need to name career goals. If you have an ultimate goal, you need to name what it is and work towards achieving it. Employers will ask what your long-term goals are. If you have a good amount of them, or really strong ones, you will be more likely to receive an interview and a job offer than others.

Create Realistic Expectations

When shifting your engineering career, be sure you create realistic job expectations. You need to consider the future of the engineering profession before making a move within the industry. Can you view yourself working in the engineering industry for a prolonged period? If so, you need to set a specific date for your career goals and begin working towards them today. Once you do this, your motivation will go through the roof as you work towards achieving goals and shifting your engineering career into what you want it to be.

Be sure to check out the many Engineering Jobs in Michigan available through Venteon’s professional staffing agency. You’ll find a nuber of part time and full time, flexible, short term and long term engineering assignments that can help you shift your career in the right direction,