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Spotting Top Talent: 4 Underrated Qualities to Look for in Candidates

When seeking new talent to add to your team or temporarily augment your workforce, having the right technical skills and experience is undoubtedly valuable for a candidate to dive into work quickly. However, less conventional traits — especially in onboarding interim support roles — can be equally critical for success. As we've supported requests from businesses looking for interim accounting support, HUGO by RGP has recognized how often underrated qualities play a role in the success of an engagement or the longer-term success of an employee. Here’s some of what we learned that you may consider when filling finance and accounting talent needs in the future.

Diverse System Experience

When seeking a particular type of candidate, companies often focus heavily on specific system experience. However, finding talented candidates who have navigated a variety of systems is an indicator that this person is quick to learn and adapt. It's important to recognize the value of transferable skills beyond specific system knowledge. Candidates with diverse systems experience demonstrate an ability to transition between different workflows and applications more seamlessly. They can be relied upon to grasp new concepts and apply a wider variety of skills. These candidates are extremely versatile, increasing the overall value proposition to the business.


Candidates with extensive experience often exhibit a heightened level of adaptability, but that should not be left to assumption, as this is a crucial skill to assess for, especially in environments with ever-changing demands. This characteristic can be discerned through targeted interview questions and a comprehensive understanding of their past work experiences. Adaptable candidates are quick to find solutions to potential problems and can apply their skills in a multitude of ways to help pivot a project, support other departments, or progress with an evolving situation. This type of flexibility is a strategic advantage that ensures your interim support team aligns with your dynamic business requirements.

Strong Communication Skills

In the finance and accounting world, collaboration is key given the intricate nature of financial systems and their reliance on the cooperation of multiple stakeholders. When considering temporary hires to help support your in-house team, you want to ensure that these new staff members can effectively communicate with their colleagues, vendors, and customers at whatever level the position requires. Candidates who demonstrate strong communication skills are more likely to quickly learn new skills and responsibilities for their assigned role, making the onboarding process fast and smooth. These candidates can easily seek out support or assistance from other team members while not shying away from offering new insights and ideas that can help your company flourish. Solid communication skills also allow these types of employees to keep processes moving, making the business run as efficiently as possible. Effective dialogue and interaction in the interview process, while listening for examples of increased responsibility, proactive solutions, or information seeking, can create some assurances related to the strength of an individual's communication skills.

Attention to Detail

Given the paramount importance of accuracy and attention to detail in the realm of finance and accounting, companies must prioritize candidates who possess these exacting skills during the hiring process. Examples that hiring managers could expect to hear from candidates are instances where they have been able to quickly identify solutions for potential errors and inconsistencies within financial records. These individuals will often need less training as they are keen to listen when first introduced and note where to self-seek follow-up information. They also tend to need less follow-up from managers or quality assurance functions beyond initial onboarding.

As you look to start your talent search, we recommend thinking through different transferrable skill or knowledge options that you would be open to considering; this could be related to specific tasks, industry knowledge, level of experience, technology platforms or software requirements, etc.

Find High-Quality Interim Support with HUGO by RGP

The hiring process can be exhausting — examining dozens of resumes, interviewing candidates, and training new employees. When you’re looking for strong interim support, HUGO by RGP is your solution. HUGO’s match technology quickly searches our network of qualified finance and accounting experts to help easily match you with the right candidates who can provide you with the most value. This network consists of highly qualified candidates exhibiting many of these vital employee traits, so you can easily find and match with the right candidate or team to take your business to the next level.

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