According to a new Accountemps survey, some twenty-three percent of polled CFOs said their firms are doing more entry-level hiring today than five years ago, with another 65 percent saying their efforts have remained the same. For those more actively hiring, an "innovative spirit" (30 percent) and enthusiasm (22 percent) were the most cited reason for seeking more entry-level professionals.  

"When your work experience is limited, demonstrating creativity and enthusiasm during the interview is your strongest asset," stated Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps. "One of the most important ways to do this is by researching the company thoroughly and describing for hiring managers what excites you about the prospect of working there. It's surprising how many job seekers don't take this step."

"The best ideas can come from anywhere in the organization," he added. "Employers should foster a culture in which employees at all levels are encouraged to be creative and share their ideas," he said.

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CFOs were asked, "Is your firm more or less active in recruiting entry-level candidates from colleges or universities now than it was five years ago?" Their responses were:

Significantly more active

7%

Somewhat more active

16%

About the same

65%

Somewhat less active

7%

Significantly less active

5%

 

100%

CFOs were additionally asked, "Which of the following is the primary reason your firm is more active in recruiting entry-level candidates from colleges or universities?" Their responses were as follows:

They bring fresh ideas and an innovative spirit

30%

They bring energy and enthusiasm to their jobs

22%

They adapt quickly to new technology

18%

There are recruiting challenges at more experienced levels

18%

They have lower salary expectations

12%

 

100%

Accountemps offers the following tips to help professionals innovate on the job:

  • Never stop learning. Keep up with trends by reading industry trades and set Google news alerts for topics that interest you. Take courses that appeal to you, even if they're outside your field. Being exposed to a wide range of ideas is a natural creativity booster.
  • Try a different angle. Look at business challenges from a variety of perspectives – how would your customer see it, or someone from a different work group? This can help you identify new ways of doing things.
  • Take a break. If you've been trying unsuccessfully to come up with new solutions, step away from your desk and get some fresh air or focus your attention elsewhere. You will return to the task with renewed energy.
  • Mix it up. Purposely stray from your routine; even taking a new route to work or trying out a new lunch spot can provide inspiration.
  • Collaborate. Two heads are better than one. Bounce ideas and talk through challenges with other team members.  

For more on Accountemps, head to their site here.