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Modern Finance: Driving Transformation from Within
A strong finance function has always been a central foundation of any business. Without profitability, no business can survive, and the finance team has historically been responsible for monitoring and reporting on financial performance.
This remains right at the heart of the finance team’s role, but now the finance team has a much broader and deeper range of responsibilities. Our recent survey, Modern Finance: Driving Transformation from Within, reveals that finance leaders are being relied upon to manage regulatory complexity, eliminate operating silos, and provide support to other lines of business like sales and marketing, among many other tasks
Finding finance professionals with this broad range of skills isn’t always easy. In fact, recruitment consultant Robert Half has found that it takes seven weeks, on average, to fill a permanent job vacancy in financial services.
The situation will only get more challenging as the role of finance leaders in the company continues to grow
For finance teams with a growing workload and who are under more pressure from the business than ever, this poses a problem. It’s also fair to assume the situation will only get more challenging as the role of finance leaders in the company continues to grow.
But companies need not be pessimistic. They do need to rethink their approach to attracting and retaining skilled finance employees. Robert Half also found that 90 per cent of CFOs and FDs plan to work with interim managers in the short term to develop the project management skills they need in the finance department. This is certainly a simple way to fill in the gaps while longer term recruitment efforts go on in parallel.
A more permanent approach is for CFOs to look for skilled professionals whose background lies outside the finance function but who have a proven track record in those people skills, project management and business management capabilities that have become so vital. This might also extend to recruiting from other lines of business and finding employees who want to test their skills in a new, challenging environment.
It is also important to realise that in a field where the talent pool is small and needs continue to compound, employees may have the balance of power. Presenting the finance team in the right light to the rest of the business and recognising and rewarding talented individuals for their efforts will go a long way in keeping high-performers on-board and motivated.
It is also important to realise that in a field where the talent pool is small and needs continue to compound, employees may have the balance of power.
As the skillset of the finance professional continues to evolve, it’s only right that organisations think differently about how they recruit, foster, and retain the best people. Those that proceed wisely will not only succeed in this regard, but also find they are generating momentum that results in them attracting top talent more organically. That is surely the best way to build a modern finance team.