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Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

Struggling to Find the Best Finance Talent? Here’s How to Build a Winning Team

Di Seghposs
Senior Director, Product Marketing

A question for all you CFOs out there: Are you winning the talent war?

Recently I wrote about how Growth CFOs embrace analytical tools to provide insight into market trends and customer needs. To take advantage of those tools, the Growth CFO must also build a team with the skills to interpret the information, use their communication and influencing skills to take strategic action, and help the business gain a competitive edge.

Yet finance leaders struggle to attract and retain top talent. According to The CFO Alliance’s 2016 CFO Sentiment Study, 70% of finance leaders say human capital is of concern, or of great concern.

Finance talent is critical enough that if given $1 million of budget, 30% of CFOs would heavily allocate those funds to recruiting and retaining top talent. (Click the infographic for more details.)

CFOs are, in fact, allocating a significant amount of resources to top-level talent. The majority (83%) of CFOs say they plan to raise wages through the first half of 2017, including 63% who say they plan to raise wages with the specific purpose of attracting and retaining the best employees.

Even so, CFOs recognize they can’t simply throw money at highly skilled professionals and expect results. Training is more important than ever. More than 32% of CFOs reported that their biggest talent investment would be additional training and development:

  • 43% identified professional conferences and webinars as the main way of addressing talent gaps
  • 37% identified in-house corporate trainers as the main vehicle for fostering professional development

Technology plays a bigger role than one might expect in attracting top talent. Employees want to work with the latest tools, not spend hours of their day extracting data and manipulating spreadsheets. As a result, finance departments with the most cutting-edge tech tend to attract the best employees. This is particularly true for younger job seekers, including Millennials, who are using mobile, social, and cloud-based technologies in everyday life.

The results of the CFO Sentiment Study indicate hiring and retaining the right finance talent is critical to driving company growth. I encourage you to download the full survey results. And for more on how to attract and keep the best finance employees, I invite you to read the Wall Street Journal Custom Studios report, “Winning the War for Finance Talent.” 

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