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The Changing Role of the CFO in the Future of Finance Talent

Success in the future of finance is all about having the right talent. Discover what recruiting techniques CFOs are using to adapt and thrive.

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Success in the future of finance is all about having the right talent. Discover what recruiting techniques CFOs are using to adapt and thrive.

As the expectations for finance professionals have evolved, so has the skill set they need to be successful at their jobs. Where it once was enough to have a strong accounting background, the most forward-thinking members of finance are now digitally adept as well.  

Some of the skills that have newly become necessary include data modeling, innovation engineering, and process optimization. On top of those technical skills, finance professionals are also expected to be savvy strategic partners who combine business acumen with sparkling people skills. 

 The professionals who combine all these skills into one package offer tremendous value to the organizations that manage to hire them. Here’s the only problem: top finance talent is exceedingly rare, yet without it the potential of modern finance is largely lost. That means CFOs need to make recruiting and retention a major priority. Otherwise, finance will remain stuck in the past.  

Recruiting from Within 

CFOs and other senior finance leaders have a 30,000-foot view, so it’s not surprising they’ve been quick to pick up new skills, technical and otherwise. Unfortunately, the professionals below them have not evolved as quickly. It’s not because of a lack of foresight or initiative but rather a lack of opportunities. 

As it becomes harder to find unicorns in the pool of available finance talent, companies need to think seriously about training-up the talent they already have. Imagine a finance department where everyone had the same well-rounded skills as the CFO. Building that kind of team is possible by helping current employees complement their existing abilities with the skills they’ll need to thrive in the future. 

Developing talent internally has a number of advantages. Given the current labor market, trying to rely on outside hires is going to leave a lot of gaps in the ranks. In many cases, it will prove to be faster, easier, and cheaper to spend resources turning the professionals you already have into the ones you urgently need. 

Another advantage is that existing employees already understand the culture of the company and the workflows within the finance department. They don’t need to be onboarded, unlike new hires. Plus, as they learn new skills, they can tailor them to the needs of the company along the way. In that way, talent developed internally may prove to be more valuable than an outside hire with the exact same skill set. 

Planning for the Future

CFOs who want to avoid talent gaps and skills shortages need to embrace an entirely different approach to recruiting. First, they need to start looking for new types of talent with skills outside the narrow definition of finance. 

At the same time, CFOs need to begin optimizing their present staff using education, training, and new technology. Professional development comes in dozens of forms, and it’s up to finance leaders to decide what works best for their teams and objectives. 

As finance becomes a place where professionals (not just math geeks) can grow, evolve, and thrive, it will attract more bright professionals to the field. Paradoxically, the hiring challenges of today should make finding talent easier in the future. But it all depends on finance departments being willing to transform now. 

 Get all the help you need at every step along the way by partnering with the experts at blumshapiro. 

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