Blog / Thought Leadership July 5, 2022

The CFOs Struggle for Talent: How you May Be in Your Own Way

CFOs play an integral role in the organization that extends far beyond the function, including hiring and retention.

Courtney James

CFOs play an integral role in the organization that extends far beyond the function, including hiring and retention.

CFOs play an integral role in the organization that extends far beyond the function, including hiring and retention. Today’s workforce is unlike one we’ve ever experienced, marked by flexible working environments, the adoption of artificial intelligence, and the need to do more with less

Yet, according to a survey by GoodTime, 50% of companies fell short of their hiring goals last year. To make a challenging situation worse, many organizations are also struggling with retention, turnover, and an under-skilled workforce, making it harder to attain the productivity and efficiency needed during tumultuous times. 

There are several possible explanations for why. First, the job market has experienced a massive upheaval across the board, with professionals reevaluating their careers near and far. Moreover, North America is amid an enormous talent gap and record highs of those leaving the ​​labor force for retirement. There is an ever-increasing demand for skilled workers and a simultaneous decline in the available supply.

But there’s also another reason. Besides external conditions, a lot of what a company’s hiring success comes down to is how they approach the task.

After all, if you’re not using the most efficient methods, it will be more challenging to identify and attract the best talent – no matter the market’s state.

Fortunately, there are several steps companies can take to ensure they’re putting their best foot forward regarding hiring. In this article, we cover a few key strategies CFOs can use to find, hire and retain the best talent.

Skill Building Over Recruiting

Finding and onboarding new employees is a demanding task. So why do it unless you have to?

One way to avoid the time commitment and expense of recruiting is to focus on building the skills of your existing workforce. After all, your internal stakeholders are familiar with your company culture, values, and unique business processes. In addition, current team members are invested in the success of your organization and will likely stick around if you support their professional development.

Finance leaders can drive employee engagement by providing employees options to learn, expand their skill set, and create opportunities to take on additional responsibilities within their role. 

So how can you go about skill-building?

One way is to invest in software and employee training that allows the finance team to offload menial tasks and apply their skills in valuable ways. For example, investing in real-time AP automation enables accounting teams to offload the pressure of invoice reconciliation and focus on collaborative initiatives, like using payables data to help the procurement team strengthen the supply chain or negotiating payment terms with vendors to offset rising costs. 

Leveraging technology creates opportunities for employees to learn new skills on the job. This could involve job shadowing, mentorship programs, or simply giving employees the chance to take on high-impact projects.

Not only will this help you avoid the expense of recruiting, but it’ll also make your employees happier and more productive.

Digital Dexterity

Defined by speed, agility, and innovation, today’s business landscape relies on the connectivity provided by technology. Recent data shows that 90% of corporate leaders’ top priorities can only be achieved with the help of technology. To operate within the parameters of the future of work, finance teams need members with digital skills to drive strategic planning and growth. This is where the concept of digital talent comes in. Gartner defines digital dexterity as the ambition and ability to use technology for better outcomes, but it’s more than that. Its highest and best expression includes open mindsets and agile behavior.

The finance function is the nucleus of the organization, controlling, regulating, and keeping record of all financial movements. Therefore, when hiring finance professionals, seek candidates with high levels of digital skill who are open to technology’s potential, willing to take risks, adept at collaborative ways of working, and possess robust technology savviness.

According to Gartner, employees with high levels of digital dexterity are 3.3 times more likely to launch and complete digital initiatives quickly and deliver value.

Cultivate Culture

Companies can become laser-focused on skills and experience when it comes to recruitment and hiring. While those are key to success, culture fit is the third element finance leaders should consider. But, of course, that can be easier said than done. Culture is hard to define, let alone measure.

The organizational environment significantly impacts employees’ ability to work cross-functionally, autonomously, and with a customer-centric mindset —all of which are paramount to digital dexterity. Corporate leaders must create a digital-first culture in their present staff. They should champion digital adoption and encourage their organization to leverage technology in their everyday work. 

If your organization is future-focused and digitally capable, you want to ensure the individuals joining your team have similar perspectives and values. One way to assess whether a candidate will be a good fit for your company culture is to involve them early on by bringing them in to shadow someone in their desired role or involving current team members in the interview process. 

Be Open and Future Focused 

The future is difficult to predict, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare and plan for various scenarios. When it comes to hiring, this means being open to candidates who may not have the traditional skills and experience you’re looking for – but who have the potential to excel in their role. It also means focusing on the long-term and not just filling a short-term need.

CFOs are critical in ensuring their companies are hiring the best talent. By focusing on the aspects of employment that have the most significant impact, they can set their organizations up for success both now and in the future.


Want to get your finance team working faster with a flexible technology provider? Schedule a demo with an OpenEnvoy expert today, visit https://openenvoy.com/contact-us/.

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