Every company wants the best people. Whether they can afford them is another matter.
This is at least prevalent within finance departments, apparently, where competition for the right talent is running so high that pre-emptive bidding wars are being launched. According to a recent survey of CFOs by recruiting firm Robert Half, 54% of respondents said they had offered a candidate more money than their previous employer:
Robert Half offered some suggestions for CFOs such as using benchmarks and offering more vacation time, but that may be only part of the strategy. As organizations’ needs around data and insight evolve, they’ll need to work very tactically to not only recruit but retain the skills that differentiate them.
Four important things to consider:
1) Is this a finance job, an IT job, or both? As reporting becomes more sophisticated, the tools and techniques to gather and extract value from information will probably require multi-faceted teams whose expertise span more than one discipline. An expensive candidate may be more likely to sign on with a firm that has a solid sense of where they fit into the organizational structure.
2) What kind of business acumen is critical? You can spend a lot of money on someone with a degree in data science or experience with complex algorithms, but how well do they understand – and how interested are they – in your particular industry or market? The skills should be complemented by a sense of what your organization needs in order to grow.
3) How will technology and existing talent will the gaps? There might be a burning need to get certain positions created or filled right away, but think long-term. Advances in cloud computing are bringing functionality to finance departments and other areas of the organization like never before. In some cases, existing staff will already be moving to higher-value tasks and may be ready for additional training and development.
4) Does the price tag meet your KPIs? No matter what kind of key performance indicators you use, the staff you put in place to reach your goals should be aligned with them. That includes what you need to spend on salaries to get the bench strength and stay competitive.
Of course, no matter what skills your finance department hires for, your candidates need to be the right fit in terms of attitude and team orientation – no matter how competitive the market gets, those qualities remain priceless.
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