For CFOs, overcoming the talent imbalance means focusing on emerging potential


Every time you hire an employee for your finance team, you are taking a leap of faith. No matter how illustrious a person’s career has been, there is no guarantee that success will continue when they join your business.

So why, in an economy experiencing a serious talent imbalance – with more jobs available than qualified candidates to hire them – do many CFOs choose to rely on proven-performing professionals instead of recruiting? high potential candidates with less experience?

One of the reasons financial executives may be reluctant to bet on emerging talent is the desire for stability. After so many months of disruption and uncertainty, CFOs want to be fully confident that they have a top-notch team they can count on to help the business grow and stay competitive in the future. . But betting on emerging talent may not be as risky as you think. And rejecting promising candidates because they don’t tick all the boxes could be the riskiest decision of all.

The advantage of emerging potential

When you invest in high potential talent, it gives your organization the opportunity to:

  • Increase resilience and agility. Professionals with less experience or who are just starting to build their careers are generally more adaptable to change. They are often willing to take on more responsibility because they are looking for opportunities to grow, demonstrate their abilities, and gain the trust and respect of their colleagues. Your business can benefit from hiring professionals who can step in and pivot when needed.
  • Cultivate talents from within. High potential professionals are often open to exploring different avenues, especially at the start of their careers, and they are ideal candidates for acquiring new skills. For example, an accountant with a degree in economics, a strategic thinker and a pro in statistics could, through targeted training, observation internships, and other apprenticeship-like opportunities, become an outside financial analyst. peer for your business.
  • Build a deep bench. Hiring only the most experienced and experienced talent is not without risk. These professionals may not stay long in the roles you hire them for – either because they are moving up quickly, a competitor is hiring them, deciding to retire, or choosing to take a whole new direction. in their career. By incorporating new talent into your succession planning process early on and providing them with the resources and support to prepare for the next step, you will have layers of talent ready to use when other employees precious will leave.

In order to attract talent to this competitive job market, organizations should hire for potential, not just experience, and consider the skills that the larger organization needs to be successful in the future.

Offer more than table stakes

As you probably already know, attracting professionals with a proven track record requires not only a competitive salary, but also compelling perks, perks, and growth opportunities. This is also true if you decide to hire rising candidates. In fact, raising wages has become a simple table issue for employers who want to hire and retain workers with in-demand skills and attributes such as these:

  • Strong technical skills: The candidate has the right foundation to handle current tasks and acquire other technical skills in finance.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills: They work well with anyone, in the office or remotely.
  • Promotability: They exhibit leadership qualities that could help them move forward in your business.

“From the top to the bottom of the pay scale, companies are increasingly willing to pay a little more to train workers, to take risks with people without traditional skills and to be more flexible. in where and how people work, ”wrote business correspondent Neil Irwin in a recent article for The New York Times. He also said employers “think more broadly about who is qualified for a job in the first place,” and quoted Obed Louissaint, senior vice president for transformation and culture at IBM, who said companies like his are rediscovering the value of investing in workers to develop talent rather than buying it. A recent survey by Robert Half of senior financial leaders reflects this trend: 72% of CFOs say they plan to increase their budget for professional development and training by the end of the year.

Now is the time for companies to hire early career professionals, many of whom now display a keen desire for more professional development opportunities. This could mean that selecting less experienced candidates is not as risky as it sounds, as most of them are very eager to learn. This is a huge plus for managers who want to upgrade their team, especially in the area of ​​technology, to complement traditional financial skills.


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