As the shrinking unemployment rate continues to drain the talent pool, a shortage of talent in many corporate functions and industries exists. For many finance departments, the problem may be a little different because if they were looking for applicants with technical skills, they would be overwhelmed.
In today’s world, CFOs and organizations in the Finance sector are looking for candidates with a variety of skill sets that highly different the generation preceding it, meaning that they may need to start looking for candidates in unlikely places. For example, finance teams have deemed that it is more valuable for new hires to have a variety of “soft” skills that can allow them to communicate and collaborate with others. Here are some of the areas that CFOs should look first for great hires.
According to a recent Ernst and Young survey, 57% of finance leaders have stated that building predictive and prescriptive analytics capabilities are essential for long term success. It is important to improve your team’s analytical and problem-solving skill sets to drive better decision on a finance level. These skills are not the easiest to teach, meaning that finance teams need to find people with these skill sets.
Many successful companies hire young candidates who are very strong in analytics in various industries beyond traditional sources such as business school and accounting firms. Finance organizations have begun looking for these candidates in sectors such as journalism and educational organizations. In journalism, many writers must be able to analyze many stories and data points to create a story that is digestible for their readers. This skill can translate directly into finance.
While analytical skills are essential for finance, many soft skills are just as valuable. Many top career development directors have stated that many companies are beginning to have candidates take very quick technical tests and spend most of the interviews evaluating their soft skills. This demand for employees with soft skills has begun to change the finance industry in many ways.
CFOs are looking for candidates who can analyze data as well as pitch and challenges ideas in front of a board of directors. It’s become evident that what companies are looking for are language skills. No matter what quantitative or other skills candidates have, no matter how smart they are, if they don’t know how to communicate with prowess, they don’t know the field, especially when the language of finance can often be quite cryptic. Many sales representatives can carry these attributes and really drive ideas in a seamless manner.
Another sector where finance teams can look for candidates that have strong communication skills is within education. Many teachers and professors are constantly challenged with being able to communicate ideas to many different minds. Similar to how sales reps are able to communicate ideas in a seamless manner, teachers must ensure that their students are able to comprehend the information that they are teaching. This skill is highly valuable in finance when concepts can be complex.
Client Services & Engineering
As recent graduates enter the workforce they’ll learn the importance of soft skills and how it will eventually surpass that of technical ones. In the business world, there is always a sense of uncertainty. That is why it is important for finance teams to find candidates who are flexible and can adapt easily. These candidates should have an understanding of the difference between management and leadership as well as flexibility. All of these skill sets can be found in client services and engineering industries. On a daily basis, these professionals are constantly challenged with ever-changing issues and problems that they need to fix quickly. In the client services industry such as retail or hospitality, professionals must do their best to satisfy their customers’ needs.
CFOs can also look for candidates who have a strong understanding of adaptability in the engineering sector. Similar to the client services industry, engineers needs to be able to complete very technical requests and convey these difficult concepts to executives who may not be as tech savvy. Finance teams can benefit greatly by adding these professionals onto their teams.
In a world where competition is steadily growing, you must learn how to gain the advantage. Developing a well-rounded team can help you accomplish this. Consider looking for top tier candidates in unlikely places.