Finance talent is getting expensive lately, at least if you go by the huge bonuses Wall Street investment banks are paying out. But looking beyond the eye-catching pay of the banking sector, the finance functions in regular companies are pursuing their own, more down-to-earth talent strategies to attract, retain, and future-proof the people they need.
Workday's latest Chief Financial Officer survey surfaces some of the more common - and effective - approaches among CFOs across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the US, France, Germany, and the UK. The top challenges continue to be talent scarcity and budget constraints, but the top solutions have changed noticeably from just a few years ago. Here are three points of interest highlighted by the responses.
CFOs are investing in technology to make jobs more attractive: The survey found that 48% of CFOs are planning to invest in technology that will automate many of the finance function's routine manual tasks, something that has already been shown to significantly boost productivity - this represents a considerable shift in thinking, as pre-pandemic the finance function was typically slow to adopt technology or to consider different approaches to productivity.
They're looking for a whole new set of skills in candidates: 57% of CFOs are now looking for AI and machine learning skills in new hires. Five years ago, these skills weren't even on the horizon as far as the finance function was concerned. Similarly, 40% of CFOs are prioritising analytics and data storytelling skills, which they were much less concerned about five years ago.
They're investing in D&I and ESG: The finance function has been attempting to make itself more diverse and inclusive for a long time, but with limited success. Unsurprisingly in view of broad societal and regulatory trends in recent years, CFOs are paying a lot of attention to these areas. 57% of CFOs are actually prioritising these investments.