Senior finance professionals look to other industries to combat skills shortages

Published on: 18 Aug 2016
  • 61% of CFOs say that they have struggled to source candidates from traditional talent pools
  • 52% of senior finance managers would be prepared to consider candidates from another industry to fill a job.
  • However just 27% would be prepared to take on staff with a background in another profession.

Research from Robert Walters has found that 61% of CFOs have struggled to recruit candidates from traditional talent pools.

To combat these skills shortages, more than half of senior finance managers are prepared to consider candidates from another industry when recruiting into their finance teams.

Marcus Blackburn, Associate Director, Accountancy and Finance recruitment, Robert Walters, comments:

“The current candidate-short market has influenced many employers to relax previously strict policies of only hiring professionals who met the exact specifications for a role. Increasingly we are seeing hiring managers being prepared to look at candidates with transferable skills and experience which is not directly related to the role in question.”

“By broadening their hiring criteria these employers are able to access a wider talent pool, sourcing top professionals who would otherwise have been ruled out at the earliest stages of recruitment.”

Hiring Managers still cautious to recruit from other professions

However, despite the acknowledged skills shortage, the survey also found that senior finance managers are still somewhat reluctant to recruit professionals from other disciplines however. Just 27% said that they would consider a candidate from a different professional background.

Marcus Blackburn continues:

“Clearly there are certain roles where accountancy qualifications are essential to the job giving hiring managers limited scope to be flexible.”

“However, there are more junior and commercially focused roles in finance teams where these qualifications are not a prerequisite.”

“A relatively small but growing number of firms are taking advantage of this opportunity, recruiting highly skilled professionals with valuable transferable skills from backgrounds such as law and IT.”

“In many cases these candidates are able to bring unique experience and add new perspectives to the teams they join, giving them a significant advantage over more homogenous finance teams.”

“As skills shortages continue and the emphasis on finance departments providing strategic insights to the business grows finance managers can put themselves in a stronger position to deliver on objectives by expanding their hiring criteria to include professionals from different professions.”

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