Hiring For Finance and Accounting in 2017

Illumeo Blog's Profile

The 2017 CFO Sentiment Study conducted by the CFO Alliance revealed some fascinating statistics about the office of the CFO, but one of most interesting tidbits is this: CFOs realize now more than ever they need to have top a talent player in every position within the Office of the CFO.

With 56% of respondents to the survey indicating they would be hiring new full time finance employees in 2017, this seems to be the year to hire for finance. Before these CFOs start interviewing candidates, there are a few things to keep in mind.

It can be hard to find the right person for the job – especially if you’re looking for top talent.

Top talent requires certain skills, and it isn’t easy to find someone with all the skills you’re looking for. Tom McGuire, formerly CFO of Revlon, noted in a recent article, “There isn’t a shortage of finance talent per se, but there is a shortage of people who have both technical expertise and these additional skills that will enable them to work well inside an organization.”

This skills gap seems to be mentioned more often these days, especially when it comes to hiring in the finance function. You may need to hire someone who doesn’t check every box on your list, and that’s ok.

Sometimes the best person for the job isn’t the most obvious choice.

Many companies want to hire the candidate with the most experience, the highest GPA, and the best education, but that person isn’t necessarily the right person for the job. In fact, some companies like Dell have found that it’s better for them to hire employees with zero experience. They prefer to train and develop their employees in-house and they, along with some other large companies, have found that method works best for them.

To find the right employee for your company in 2017, you must decide what skills, attributes, and experience you value most. You may be battling the skills gap, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find that right candidate for the job.

Consider non-traditional hiring methods.

While there may not be enough qualified candidates, you’ll likely be inundated with resumes and cover letters once the open position is announced. Companies have traditionally relied on these resumes and cover letters to find the right person for the job with varying degrees of success.

Thankfully there are additional ways to evaluate potential employees now, like LinkedIn or skills assessment tools. But be wary of software or apps that promise to sort through resumes and applications for you, as they tend to focus only on keywords and phrases. You might just miss the best candidate because they didn’t choose the right buzz word.

Hiring in 2017 isn’t easy, but for companies to succeed going forward they need to make sure they are bringing in the right finance people.