Why does attracting and keeping talented finance people matter? | Unit4
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Why does attracting and keeping talented finance people matter?

Do finance people still have a role in the age of digital? Yes, possibly a more prominent role than ever before, which requires a talented team of finance professionals.

Finance has always been an organization’s engine room, and that won’t ever change. But what is changing is the power and influence of that engine. That’s why many finance departments are broadening their focus to be more strategic.

As we change how we plan, resource, forecast, and analyze every aspect of finances role, the next logical step is to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the finance team and where those resources are best deployed.

Why talent matters?

The more complex the task, the better the people you need. For highly skilled jobs, top performers are up to 800% more productive.

It’s a difference that can transform businesses. And it’s why attracting and keeping talented finance people has become a key battleground for companies today.

As the finance team’s challenges grow, so must their ability. Making building your finance team's skills and experience to handle even the most complex problems essential. More importantly, it's critical to find qualified strategic thinkers who understand the need to bring innovation and fiscal reality together to drive your organization forward.

For CFOs trying to build finance teams for the future, this means you’re in competition for the most talented people. So it’s time to start considering your employee value proposition. 

What is an employee value proposition?

Your employee value proposition is what makes you a place people want to work. It’s why talented people should pick you over somewhere else.

They usually start with the pay, benefits, rewards, and perks that your employees get when working for you. But to really stand out, it must go beyond the basics and encompass things like the opportunities they get, or the kudos that comes from working in an organization with an industry-leading reputation, or even the types of challenges they will be asked to face.

But how do you create an employee value proposition that people take notice of? One that fits your company's values and treats talent as an asset? While also:

  • Building mentorship and development programs that focus on maximizing performance and potential 
  • Delivering world-class employee experiences that set you apart from other organizations
  • Growing your brand fidelity to drive results  

It’s a challenge for all organizations. So how do you get ahead?

Start by genuinely considering what your proposition is and who it’s for? To really appeal to talented, savvy people, it has to be more than merely a statement of intent. You have to walk the walk. Every element of it has to be lived across your organization. People need to be able to hold you to it and judge you against it. And if they can’t, they’ll go elsewhere. 

What does finance talent look like?

So you know you need to attract talent, but what kind of talent do you need?

For accounting and finance departments, this can be a conundrum. The traditional finance skill set is changing. Roles are becoming broader and more complex. A hard skill set is no longer enough, your people must also deploy soft skills like problem-solving, collaboration, negotiation, and empathy. They must also continue to develop and learn.

Your team will be responsible for driving strategy and growth, and your people need to think outside the spreadsheet box and go way beyond numbers to do this.

Talented finance people: 

  1. Have a purpose
    1. Helping you build a human-first, value-driven culture
  2. Have an impact
    1. Delivering measurable results and creating a data-driven culture
  3. Add value
    1. They prove their value

Aligning talent and objectives

To make the most of the talent you have and to attract more in the future, you need to truly align skills with objectives. To do that you need to be asking questions like:

  • How can you align these people with the skills and experience you need to meet business objectives?
  • Can you quantify these skills as assets that can be managed?
  • And do you link your objectives to KPI's and ongoing engagement strategies?

Often the answer to these questions is finding the right tools to manage the big picture and bring control of your talent and objectives together.

ERP software, integrated with the right human capital management (HCM) and financial planning tools, helps finance departments manage their talent as capital. Giving them the rigor and data-driven methodologies needed to be more strategic within the business.

They will also give you visibility into your team’s profiles, engagement levels, and performance metrics. Letting you replicate high performing teams and avoid the characteristics associated with low performing teams. 

On top of this, strategic planning must include human capital management and workplace planning. This creates plans for closing skills gaps, implementing engagement and development tools, and creating a people-centric culture that can be measured. While placing employee engagement and development software and tools within the right cultural context, will also provide solid metrics for you to follow.

The Unit4 Cloud ERP suite is purpose-built for professional service organizations and designed to integrate your finance function into the whole business. It lets you manage human capital alongside other business fundamentals while keeping a 360 view of the organization. Please reach out to a Unit4 team member to learn more about any of our enterprise solutions, including our employee engagement and development tools. 

Why is talent management the next big priority for finance departments?

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