As today’s corporate world continues to change, so do the accounting, finance and IT functions that support them. Professionals are expected to possess skillsets that include a broader range of knowledge over their respective roles have traditionally included. Much of these added expectations are due to the ever-changing business environment, rapidly-growing technologies and Big Data concepts. Therefore, accounting, finance and IT leaders are looking for strategic, analytics-focused professionals – right out of the gate.
The issue with this want (and need) is that many college curriculums fail to include macro-level management courses and instead focus on standard accounting methods. Even more challenging, many students or entry-level accounting, finance and IT professionals are content with their career trajectory that comes from these curriculums. Therefore, there exists a gap within the pool of available entry-level accounting, finance and IT talent: those who possess bachelor’s degrees with three or fewer years of experience, and those who are even more self-motivated and have earned leadership-potential certifications in addition.
CFO.com released Finding the Accounting Talent Your Company Needs, an e-book that dives into what accounting, finance and IT functions are doing to bridge the gap between today’s professionals expertise with what companies need out of new talent in order to grow and measure business effectively. We’ve taken some of the information from the e-book and some of our own to give you, 3 Ways to Find Entry-Level Accounting and IT talent Your Company needs:
- 1. Incentivize your current team members for advancing their technical skills.
Most accounting, finance and IT professionals appreciate a good challenge, especially when something tangible comes as a result. Consider incentivizing your current team members for developing their education on their own time, especially with skills surrounding strategy, business intelligence, and other analytical data management. For instance, cash rewards or time off for learning tools such as Microsoft Excel, Power Pivot or SQL Server can not only encourage team members to improve their skillsets, but improve motivation at the same time. For the businesses, dollars dedicated to initiatives like this can be easily recovered by the enhancements garnered as a result. Locating revenue gaps or identifying various revenue trends can come as a result of this additional education. Furthermore, managers and leaders can observe how quickly people’s skills improve, especially for lower-level roles that might not immediately benefit from learning additional technical skills.
- 2. Alter your current culture to put analytics first.
The e-book indicates, “To lure the necessary talent, companies will have to make themselves attractive to data scientists.” To do so, they have to create an environment that supports and embraces analytics. Again, businesses must hire the right people before they can dig into the massive amounts of data thrown their way. So, fundamentally is makes sense to alter a company’s culture into one that puts analytics first and attract the specialized talent needed. A company that utilizes “prescriptive” (forward-looking) analytics can be seen as more progressive than a company that utilizes “descriptive” (looking in the past) analytics, for instance. CFO.com adds, “If your company is not seen as a place with a career path for people with an analytics background, they’re not going to come to your door.”
- 3. Work with Human Resources.
The HR function continues to become an extension of the accounting, finance and IT functions, especially within fast-growing companies. Managers and leaders are now more than ever helping with the hiring process, reserved in the past to be handled solely by HR. Nowadays, CFOs, CIOs and other management and leadership are on the front lines of hiring – which makes sense – especially with the specialized skillsets companies are seeking out of accounting, finance and IT professionals. Additionally, working with HR heads allows finance and IT managers and leaders to have a grasp on reward and recognition programs – which is often attractive for job candidates. It’s important for finance and IT leaders to have a pulse on top performers, low performers, and overall, make sure the right professionals are focusing on the right things.
What are some other ways to attract top accounting, finance and IT talent to fit your company needs? Comment below and let us know!