By Kathy Spearing | April 10, 2019


We have been hearing the same message for months now. Top talent is in large demand, but short supply. Most of us know this already as we are seeing a 50-year low in unemployment numbers. Professionals continue to get recruited from one position to another – just for the promise of higher wages and benefits.

It’s like the whole hiring process has become a sophisticated game of corporate checkers.

However, what if hiring managers, recruiters and HR professionals are looking at this dilemma in the wrong way? What if, we’re actually heading towards an excess of quality talent issue?

That can’t be true. Can it?

Economists and other experts are predicting that as the accounting, finance and IT functions continue to evolve in a progressive and aggressive way, the professionals currently in those functions may find themselves off-pace with the updating and advancement of their skillsets. This could mean the professionals not able to keep up with changing times, could have their careers in jeopardy.

A recent article on CFO.com discusses this saying, “The resulting job displacement could be massive — think Industrial Revolution massive — affecting as many as 800 million people globally by 2030 and requiring up to 375 million of them to switch occupational categories and learn new skills.”

So, what can businesses do to prepare for a possible catastrophic change to the workforce?

Well, for starters, they can look at what some forward-thinking companies are doing right now to mitigate the inevitable. I thought I’d share with you some of the discussion topics I found useful in the article. See the 3 Ways to Prepare Your Finance Team for Major Changes Ahead below.

1. Train and Pivot 
As digitization, automation and AI continue to make their way into everyday practice, business leaders (like the CFO) need to assess what they’re ultimately going to do with their teams. What can become cross-functional? What will the hierarchy look like? Who is going to own what? This might mean thinking outside of the box and even disrupting current processes and procedures. For example, right now, some businesses are rolling out upskilling programs to help prepare their teams for the aspects of their jobs that are changing. For accountants, this might mean getting trained on advanced digital analytics. Overall, companies should start taking a broader look from a skills perspective and make objective decisions from there.

2. Acquire, build or invest
As skill gaps become more apparent, it’s imperative to plan for what’s ahead. You might not currently have specialized, high-tech roles like a data scientist on your team, but you know that need is likely coming down the pipeline. What you’ll need to do is decide whether to acquire new talent with those skills or invest time and resources into training existing staff with high potential to learn that expertise. Some businesses are entertaining the idea of apprenticeships where individuals are working part-time in the company and training part-time to learn new skills. This is allowing leaders to mold the individuals into the specific roles necessary for future success. There’s also the option of tapping into the gig economy and employing consultants on a short-term basis to manage projects or needs. No matter what, if you start to prepare now and nurture the skills and expertise of your teams, or decide to invest, either will undoubtedly help you with the coming changes.

3. Practice what you preach. 
Just as your accounting, finance and IT teams will need to evolve and pick up new skill sets, so will the c-suite leaders, HR managers and even recruiters. If you think about it, as roles change due to skills and needs, so will career paths. Processes for company culture, employee retention and engagement, and other talent management concepts will need to be refined. This will require a shift in mindset. The article wraps with, “Many, if not most, companies will find their people-operations infrastructure and talent-management system creaking under the strain of new challenges … HR leaders are no different from those in any other function — all of whom must be prepared to evolve if they are to be effective in helping the larger enterprise adapt to the changing nature of work.”

What are some ways you’re preparing for the future in this fast-evolving labor market? Let us know in the comment section below.

Need help hiring for your team, call 312.582.1800 or email info@briliantfs.com and mention this blog.


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