- CFOs can reduce hiring costs by as much as half and retain the best employees by letting their finance team act on their aspirations, take on new opportunities, and, in some cases, make lateral moves, a Gartner survey showed.
- 22% of accounting staff said they don't intend to stay in their position over the long term, citing dissatisfaction with the opportunities they feel are open to them, Gartner found.
- Growth opportunities can include part-time work assignments, mentorships and training.
"I think why this survey has resonated so much with CFOs is because it's such a tight labor market and the competition for finance professionals is so high," said Hilary Richards, who conducted the survey of more than 5,700 finance and accounting professionals. "CFOs need to think about what really drives recruitment and retention and then figure out what they can do to influence that."
The U.S. unemployment rate, at 3.7% this month, is at a 19-year low, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Finance departments traditionally are hierarchical in design, which can limit opportunity for staff growth when vacancies occur.
"In some of the more traditional, title-based finance cultures, we tend to link professional development to promotion, and promotion can only happen if there's a vacancy," Richards said. "And so we tend to focus too narrowly on a particular silo and that is not very motivating for an employee and also limits who might be coming into your own internal pipeline."
Growth opportunities can be part-time work assignments, mentorships and training, among other things. It can also involve an employee moving out of the finance function entirely to try something new.
"Some of the skills that are in greatest demand in finance are things like the ability to be collaborative and other things that might fall into the softer skills like communicating effectively and taking initiative," Richards said. "These are some of the skills we're trying to spawn in our finance candidates."
Changing the corporate culture to offer employees new experiences can help in recruiting top talent. CFOs can play up that culture by having finance employees blog about their various opportunities, for example, Richards said. Talented job applicants could be swayed if they see firsthand what employees are doing, Richards said.