Hiring managers in finance have their work cut out

By Bryan Strickland

Nearly 80% of hiring managers in finance and accounting believe they'll be challenged to attract and retain enough talent over the next year, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte.

During a recent Deloitte webinar focused on the future of the workforce, 82.3% of hiring managers at public companies and 73.7% at private ones said they "expect to have to work hard" on talent solutions over the next year.

"When you have over 75% of public and private companies saying they're going to face talent challenges, that's a big deal," said Matt Hurley, CPA, a senior manager with Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory, Deloitte and Touche LLP. "Getting to how organizations can address that challenge to meet their needs is a big effort, especially at a transitional time in accounting and finance where we're seeing a lot of change related to how and where people are working and what they are doing."

More than half of hiring managers cited a workload-related reason as the most likely driver of talent acquisition in the next year, either because of a headcount need created by increasing workloads or by departures related to the Great Resignation. At the same time, one-third cited either a growing need for technological skills (i.e., artificial intelligence, enterprise resource planning solutions) or a need for technical skills related to accounting standards as their top driver.

"Accountants aren't the pure debits-and-credits people of the past," Hurley said. "Finding those matching skill sets and aligning them is where some companies are struggling."

Three-fourths of hiring managers in finance said their organizations had faced retention issues over the previous 12 months. About two-thirds of those cited employees leaving for higher-paying roles as central to the issue, but about one-third cited other reasons.

"Pay is an easy thing to identify, it's tangible, but when you start talking about how appreciated you feel or how supported you are or work/life balance, or the flexibility on where you can live — all of those things are also weighing in on people's decisions," Hurley said. "Companies are finding that you can't just throw money at the problem, so how are companies getting creative to retain talent and attract new talent beyond pay?

"Everyone is trying to look at what they're doing, challenge whether it's working, and think about if there's a better way of doing things."

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Bryan Strickland at Bryan.Strickland@aicpa-cima.com.

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