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The recruiter’s finance unicorn: The ideal skills finance professionals need in the ‘new normal’

As finance leaders assess their needs for the coming quarter(s) and even year(s) ahead, the traditional concept of the ‘ideal finance professional’ no longer aligns with current requirements. A new finance professional is emerging and can be challenging to find through traditional means.

As large-scale transformation projects and digital systems enhancements begin to inform the way financial data is generated, a more IT-literate and collaborative finance professional is needed to navigate this new normal where real-time data-driven insights are being harnessed with business analysis to support better business decision making. Additionally, the ability to collaborate and influence over increasingly ‘virtual’ channels while managing a team and supporting the business through often turbulent market conditions is making the ‘finance unicorn’ even more challenging to find!

The finance skills in high demand for the new normal:

As the role of the CFO takes on greater significance as either a profitability steward or growth strategist, so too does the finance professional see their role expand and evolve with new desired skills and competencies.

The new focus for finance professionals includes:

The finance function has seen a digital transformation over the last several years and businesses have been increasingly innovating and relying on digital, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and automation tools. This has meant that finance professionals with strong technology acumen has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to an absolute necessity.

To secure profitable business for the entire organisation, finance leaders need to find a balance between innovation strategies and strong technical finance and accounting. This means finding qualified technical accountants to manage cash flow more stringently or aggressively, whilst also preparing for the forthcoming upswing to take advantage of potential commercial opportunities.

Professionals able to balance risk assessment, testing, controls and forecasting capabilities coupled with the new shift towards IT dependency to support Business Intelligence (BI) will be invaluable in the coming era. Being able to work with real-time data and draw meaningful insight from it will be one of the most sought-after competencies to help see organisations through fluctuations in economic markets.

The hunt for finance professionals with a strong commercial acumen able to translate real time and historical data analysis, market research and business analysis into tangible insights to drive business decision making will be key in supporting sustainable growth and profitability in the current economic climate.

Soft skills play a strong part in how well an employee can work within a team, and while the search for strong technical skills may seem like the priority, the ‘new normal’ will require an equal need for the soft skills that facilitate strong leadership, teamwork, time management and confident communication skills that can take remote onboarding and collaboration in their stride.

So how do you find this professional ‘finance unicorn’?

While this new emphasis on IT, commercial and soft skills combined with technical accounting may not be present on your existing team, an effective hiring strategy will allow business leaders to find this new ‘finance unicorn’.

While many large organisations have exceptional internal recruitment practices, engaging a finance and accounting recruiter can also yield optimal results in short amounts of time as recruiters have access to:

Finance and accounting recruitment with Trace

At Trace we understand that people make a business, and attracting the right people starts with your recruitment process. Finding a finance unicorn is no easy task, and unlike hiring for large departments for volume-based delivery, your finance team and its leadership could and should be so much more. For this reason, specialised finance recruitment first originated over 70 years ago and has stood the test of time, possibly disrupted, but not replaced by technology, AI or internal recruitment departments.

 At Trace, we can help you create a recruitment strategy that ensures a positive candidate experience, and you find the right finance talent you need to support your finance function, and your organisation on either a permanent or contract basis.

We believe company culture is the heartbeat of a company. Cultural fit is the basis of longevity, and in the face of further uncertainty, finding a match that will be a long-term placement with your organisation is of the utmost importance. It’s a crucial part of your business and should have a place in your recruitment strategy. We created our own Predictive Fit ProfilerTM (PFIT) process to ensure the right cultural fit every time. 

Find out more about how we can help you trace the right talent for your finance function by getting in touch with us today.

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