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Shortage of Skilled Workers – War of Talents in Finance | controlling

The shortage of skilled workers is getting worse, also in the financial sector. Bernardin Generalao, Director Regional Partner Relations at IMA, describes in an interview how the “war of talent” is affecting financial specialists in companies.

How do you currently assess the job market for CFOs and finance specialists?

Bernardin Generalao: We see that many have left the job in the middle of their career. This is also referred to as “The Great Resignation”. Many specialists have suddenly got an enlightenment and are asking themselves: What do I want to do with my professional life? Can I identify with the company? Is the company’s vision for the future also compatible with my values?

But these job exits also fuel the so-called “War of Talents”. Companies compete for the best talent. The War of Talents is already making itself felt in the financial sector. We regularly analyze the job market. Thousands of jobs are advertised on LinkedIn alone. So professionals are in high demand, both CFOs and other finance professionals. The controllers in particular stand out here. And from my observation, the demand is increasing more and more.

What skills are companies looking for most often in job postings?

Being able to work with numbers is a must. CFOs and controllers need to have more and more analytical and strategic skills. They are wanted as supporters for decisions in companies. You therefore need knowledge of the entire company, for example strategy, products/services and the competitive environment.

Financial expertise is of course still required. Most businesses today are data-driven.

The power of a CFO still lies in the data. CFOs need to be able to distill the information they need.”

Controllers are also appointed to higher tasks. Yesterday’s financial expert becomes today’s business partner and is an important pillar of the company in these times of crisis.

On the job market, it is clear that more job advertisements are being advertised for controllers and management accountants. It is also interesting that specializations are very popular. So anyone who already has a certain level of expertise in a particular area has significant advantages here. An MBA or Master is usually already specified. So companies are either looking for finance professionals who already bring exactly the added value that is desired, or they train their own employees in this direction.

How is the “war of talent” developing among finance professionals in terms of working conditions? How can companies convince?

How do you convince in general? The working conditions naturally play a major role. In recent months, the subject of “employee experience” has become increasingly important.

Working conditions have changed in general – solely due to the pandemic.”

But the demands on employers have also changed. Working from home was partly mandatory. But how will that look in the future?

Hybrid models will probably increase, because there will probably not be exclusively virtual work in companies in the long run. However, a return to purely face-to-face work is probably also not conceivable. It follows that companies need to be aware that the culture of working conditions will change. For skilled workers, this is becoming an essential aspect when looking for a job.

And the salary prospects?

In general, the salary prospects for finance professionals will probably not change enormously due to inflation. But in the “War of Talents” you will of course also offer attractive remuneration if you want to convince a top specialist.

The interview was conducted by Sylvia Meier, Diplom-Finanzwirtin (FH), freelance author and editor.

About Bernardin Generalao:

Bernardin Generalao, with IMA since 2018, is responsible for the activities of the Institute of Management Accountants in German-speaking Europe in his function as Director, Regional Partner Relations. Mr. Generalao is responsible for developing and maintaining business relationships and partnerships with an extensive network of companies, universities, course providers, professional and local associations in Central Europe. In addition, he is responsible for promoting business opportunities and the continued growth of IMA membership and CMA candidates in Europe.

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