Leadership

As the World Goes Digital, How Should Finance Executives Manage Talent in an Age of Transformation?

The Better Finance Podcast explores the impact digital disruption is having on the finance talent pool and how skill sets are evolving to help finance continue to deliver strategic insights.

One can hardly go a single day without hearing about new technologies that are disrupting business models and industries around the globe.

But very often, little attention is paid to the potential opportunities that these technological changes can provide to the people in the finance profession.

As transformation continues to take hold of nearly every aspect of business, finance professionals have an incredible opportunity to completely reimagine what their finance function can look like in the future – a future in which finance is expected to be a forward-looking, strategic business partner that provides insights and innovative counsel.

In order to create this better future, finance leaders should find people with the skills and motivation to complement technological innovations and embrace rapid change. In the fourth installment of EY’s Better Finance podcast, we spoke to EY global finance leader Tony Klimas, who offered insights into how finance leaders can manage, attract and retain the right talent throughout this transformation.

According to Klimas, many finance professionals recognize the opportunity in front of them, and know that building the right talent with the right competencies will likely be one of the greatest challenges for organizations.

To start this process, Klimas believes that finance leaders should start with altering, or creating altogether, a competency model for finance talent.

“I’m amazed at how many times I go out to an organization and they do not have any sort of formal competency model around the people in their finance function, or really any business function,” says Klimas.

As finance will likely need to add team members with experience as data scientists and mathematicians, among others, leaders should start with a strong foundational understanding of what their talent pool looks like now if they are to address the gaps in the future.

“It will be very difficult to understand where potential gaps might be if leaders don’t have a strong understanding of the current state and needs,” says Klimas.

In the face of uncertain change, communicating a strong vision may also be critical in attracting and retaining the right talent.

“That’s in large part where the opportunity piece of this comes into play,” says Klimas. “If you’re working in a place that completely gets the potential of the changes that are occurring today, it can be very interesting.”

Finance leaders should take a big-picture view and constantly communicate a vision for how talent, technology and data can work together and evolve the finance function.

They should also focus on how technology can ultimately lead to more rewarding jobs and careers in the future.

“The best talent understands and wants to be part of that,” says Klimas.

For more information on the future of finance, listen in to our conversation with Tony at iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher or visit ey.com/betterfinance.