Talent – is it hot for Finance in 2018?

Originally posted via LinkedIn on January 25, 2018:

So hot topics 2018 – why did I include Talent (again)

Talent is always a hot topic. How can it not be? Even the “simplest” job is inherently complicated once you involve people. Finance teams are made up of people – people that work within the organization, work within processes and work with technology.

Every year we see Finance faced with Talent challenges that relate to succession, organizational charts and design, employment engagement, culture and leadership. We work with teams to help them with their assessments, short-term, interim and long-term planning and other related matters.

But that is every year and that is not new. I love those engagements and those proactive clients but it is a common pain point and need every year.

What is different for 2018?

  • #metoo
  • Inclusion and diversity – ‘hotter’ than ever
  • Price of oil continues to rise and the recession is “over” – this results in less risk adverse job seekers and more opportunities for finance professionals
  • Leases (more on that another day as it is another 2018 hot topic prediction) – in summary though this is a ‘heavy lift’ and people will be needed to get through this compliance project
  • Automation (again – to be continued as another prediction)

So while Talent is never off the priority list and integrating top Talent should be a focus every year I think this year it’s a perfect storm.

I met with a business psychologist yesterday (that I hope will facilitate at an upcoming Finance Leadership Forum) and she said that the top four professions that call her business for career coaching and ask how to change professions include engineers, teachers, nurses and accountants. In my circle, where the vast majority of my female social friends are accountants this rings very true. Some day I will write an article titled “Where are the women?”. But this isn’t a gender specific issue – Deloitte’s survey responses consistently tell us that Finance professionals feel underutilized and undervalued. Recruiting and culture professionals at CultureSmith tell me their research shows we have an employee engagement issue in Calgary too.

And now, somewhat hot for 2018, we face media that opens our eyes to what is okay and what might be accepted but less than okay. How does that impact the already concerning engagement? And how do we be the inclusive leaders we know we NEED to be?

Meanwhile we face a team that is resistant to change because they are vulnerable and because they are afraid. Some of us might be too or we might struggle with value due to past failures (implementations that went wrong, costly technology that didn’t live up to the sales pitch etc). Yet we know that what we do is manual and we know our work could be automated. Some of us also realize this means we can finally be valued and utilized for our strategic and catalyst skill sets. Do we have a culture that supports the technology? Do we have talent that has the right training? Do we have the change management expertise to help us transform?

So much more could be said about this. Let’s discuss? Do you agree it is hot for 2018?

Articles that relate:

My original article:

A Deloitte discussion on backlash:

Discussions that relate to transformation and automation and talent:

CPA salary and gender equality (female CPAs make 83 cents to $1 earned by males):


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