4 Ways to Find and Attract Your Next Generation of Finance Talent

4 Ways to Find and Attract Your Next Generation of Finance Talent

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Winning the War for Finance Talent: Game Plan for the Digital Age

You need finance talent with more than traditional skills but you must first attract it, then develop it. Here's how.

In this new digital era, finance teams are charged with far more than tracking a company’s financials. Instead modern organizations depend on their finance teams to analyze and leverage data coming in from multiple business lines and then provide proactive guidance and strategic advice.

Keeping up with these demands not only requires developing the team you have, but also recruiting a new generation of finance talent. Here are four ways you can find and attract top talent that’s fully prepared for the evolving roles of finance.

  • Look beyond finance degrees: Your organization’s recruiters are likely combing the top business schools for talented finance majors. And while this is a place to start your search, your next generation of talent might not have studied finance. With the growing need for deep analytical skills, you’ll want to extend your search to potential hires who are adept at uncovering patterns in data and analyzing trends. In addition, their data expertise might extend beyond finance to marketing, sales or business development.

    To find these great minds, your organization needs to think outside the box – or at least, outside of the business school. Look for graduates with degrees or experience in data analytics, applied mathematics, programming and more. For example, the New York State Comptroller has noted the state’s need for employees who understand how data and finance intersect. So the office has developed partnerships with the state university system, in hopes of identifying students with data analytics talent who could be viable hires.
  • Evaluate potential hires’ soft skills: Beyond technical and financial acumen, up-and-coming finance stars also need to have solid soft skills, according to Dee Houchen, Oracle’s Senior Director of Product Marketing for ERP Applications. “(The best finance recruits) are also expected to have strong managerial capabilities – strategic thinking, the ability to mentor and lead their colleagues – as their insights become more valuable to executive decision-makers,” Houchen wrote in an article for Diginomica. She adds that these soft skills will help top employees “differentiate themselves and climb the corporate ladder.”

    From the ability to collaborate—to leadership—to creative problem solving, you can assess a job candidate’s soft skills in a variety of ways. For instance, develop interview questions that ask about behaviors in addition to accomplishments. So asking a candidate about how they’ve handled mistakes or overcome a negative group dynamic. Also consider group interviews and even small, trial projects.
  • Showcase your organization’s technology: Technology plays a big role in lives of younger job seekers, and it’s also reflected in their career choices. For instance, 59 percent of millennials report that the availability of state-of-the-art technology was important to them when considering a job, according to a report from global consulting firm PwC.

    This is especially significant if you’re aiming to recruit the best financial and analytical minds, Houchen notes in her Diginomica article. “Talented people want to work with cutting edge tools that match their expertise and ambitions,” she says. Companies shouldn’t wait for job candidates to ask about their technology and its capabilities, but instead make it a selling point of the job and organization.
  • Highlight your development opportunities: Lastly, if you want to attract ambitious, focused finance talent today, you need to outline how you’ll help them succeed in the future. Fifty-nine percent of Millennials say that opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying jobs, according to a recent Gallup study.

    Not only should your organization strive to offer its next generation of finance talent regular opportunities to develop new skills, but you should also tout your development programs to recruits. For instance, Oracle’s finance talent and development training program, LEAP, allows finance team members to collaborate with, learn from and ultimately offer guidance to its other business lines. This opportunity to develop cross functional skills and add value across the organization is big a draw for potential hires – and something that Oracle highlights during the interview process.

    The world of finance is changing. It’s exciting, innovative and fast-paced. Focus your efforts on finding the next generation of talent that thrives in this new environment and you’ll give your organization the people power it needs to succeed.

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