Manufacturing executives are used to hearing about shortages of skilled labor, but the talent gap isn't just a plant-floor-level problem. A recent survey conducted by consulting firm Deloitte points out that CFOs at large companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find a sufficient amount of financial talent to run their organizations.
In the study, 39% of CFOs say they are currently unable or barely able to find enough talent for their departments. What's equally troubling is the talent pipeline within companies is drying up, as only 40% of CFOs have developed finance leaders internally in the last three years.
"Finance organizations haven't historically hired talent or built themselves to meet this demand for partnering with other areas of the company to drive growth," explains Rich Rorem, principal, Deloitte Consulting. "Consequently, there is a significant talent gap developing, which CFOs are now trying to address."
Based on the survey results, finance executives point to three main reasons why it's so tough to find financial talent:
1. A belief there are insufficient opportunities for development and career advancement.
2. Too many of the best-and-brightest candidates are being lured to managerial or non-finance positions.
3. Compensation and benefits are not competitive. (See sidebar.)
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"The perception of a career in the finance organization is out of step with the modern reality," says Tina Witney, director, Deloitte Consulting. "High-priority roles in finance such as financial planning and analysis require an in-depth understanding of the business, strong relationships with peers across the company and many other capabilities not associated with the traditional finance skill set." However, she adds, finance is still seen by potential recruits as a scorekeeper's role, rather than a true partner in developing and executing business strategy -- a perception that CFOs will have to address if they expect to draw the talent they need in the future.