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Talent: Multi-Prong Approaches (Part 2 of 2)

July 7, 2023

Our last post explored the roots of our current woes in finance talent recruitment and retention. Today’s content will offer a few ideas on what to do about it.

There’s no off-the-shelf single solution to finding and keeping talent. A multi-prong approach is needed.

Let’s start with the long game. To get talent in the pipeline, a pilot program in New Jersey is now allowing aspiring CPAs who complete 120 university credits to enter the workforce for their remaining 30 credits. Such promising initiatives must be expanded to other states. The AICPA is also updating its 2024 licensure model for an increased tech focus to attract those who may shun a calculator but embrace “sexy” high-tech, AI, and automation.

In the shorter term, companies must recognize that competitive salaries and benefits are a must for recruitment and retention. Beyond that, remote and hybrid work is now “table stakes.” Indeed, 47% of us want fully remote, and 63% want hybrid (e.g., a 3/2 day model) which balances flexibility with preserving company culture and connection. Line-items formerly earmarked for brick and mortar can now fund in-person meetings and team-building events. HR should also cast a wide net by hiring for softer skills like leadership, communication, and passion-for-the-cause fits; technical skills can usually be learned. For retention strategies: rotate your staff through different functions to learn the business and offer meaningful career-path options; augment with consultants during busy periods; and upskill your current workforce. Short of full-time permanent hires, some are turning to “fractional” talent, often in other global locations (see also: “secure borderless workspaces”), to cover finance functions.

Until the pipeline supply catches up, we’ll stress that misery loves company. Hey, at least we’re in this together. 


“It’s a ‘buyer’s market’ in many industries. Organizations need to be deliberate about the design of their employee experience if they are to attract and retain the most talented.”
– Jane Gunn, Partner and Head of People & Change, KPMG-Australia

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