en

Services

Ireland's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
Jobs

Let our industry specialists listen to your aspirations and present your story to the most esteemed organisations in Ireland, as we collaborate to write the next chapter of your successful career.

See all jobs
Services

Ireland's leading employers trust us to deliver fast, efficient hiring solutions that are tailored to their exact requirements. Browse our range of bespoke services and resources.

Read more
About Robert Walters Ireland

Since our establishment 25 years ago, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Ireland

Learn more

Five key drivers of change within the finance function

The Covid-19 pandemic and other social developments are changing finance professionals’ preferences and wishes. What do they currently find important in their work? As a finance leader, how do you keep them loyal to your organisation? And how will you attract new talent? Suzanne Feeney, Country Manager at Robert Walters Ireland, explains.

 

The rise of remote working

 

Recruitment specialist Robert Walters recently surveyed over 5,500 professionals and 2,200 global companies across 31 countries worldwide and held one-to-one interviews with CFO’s and Heads of Finance to find out what factors will continue to drive change within the finance function in the next few years. According to these finance leaders, it was remote working (74%) that had the most impactful change for finance professionals working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The transition to remote working had a big impact on many departments, but out of all the back-office functions, finance is one of the least experienced in remote working, with just 18% of finance professionals having full freedom to work from home pre-Covid.

But the large-scale remote working experiment was a success: 70% of finance professionals stated that they would like the opportunity to work from home more often, with 17% wanting to make this transition permanent.


That’s where the shoe pinches for many CFO’s and finance leaders. They worry about employees being less productive when working from home (62%), and believe it’s difficult to combine flexible working with the traditional company culture (59%). In addition, the lack of IT resources and infrastructure (30%) are preventing more remote working in the future.

 

At the same time, various studies show that back-office functions, such as finance, can be just as productive for the business when remote-based. The key barrier to financial information being handled off-site seems to be becoming less of an issue. The sudden move to remote-working pushed businesses to invest in cloud-based and online-security systems at a far greater rate and pace than they had planned for in the next 5-10 years. In fact, according to Gartner, businesses will have spent more than $330bn on remote-working technology in the past year as well as a further $124bn on information security and risk management technology.

To meet the demands of finance professionals as well as CFO’s and senior managers, the latter group must therefore find a balance between working in the office on the one hand and offering remote working on the other.

 

Inclusivity policy is important when considering a job move

 

At entry level positions, the gender mix across the accountancy and finance profession tends to be equally balanced. But as we rise through the ranks, women become increasingly under-represented, with just 20% of finance leadership roles around the globe being held by women.

"Global events challenging diversity such as the Me Too and Black Lives Matter have bought inclusion issues from the living room to the boardroom. With a third of finance professionals stating that a company's inclusivity culture is important to them when considering a job move, it is something that both CEO and CFO’s need to be acutely aware of", says Suzanne.

 

Employee Value Proposition

 

Across the globe, employers need to work hard to attract quality financial talent and retain employees. Having a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in place, is a great step in the right direction. An EVP is about defining the essence of your company, how it is unique and what it stands for. It’s not only about salary and benefits, but also about norms and values, corporate responsibility, the company’s vision and corporate culture.  

Non-career related factors such as work-life balance (48%), inclusivity (31%) and feeling inspired by colleagues and culture (29%) are the most important to finance professionals, as well as investment in training and qualification (22%) and a clear progression route (16%).

"When defining an EVP, it is important for CFO’s and finance leaders to pay attention to these topics in order to both attract finance talent and reduce attrition", concludes Suzanne.

Share this article

Related content

Submit a Vacancy
Salary Survey
Hiring Advice
Get in touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View all

Managing the employee review process

Most employees have an annual performance appraisal with their manager – but what are the benefits and potential pitfalls facing the employer? The crux of a successful appraisal is ensuring that the managers who are conducting them are well-prepared and trained in this area. Employee retention has y

Read More

Managing poor performance

When it becomes apparent that an employee is not performing to the standard required it is important to identify the underlying causes for poor performance. Poor performance could be related to: Lack of application to the role and tasks Lack of capability/skills in general Lack of capability due to

Read More

Is your business geared up for smart working?

Today’s modern working environments are fluid and casual whereby work-life balance is championed, replacing the old-fashion strict and rigid working culture of the pre-1990’s. The working culture has evolved the workplace to enhance efficiencies and collaboration between office workers. As a leading

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.