Finance Professionals: What Employers are Really Looking For

As experts in financial recruitment, we work closely with various clients looking to take up different roles. These are some of the important skills and key attributes that business owners or employers ask us to identify and find in candidates.

Up-To-Date Credentials

There are different requirements for every role and position. A financial accountant may require a different skill set or qualifications from a finance director, and vice versa. However, you do not have to possess all the requirements as it may also depend heavily on the business structure and the condition of the market the business is involved with. Although this is the case, most organisations have the same top priority in terms of requirements and that is an up-to-date knowledge in the field.

Positivity and Teamwork

Employers trying to find candidates to hire for their finance team often ask us about the abilities of the candidates when working as a business partner. In the past, finance functions were perceived quite negatively. Professionals in finance used to be the bean counters who enjoyed rejecting new ideas. This perception or image was never exactly correct, and nowadays the finance team must perform beyond expectations to simply disprove that false idea. Finance must be recognised as a positive force that allows an organisation or company to grow. It has to work hand-in-hand with the creative teams and take important roles in individual projects within the business.

This could include the development of some softer skills, interpersonal skills, and a deep understanding of other teams’ goals. However, the most important skill is fluidity and flexibility – to be able to stay open to how others can contribute to the strategy and execution of business endeavours.

Ability to Explain Finance in Non-Financial Language

The skills required within partnering with another business are mainly about communicating and interacting with other people not in the finance team. Now considered a standard, explaining the roles and purposes of finance in basic terms that other people outside the team can comprehend is the core soft skill. Things like CDR billing software will need to be explained with people who aren’t familiar with it. Frequently, a professional in finance will be completing tasks without supervision and within a strict schedule including monthly or annual reporting, therefore the ability to act as a leader and boost the team’s morale is very important.

Our research in the State of Skills found that great skills in communicating are paramount. Providing an analysis of the information within the numbers using practical terms is the key to motivating finance and non-finance professionals. Simply making the numbers add up is not enough – you must bring them to life. There is a story behind numbers and your skills should allow you to recognize it even though other people don’t. Find the stories behind numbers and interpret them.

Commitment to the Cause

The clients we work with don’t only have a deep understanding of what is needed by their businesses from finance professionals, but also a practical image when it comes to recruiting people and developing careers.

They also don’t require their employees to stay with them throughout their careers. Instead, they expect people to contribute in helping their businesses grow and move forward with full commitment, and to use the experiences gained from this as a learning opportunity for their development and individual growth of their employees.

Willingness to Adapt, Learn and Grow

Usually, our clients seek motivated and determined professionals who want to develop their skill set. This helps the person grow while providing benefits to the company as the person develops within the finance team. Nowadays in business partnering, skills that have brought finance into the light and technical qualifications are taken for granted.