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Finance departments with differentiated cultures can reduce hiring compensation premiums by 50%, Gartner

Finance departments with differentiated cultures can reduce hiring compensation premiums by 50%, Gartner

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CFOs who offer their teams a career culture based on experiences and the ability to move between departments can reduce the compensation premium offered to new hires by half, according to Gartner.

In an increasingly competitive labor market, CFOs and other finance leaders face challenges in attracting new talent to their departments. Adding to the challenge, Gartner data shows that 22% of current finance and accounting employees have low intent to stay at their current position. As a result, it is imperative for finance leaders to understand how their current employee value proposition (EVP) is perceived by both prospective and current employees and to highlight the criteria most impactful to both audiences.

“Our research shows that two key attributes that both attract finance talent and reduce attrition are career culture and how employees view their ability to progress and develop,” said Hilary Richards, advisory vice president in the Gartner Finance practice. “Finance departments that organize around hierarchical job titles and limit teams to a single department communicate to employees that the ability to progress and tackle new challenges will be limited.”

Gartner surveyed more than 5,700 finance and accounting professionals and analyzed their responses against 13 attributes commonly associated with finance departments’ EVPs. Among the attributes that both attracted new recruits and retained current employees were employee perceptions of professional development and future career opportunity. Gartner found that finance departments with strong EVPs can reduce the premium offered to new hires by 50%, when compared to departments with weak EVPs.

Design an Experience-Based Career Culture

Gartner research on finance departments’ EVP shows that finance departments that reorganize their career cultures to be experience-based can significantly improve engagement among both more senior employees and millennials.

An experience-based career culture emphasizes career experiences over promotions. New career opportunities are driven both by the needs of the business and the employee’s aspirations, making lateral moves beneficial for both parties. Experience-based cultures can be attractive to senior employees, who may expect fewer opportunities for traditional promotions and also millennial employees, who prize diverse career experiences. Gartner research shows that millennial employees will comprise half of the corporate finance workforce by 2020.

“Experience-based work cultures make it easier for managers to identify opportunities for employees to gain new experiences and build skills, with each new assignment,” said Richards. “For employees, this approach can help them rapidly upskill and provide opportunities for them to work on projects of interest, without having to wait for a vacancy to arise.”

Highlight Experience-Based Culture in EVP

Finance departments offering employees an experienced-based culture must ensure this is a highly visible part of their EV. In order to promote the benefits of an experience-based culture to attract talent, finance leaders should:

Ensure job descriptions are compelling
Share the finance function’s career culture and growth opportunities online
Involve existing finance talent to speak about career growth and development opportunities on social media

“Innovative finance departments have found multiple ways to highlight their EVP offerings to new recruits,” said Richards. “One of the key practices we identified is using the current experiences of employees and making their stories a visible part of the recruitment process. This can be done through highlighting current employees’ profiles and experiences on an external career website or encouraging blog posts from employees to talk about their roles and how their experience with the company has benefited their career aspirations.”


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