Skills gaps have been an issue in the finance sector for years, with employers struggling to locate finance professionals with the ‘right’ capabilities as the role of a finance team has moved with the times.
With the rise of digital systems and processes, technology has altered the way the finance sector operated for hundreds of years, and we are still very much in the transition period.
The coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated the digital changes that have been happening in our sector in recent years. The skills gap in our post-pandemic world has grown more expansive than ever before.
These digital changes, coupled with the fact that finance teams have also physically changed significantly this year, has left many employers in a position where their teams have critical skills gaps.
Today we look at identifying where these gaps are in your post-furlough team.
Your Returning Team
It’s been many months of waiting and decision making for employers as to who will be returning in their post-furlough team. In some cases, employees who you might have been looking forward to welcoming back, might not be returning due to circumstances outside of your control.
The current team scenario falls into two broad camps:
- Some members might have been on furlough for up to six months,
- or your team might have been working remotely for several months,
- or some members might have decided to leave altogether.
Your companies products, services, and mindset might have shifted too; and your entire business might have shifted completely to accommodate the pandemic.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider.
It’s now time to think about how significant the changes to your organisation have been, and if they have the potential to affect your team negatively.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to find out if, and where, there may be skills gaps in your team.
Completing a Skills Audit
The first thing to consider when completing a skills gap audit is if you have made any redundancies.
Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, some organisations have made redundancies as a necessary cost-cutting measure.
While businesses do this as a last resort to save costs, the result is skills gaps which could end up causing problems for your organisation; this is why it is vital to know where your capability issues are.
There are three main stages of performing a skills gap analysis; they are –
- Outline the roles your organisation needs to function in the current market. Some companies made redundancies during the lockdown and now as we approach the end of the furlough period. If you are considering making cuts to your finance team, you must be sure that you are not cutting employees who operate in essential roles.
- Look at your post-furlough finance team and individually assess their abilities. During this assessment, you might discover that you have team members who share lots of similar skills; likewise, your team might be lacking in certain areas.
- Finally, you will now be aware of any gaps in your team. If you have made redundancies or employees have left the company, you will need to assess what kind of individuals you will need now in your finance team.
Finally, let’s look at what skills you will need in your post-furlough finance team.
Finding the New Skills, You Need
When you lose an employee for any reason, many employers will look to fill the role with an individual with similar skills.
But in your post-furlough team, you need to be a little smarter with your recruiting decisions.
Covid has changed the way we live and work, so think if this is going to change what you need in your finance team going forwards.
For the short term, you will need employees who are flexible and have demonstrable qualities in being able to adapt and learn new skills quickly. We are not out of the ‘recovery’ stage of Covid yet, and for many finance teams, the next few months will likely continue to present challenges.
For the medium term, you should be on the lookout for finance professionals who have excellent digital skills.
One glaring skills gap which presented itself when Covid first struck was the lack of tech skills in some teams which impeded successful remote working.
Melanie Weaver Barnett, Chief Executive Education Officer at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said recently, “The lightning-fast changes associated with working in the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed vulnerabilities that make it clear organisations have significant gaps to fill in their capability sets. Some of these critical gaps appear in areas of supply chain resilience, digitisation and leading virtual teams.”
And this is true of businesses everywhere in the world not only the United States.
We can expect that there will be a lot more remote working in the future, where possible, in many teams. Employees who have excellent digital skills, including being able to operate and communicate well on video, and with the ability to manage their workloads remotely will be incredibly useful in your post-Covid team.
Why Your Recruitment Process Moving Forward is Key
As I mentioned, it can be tempting for employers to want to replace previous employees with a similar individual to bridge a skills gap.
But now is a good time to reassess the roles within your organisation, you might need to think outside the box to create a new position in your finance team, or to employ an individual with skills you didn’t realise your team needed.
To discuss the skills gaps in your current finance team, and how to overcome them, get in touch with us today. We can help you locate your skills gaps, design finance roles, and put you in touch with the best candidates for the role, call us on 01282 930930 to find out more.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.