Close filter

Finding 3
Two-fifths of CFOs say it’s harder to attract top financial talent today than it was two years ago.  

Layoffs, tough labor markets, increase in demands of roles, and skills gaps are some of the major reasons behind this struggle for talent, according to CFOs.

Many people have been accelerated into roles for which they were not ready—they sometimes are back out looking for new roles but not willing to step back and fill in gaps in their experience or have priced themselves out of the market, which leaves us looking for less experienced talent that is ‘hopefully’ ready to step up.

CFO of a health and pharmaceuticals company

Compared to two years ago, is it now easier or harder to attract top finance talent?

CFO insights by region

But the challenge to attract financial talent varies by region. In the Middle East, 56% of CFOs believe it has become harder to attract top financial talent. In Latin America, CFOs are split. While there has been no difference in the past two years for 42% of them, 44% of CFOs report it has become harder.

Compared to two years ago, is it now easier or harder to attract top finance talent?

CFO insights by industry

There are also some variances by industry. Half of Industrial Companies and 46% of Consumer Companies note it’s harder to source financial talent today, while 34% of Services and 31% of Financial Services CFOs say it’s easier.

How have you ensured you are building and developing the right bench? Please select your top three strategies.

But not all companies are facing a finance talent shortage. CFO respondents shared some intentional strategies they use to attract top employees:

  • raising the profile/reputation of their organization
  • establishing a track record of strong financial performance
  • embracing remote hiring
  • being at the forefront of the sustainability transition

A strong finance team is also a good selling point for potential recruits. “Talent attracts talent—younger people want to work for top-tier managers,” a CFO noted. To build that bench of talent, CFOs shared that open and honest feedback was the most essential strategy, followed by rotating top employees into other parts of the finance department and ensuring employees have access to targeted development programs.

Some of those individual development opportunities include growing or advancing IR capabilities, offering challenging work with support, empowerment to make decisions, and giving them both recognition and financial rewards for their work. Other strategies CFOs shared on developing their teams include:

Looking back at your first CFO role, which areas required the most growth from you? Please select up to three.

For finance professionals aspiring to the CFO seat, there are a few areas they can focus on for growth. In their first CFO roles, survey respondents noted that board interaction, external credibility with investors, and co-leadership of the organization with the CEO were the areas they had to develop the most.

Which of the following attributes and skills will be most important for your successor?

External credibility and co-leadership are also believed to be the key skills for future CFOs. Board interaction dropped a bit in importance, potentially because that can be honed while in the role.

Changing language
Close icon

You are switching to an alternate language version of the Egon Zehnder website. The page you are currently on does not have a translated version. If you continue, you will be taken to the alternate language home page.

Continue to the website

Back to top