Public companies struggle with finance talent needs

Public companies are having a harder time than private companies in the war for talent.
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The war for finance and accounting talent is brutal for everyone, but public companies are having a significantly tougher time than private companies, according to a recent survey of 1,200+ hiring managers by Deloitte’s Center for Controllership.

The numbers are rough for public companies, with 82.4% of the public firms surveyed saying that “talent-retention issues among corporate finance pros is a big deal” and 83.2% responding that they are “challenged in attracting” talent according to the survey.

“You’ve got the vast majority of both public and private companies saying they expect to have to work hard to attract and retain talent, and that is going to be a challenge as they look at the year ahead,” said Matt Hurley, a partner with Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory at Deloitte and Touche.

For private companies, the situation isn’t quite as tough (but it ain’t easy either), with 68.9% saying that retention is an issue and 73.7% reporting that attracting talent is challenging.

While all of this might be a bummer for hiring managers, there is some good news for the finance professionals themselves. The survey found that among finance talent leaving a public organization, 57.9% did so for higher pay and for the private companies, 46.2% left for more money.

And it looks like qualified finance professionals will continue to be in high demand over the next year, as the survey found that increasing workloads, a demand for more technological skills, and overall attrition are the key drivers for hiring in the next 12 months.

But you can’t be any mope off the street. Companies, both private and public, are looking for well-rounded talent with a wide range of skills to address their talent needs.

“There is a need now for accounting and finance professionals to know more than just technical accounting, technical finance skills—it’s more than debits and credits,” Hurley said. “It’s finding those people that have that deep knowledge of accounting and finance but also strong technology acumen to meet the changing needs of the organization.”—DA

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