Making sure your financial services department is running smoothly requires having the right people on staff. But skilled financial services professionals are in demand no matter the state of the economy, creating a highly competitive job market. Here are some strategies for finding the best finance workers for your company and getting the most from their talents:
Have a recruitment strategy
Competition for financial services professionals can be fierce, so you have to set your company apart during the hiring process. Do you cultivate an informal, friendly work environment? Are your benefits some of the best in the industry? Do you offer your employees top-notch training?
In job postings and in interviews, emphasize whatever it is that your employees like best about working for your company. For an extra edge, consider using a recruitment firm to assist with the search.
Grow your own
Promoting from within can be a win-win. If your financial services employees see that management rewards strong skills and hard work with promotions, they'll generally be more loyal and motivated. Plus, the employees you promote already know your processes and policies, which can save you weeks in orientation time. You will also know that the promoted employee gets along with colleagues, which is not always the case with an outside hire.
Even if you don't have anyone on staff with the exact skills for a job opening, consider elevating a promising employee and then providing any training necessary during the first few months on the job.
In a field like accounting and finance, where the business cycle has predictable peaks and valleys, interim professionals can play a valuable role. For example, if you know you're going to be extra busy during tax season and the end of the fiscal year, work with a temporary agency to staff up during those times. That way, you can keep your operation running smoothly even during crunch time without burning out your full-time employees.
Employee surveys usually point to strong benefits and training programs as key drivers for building loyalty to an employer. Subsidized education and training, flextime policies and telecommuting options are ranked tops. Mentoring is a close runner-up: What better way to make a financial services employee feel valued (and build loyalty in the process) than to teach him or her what you know? Wellness initiatives, child-care facilities, employee gyms and dry-cleaning pickup are popular, too.
Make it interactive
In the same employee loyalty surveys, employees often cite a lack of communication with management as a top gripe. Constant, two-way communication is vital. Let employees know what's happening in the company and what you expect of them. Regularly check in with them about what's on their minds. Remember that everyone has his or her own styles and preferences for communication. Good managers have a knack for bringing out the best in everyone.
Our annual publication, Benchmarking the Finance Function, can provide your business with a wealth of additional information to help stay competitive and retain employees.