What do businesses want from finance leaders?
Published on June 12, 2020
Throughout the beginning of June, we have continued to see some tentative steps in the direction of a new normal for our clients. Officially, we are now in recession for the first time in almost 30 years. However, some of our clients are faring comparatively better than others. From our perspective, the Australian economy is fragmented with some industries including those in the broader professional services space including legal, accounting and consulting having more confidence to commit to search assignments than other sectors.
Where are the opportunities?
Whilst the volume of executive search activity continues to remain subdued, we are fortunate to be engaged by a number of firms predominantly in the professional services sector to locate leadership talent. These businesses include large ASX listed firms, multinational organisations and mid-sized growth organisations. A sample of our current opportunities include:
- Chief Financial Officer | Professional Services – Growth organisation
- Group Financial Controller | Entertainment – Multinational firm
- Managing Director | Professional Services – Large listed business
- Chief Revenue Officer | Professional Services – Growth Organisation
Vacancies Stabilise With A Record Number Of Candidates
In parallel to job data, equity markets and economic indicators, the availability of executive opportunities has stabilised and expressions of interest in our roles remains at an all-time high.
- The decrease in available executive roles has slowed. Across the Sydney and Melbourne market, there are around 25 active CFO opportunities, this is consistent with prior weeks.
- This week we have concluded a search that has recorded our largest market map in history with over 1000 candidates engaging across proactive and online sources. We are continuing to meet very high-quality candidates across all of our function areas who are motivated to explore new opportunities in this market.
Skills In Demand
Regardless of the health of the economy businesses have a need for strong financial guidance. Our recent assignments have centred around fundamental projects that have continued through this period including:
- ERP transformation | across a number of industries organisations are committed to transforming the efficiency of their financial reporting. Remote working among other influences has exposed a need for project-based specialists of varying seniority to assist with ERP implementations.
- Organisational transformation | COVID-19 has accelerated existing transformation projects as businesses continue to assess where costs can be saved and profit enhanced through reorganising people, upgrading processes, implementing artificial intelligence and offshoring transactional services. Those with these skills are being rewarded.
- Structural change | organisations are continuing to demand finance leaders who are capable of analysing existing product offerings and identifying new and more profitable business opportunities within this changing economy.
In summary, our advice to clients remains consistent, market-leading organisations that are engaging in search assignments today are being rewarded by access to more capable and more affordable talent than ever before. These businesses will win in the long-term as capability built now will provide scale when growth returns.