Article: A clear path for finance talent

Learning & Development

A clear path for finance talent

Helen Brand (OBE), Chief Executive of ACCA, on why talent management programs are not given their due in the country
A clear path for finance talent

Why do you think talent management is important?

Talent management is becoming increasingly important because of two reasons: Firstly, the complexity and the scale of the type of work that has been undertaken means that you need a broad and flexible workforce, which has the talents and skills they can apply to many different areas, and deep specialists in some cases. You need to manage the talent to meet the changing needs in an economic environment where people are looking for innovation in business models continuously.

The second is retention of talent, where people have a clear path and talent management is present in the DNA of the organization. They are more likely to stay with the organization and develop the loyalty to business.

What’s your view on the maturity of the shared services in India?

In different organizations at different levels of maturity, India is most advanced in the world in terms of thinking. They are really looking at value add-ons they give to business and it is a lot more focused on clients.

The fact is only 28 per cent companies have a talent management program and the majority don’t think they are affected. It tends to be tackled in a silo way and maybe under-invested so that when the priority is around increasing headcount versus investing in existing headcount, there might not be the right level of investment there and there might not be the right kind of people skills within the organization – the people leadership skills within the finance team itself or the HR team supporting them. I think those processes that are effective and succeed have the right technology support in place, have the right communication amongst the various parts of business and the finance function in the shared services offering. Initial recruitment has also been carefully looked at what the pipeline is and the training and development needed for the talent; amalgamating the business and the people aspects to have that strategic outlook for talent management within the organization.

What is your advice to business and talent heads to plan their talent management programs better?

Business heads need to understand the competency framework that they will need in the organization and provide a clear line of sight to individuals and departments to lead the organization and figure out how those competencies can be built and developed. You probably need a matrix to make these things happen in the organization, but the business benefits will be immense.

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Topics: Learning & Development, Employee Engagement, #HRInsights

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