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94% of CFOs struggle to find employees with digital skills

A study of almost 5,000 CFOs in 14 countries found that finding qualified employees is difficult for the majority of CFOs and that most candidates lack the key digital skills now required in top financial jobs. According to the research, conducted by Robert Half, the skills needed for many treasury and finance jobs are changing as firms undergo digital transformation. About two out of five (43 per cent) CFOs said they now put more focus on recruiting staff with skills such as data analysis, while 35 per cent cited financial analysis and 34 per cent cited data forecasting. The research also found that it takes new recruits more than five months, on average, to get up to speed in their new role in UK businesses. In the UK, 93 per cent of CFOs said their business has difficulties in attracting qualified accounting and finance professionals, while this figure is 94 per cent globally.

Talent wars

Robert Half's Matt Weston commented: “Identifying the right candidate in this current war for talent means that businesses need to define what skills and qualities are required for a successful role, then focus primarily on these alongside cultural fit. Defining the skills that can be learnt will allow businesses to expand their candidate pool and identify talent with the potential for long-term success.”

Given the challenge of finding employees with the right digital skills, companies should focus on training staff and offering training opportunities to new employees. Robert Half asked the CFOs about the most common training opportunities offered within their organisations, with both external and internal training, as well as membership of professional organisations providing important sources of on-the-job learning for financial professionals. The results are shown below.

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