Eisha Armstrong, CEB
Finance departments traditionally hired people with strong technical skills in areas like finance or treasury, said Eisha Armstrong, a senior director at CEB.
"But as our businesses are becoming more complex and finance is becoming more automated, it's these builder, persuader, and strategic skills that are in most demand and where our teams tend to have the largest deficiencies."
Companies are investing more in training finance staffers, after having cut back on training during the recession, said Armstrong
, pictured at right.
"But I'm also seeing kind of a re-examination of 'What are the competencies that we can develop through training, and what are the ones where we have to think more creatively about how we hire, how we coach, how we do on-the-job learning?'"
For example, leadership skills take "a very, very long time to develop" if they're not innate, she
"Certainly we're seeing CFOs revise the way they hire to look for leadership potential earlier on in someone's career."
cautioned that hiring employees with the desired skills doesn't necessarily solve the problem if the position those employees fill isn't configured correctly.
"We still see very, very talented finance professionals coming in and perhaps being put in a role where they're still being asked to do lower-value work, still having to put out a lot of fires, so they're not getting the time to do the analysis," she