Recently we attended a manufacturers roundtable in the 3rd largest city in Tennessee. Every company at the table some 30 + were hiring and struggling to find employees.
The real issues are multi-sided quandaries. At the top of each column in our analysis are gains and loses. First we realise we are according to Robert Half, losing 39% of our businesses Leadership, 23% of the firms Legacy knowledge, 15% of Functional skills and 15% Nontechnical attributes.
Robert Half and other CPA firms discuss non-Technical attributes in terms of these 7 traits.
1. Integrity – This characteristic is important in any business setting, but it’s particularly critical when financial information is involved. Although integrity is an abstract quality, its presence or absence can be seen in numerous work situations.
2. A talent for relationship-building – There’s no such thing as “just-in-time networking.” The need to develop strong and healthy relationships with others takes time and effort. The most successful professionals invest countless hours building trust and credibility with colleagues and clients.
3. Ability to partner – Positive relationships create the foundation for partnering with business and operational leaders. The ability to partner enables financial professionals to better understand others’ challenges and make more valuable contributions.
4. Communication abilities – While the ability to communicate effectively is a commonly cited attribute for accounting and finance professionals, the nature of organizational communication is changing rapidly. Driven by the emergence of social media (and the shorter bursts of information social media users expect), as well as the ever-growing amount of organizational data and information, this transformation comes with fresh demands.
The ability to synthesize and present financial data clearly and concisely, both in written and oral communications, is critical. So is the ability to maintain an ongoing and two-way (i.e., talking and listening) dialogue with others across the organization.
5. Teamwork – While relationship-building and partnering refer to working with people outside the accounting and finance function, teamwork applies to the ability to work effectively with one’s immediate colleagues.
6. Openness to diverse perspectives – Today’s workforce includes people of different backgrounds, generations, experiences and skill levels. Professionals who have a global mindset and can view issues through multiple perspectives are highly valued.
7. Commitment to continuous learning – Individuals who are dedicated to lifelong learning position themselves for more successful careers because they’re able to quickly adapt to change. As business needs and environments shift, naturally inquisitive professionals who are proactive about their development will be ahead of the curve, rather than behind it. (Dixie Walters on December 30, 2013-Robert Half Journal)The other side of the ledger is headed with Millennial. Some statistics suggest by 2020 they will be 50% of the workforce. This generation is labeled smart, driven, and technologically savvy and can be very adaptable. In negative they tend to have lack of commitment, a sense of entitlement, an impatience and desire for rapid gratification.
The paradigm becomes greater when you consider entry level workers without or only a high school education of GED. These are millennial too. Unlike the archetype in some peoples mind most of this pool will not be finding work at Google or some internet start-up In a recent survey Tennessee had over 3.1 million or 24% of its over 25 population was without high school diploma, or GED-Indiana had over 695,000 or 18% of its population and Wisconsin 518,000 or 18%.
We need to explore where we find these pools, how to better attract and retain them. This is a significant pool and we must analysis our recruiting and retaining methods.