Talent acquisition and talent management are the twin cornerstones of a successful business, often trumping all other resources in terms of their ability to influence profits and organisational longevity.
For CFOs, the ability to nurture talent is key to building a pipeline to the C-suite – an important feature of succession planning. A CFO is required to look beyond the current quarter and the current fiscal year, to envision the next five, ten, or fifty years. Ensuring that their business survives well past their own retirement is as much the responsibility of the CFO as it is of the CEO – if not more so. This makes a detailed talent agenda vitally important for CFOs in any industry.
According to Dr. Ajit Kambil, the Global Research Director for Deloitte’s CFO program, there are five essential pillars for a CFO to address within a talent agenda: ensuring that the right people are in the right seats, improving teams, modernising the organisation, developing talent for a stable organisation, and nurturing leadership.
In the wake of the global financial crisis and its creation of a job market that remains fiercely competitive for job candidates, businesses have no shortage of top talent to leverage within their organisation. This is the ideal time to optimise talent and make the most of the recent flood of quality candidates.
Nicky Wakefield, Deloitte Southeast Asia Human Capital Advisory Leader, stresses that “there is a need to align the goals and priorities of the C-level executives and the human resources (HR) function, and build towards a common talent agenda for the organisation”.
A talent agenda becomes especially critical when a member of the C-suite plans to transition out of his or her role and the issue of succession is brought to the forefront. But in addition to succession planning, CFOs need to be careful to dedicate sufficient time and energy to progression planning, i.e. a plan designed to keep turnover low within the organisation and develop a deep bench for talent.
Although workers at every stage of their careers are important to the business, a CFO’s responsibility in talent management begins and ends at the doorway to the C-suite. Beyond this threshold, the talent pipeline is largely the purview of HR, with input from relevant departments. It is within this defined field of interest that a CFO can develop a talent agenda to shape the future of their organisation’s C-suite – and by extension, the organisation itself.