Three quarters (75 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) believe digitalisation will have a positive impact for temporary employees within the finance department. This finding comes from research carried out by Robert Half in the UK who say that as companies battle to adapt to the rapidly changing finance landscape, many are hiring from the financial planning and analysis sector. To ensure a smooth transition as they build in-house capabilities, CFOs are hiring temporary resource with previous experience of helping firms with transformation, whilst still maintaining financial control.
More than a third (34 per cent) of CFOs agree that temporary staff will be crucial to ensure they stay ahead of industry automation, as more organisations look to implement automation software and solutions. A third (33 per cent) also agree that temporary employees bring a broad range of in-demand skills to their business, including those that will help with the ongoing digital transformation.
In 2018, CFOs were most likely to allocate budget to hire temporary staff in financial management (32 per cent), followed by accounting (28 per cent) and credit management (27 per cent).
Overall, CFOs believe that digitalisation will benefit the finance department. Just under half (45 per cent) acknowledge that it has increased team spirit, while nearly two thirds (63 per cent) say it has improved team innovation. Digitalisation is also helping to drive efficiency within finance departments, with many implementing software to streamline operations, therefore reducing the need for staff who simply input data and code.
However, as an indication of the increasing importance of temporary staff to finance departments, nearly three in five CFOs (57 per cent) said that contractors are becoming a key component of their long-term staffing strategy.
“The days of temporary staff acting as a stop gap in finance departments are long gone,” says Vincent Brown, vice-president at Robert Half UK. “CFOs now recognise the strategic value of temporary and contract staff, especially those who can help them adapt to digitalisation and implement automated processes that will save time and money. By augmenting the finance department with temporary staff, the priorities of meeting operation finance objectives can be maintained while allowing time for upskilling in new processes and systems.
“It is encouraging to see that CFOs believe digitalisation is improving team spirit and innovation,” Brown added, “two factors which have a huge impact on workplace morale. By hiring temporary staff who aide the digital transition to automation, CFOs can build a more collaborative, innovative and happier working environment for the long term.”