A survey of 100 New Zealand CFOs commissioned by Robert Half has helped to reveal the characteristics finance professionals need to respond to the latest technology trends. As the impact of digital transformation and automation initiatives continues on the workplace there has been some apprehension from workers, especially as traditional job roles within the financial sector are set to change due to new technologies. Finance professionals need to adapt their skillsets in order to face the challenges the future workplace will inevitably bring.
According to the survey, the top characteristics that have become more important for finance professionals with their changing role in the company as a result of digitisation and automation are: Openness to change or adaptability (52 per cent), openness to new ideas (33 per cent) and communication (32 per cent).
While finance workers in the future workplace need to adjust their skillsets to adapt to new technologies, finance employers are already optimistic about the benefits on their team from digital transformation and automation initiatives. In fact, more than half (57 per cent) say digitisation/automation in the workplace has led to increased innovation, while 55 per cent believe it has led to more effective communication in their team. Other cited benefits include increased collaboration between team members (54 per cent) and enhanced team spirit (53 per cent).
“New Zealand’s finance sector is already experiencing the benefits of disruptive technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation, cloud technology and innovative interfaces designed for enhanced customers experience,” says Megan Alexander, general manager of Robert Half New Zealand. “However, the changing face of the industry means finance professionals need to adapt their skillsets – and fast.
“It’s also the responsibility of employers to keep up with digitisation and the transformative changes on the modern workplace,” she adds. “New Zealand’s finance employers need to start developing the skills of their existing staff and new hires from their first day. Learning and development programs need to be an ongoing initiative to equip staff with the skills and ability to adapt to the workplace of the future.”
Robert half notes that resilience, adaptability and willingness to learn new skills are required by employers across all industries and are essential for professionals to remain responsive and open to change in the workplace. “Professionals with these skills will not only ensure their future employability in a competitive job market, but developing these competencies will also help make them invaluable to the organisations they work for,” concludes Alexander.