- Financial executives' roles are expanding in organizations, especially in HR and IT, a new Robert Half survey shows. Their role outside finance has made them part strategic advisor, data scientist and collaborator in the past three years, according to the study.
- When asked in what areas their roles have grown the most, finance executives said HR (39%), IT (28%) and operations (21%). They're collaborating with HR on compliance, hiring and compensation, and organizational culture, survey results showed.
- The leadership skills finance executives need for their expanded role, according to Robert Half, are the ability to develop and retain a talented team; collaborate well with colleagues in other departments; share information with staff at all levels; appreciate technology; and manage change — all aspects of the HR function, as well.
HR reports to the finance department in some organizations, which already makes them collaborators, but this survey certainly reveals how important the HR function has become regarding the health of the business. More HR professionals consider themselves strategic partners within their organizations than compliance-focused or administrative according to a June survey by Paychex, but many are still seeking a coveted "seat at the table" — a big focus at the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference this year.
To find success (and stronger relationships with finance leaders at their organizations), HR pros will need to learn how to "speak CEO," tying their important work with the core of the organization — people — directly to the metrics tracked by other leadership. But leadership doesn't necessarily want spreadsheets; they want insight culled from data on people, which HR is now quite capable of doing.
But generally, as organizations prepare for the future of work and, specifically, a digital transformation, they'll need the expertise of finance executives who can leverage resources; HR leaders who can train, manage and hire top talent; and IT specialists to update, oversee and secure systems.