Seven selection criteria were ranked in terms of importance in a study by CIMA. It is clear that the individual’s personal characteristics rather than their experience or education dominate. This does not mean that personal characteristics alone are sufficient to merit recruitment, however.
Possession of a professional finance qualification is more important than work experience or degrees . There is no clear preference for any particular professional qualification yet audit-based ones are preferred for finance and regulatory roles and the CIMA qualification are preferred for the management accounting and strategic and advisory roles.
Post graduates, such as MBA holders, may be perceived to be less likely to have technical skills and may be less likely to continue to study for the finance professional qualification that many organisations seem to require.
Candidates and existing staff with a balance of technical and business competency are still a rare resource, so organisations need to actively identify and engage these highly valuable and apply retention strategies. In particular, companies should focus on competitive salaries and opportunities for career development, as well as training and development.
For individuals working in finance or hoping to get a job in finance, it is recommended that they take proactive steps in ensuring that technical skills are maintained while focusing on development of ‘softer’ business competencies. This is essential if they are to have a competitive edge in gaining promotions and being considered for new job selection.
Find out more about what recruiters around the world think and much more by reading the “From ledgers to leadership: A journey through the finance function” whitepaper.