Survey reveals top workplace priority for 2017

by Brett Henebery09 Feb 2017
Australian Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) say their staff are their top priority for 2017, suggesting a stronger focus on L&D in the year ahead.
The survey – by specialised recruitment company Robert Half – asked respondents what their key focus areas would be in 2017 and 2020, and talent management topped the agenda for the country’s finance leaders.
The focus on staff acquisition, retention and development bodes well for today’s jobseekers and employees eager to embrace professional development opportunities.
Key findings from the survey:
  • 54% of Australian CFOs have talent management at the top of their agenda for 2017.
  • 54% say implementing new technologies is their top priority in 2020.
  • 49% will ensure internal policies and procedures are updated in 2017; a process considered to be a key focus for 2020.
David Jones, senior managing director at Robert Half Asia Pacific, said  a company’s success is most dependent on the performance of its staff, which emphasises the importance of talent management for any business.
“This means not just recruiting professionals with the right skills, but also further developing the skillsets of existing staff and retaining top performers,” Jones said in a statement.
Implementing new technologies will take over as the number one goal by 2020, with 54% saying it will be their key focus by 2020. The increased focus on implementing new technologies highlights the progressively important role technology is playing in the finance function of Australian businesses.
The report showed that as companies endeavour to explore new ways to streamline business practices, updating internal financial policies and procedures comes in second on the list of priorities for 2017 for 49% of CFOs, and it will be just as relevant in 2020 (48%).
Jones said that in order to remain competitive in an uncertain market, finance companies will need to adapt quickly to “change and streamline” their internal procedures to maximise on their potential, whilst still focusing on turning a profit and expanding their market share.
“In order to achieve this, businesses will need to foster their high-achieving staff members, as well as recruit top financial talent,” he said.
“The rapid development of new technology is seeing finance undergo dramatic change, and it makes good business sense for Australian CFOs to prepare for the increasing digitisation of the finance function.”
He added that CFOs need to plan ahead to fully leverage new technologies, and having suitably skilled professionals in place would be a key part of this planning process.
“Nonetheless, technology is only as good as the people who use it, and having a team of professionals in place today, with the right experience, soft skills and technical knowledge, is critical to navigating change and allowing a business to take full advantage of opportunities in the future,” Jones said.

Related stories:
What’s driving L&D in 2017?
Business-L&D alignment an essential in 2017