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Differentiated Cultures Benefit Finance Departments’ Bottom Line

In an increasingly competitive labor market, it would behoove Chief Financial Officers to offer their teams a career culture based on experiences and the ability to move between departments.


By doing this, CFOs can reduce the compensation premium offered to new hires by half, according to a Gartner survey of more than 5,700 finance and accounting professionals. Gartner data shows that 22% of current finance and accounting employees have low intent to stay at their current position, which adds to the challenge finance leaders face in attracting new talent to their departments. As a result, it’s important for finance leaders to understand how their current employee value proposition (EVP) is perceived by current and prospective employees.

“Our research shows that two key attributes that both attract finance talent and reduce attrition are career culture and how employees view their ability to progress and develop,” said Hilary Richards, advisory vice president in the Gartner Finance practice. “Finance departments that organize around hierarchical job titles and limit teams to a single department communicate to employees that the ability to progress and tackle new challenges will be limited.”

Gartner research on finance departments’ EVP shows that finance departments that reorganize their career cultures to be experience-based can significantly improve engagement among both more senior employees and Millennials. An experience-based career culture emphasizes career experiences over promotions. New career opportunities are driven both by the needs of the business and the employee’s aspirations, making lateral moves beneficial for both parties.

Furthermore, experience-based cultures can be attractive to senior employees, who may expect fewer opportunities for traditional promotions, and Millennial employees, who prize diverse career experiences. Gartner research shows that Millennial employees will comprise half of the corporate finance workforce by 2020.

“Experience-based work cultures make it easier for managers to identify opportunities for employees to gain new experiences and build skills, with each new assignment,” Richards said. “For employees, this approach can help them rapidly upskill and provide opportunities for them to work on projects of interest, without having to wait for a vacancy to arise.”

Finance departments offering employees an experienced-based culture must ensure this is a highly visible part of their EVP, according to Gartner. In order to promote the benefits of an experience-based culture to attract talent, finance leaders should:

  • Ensure job descriptions are compelling;
  • Share the finance function’s career culture and growth opportunities online; and
  • Involve existing finance talent to speak about career growth and development opportunities on social media.

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