This year seems to be the year of shortages – petrol, food, toys– when will it end?
But it’s the skills shortage that has been front of mind in many UK and Irish businesses since long before the pandemic – and finance is a key area of concern in this respect.
As far back as 2018, it was reported that six in ten chief financial officers (CFOs) at UK companies said they expected to experience financial skills shortages.
Fast-forward to 2021 and the forecast has become reality, with finance now in the top four skills shortage industries in Ireland, for example, and forming part of an overall skills shortfall in the UK that is, according to the Open University, costing organisations £6.3 billion (€7.47 billion).
Businesses trying to access financial expertise or bring on board financial talent are now battling not only the absence of qualified candidates, but spiralling recruitment salary demands fuelled by the market distortion wrought by Covid.
In short, finance skills are in high demand and at low availability, yet finance departments are expected to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources and often by staff who might not be suitably experienced to perform all aspects of the role.
Something has to change.
Tap into a different network
Let’s be clear: there is no “magic bullet” for the skills shortage. But you can manageably protect your business from exposure to the operational and legal risks that accompany lack of in-house financial expertise.
Think of it this way: ultimately, sourcing skills of any kind is all about connecting to the networks their practitioners are part of. But when those networks come with inbuilt assumptions and expectations (like salary and full-time positions), despite the apparent skills match, you’re actually fishing in the wrong pool. However, connect to a network where those assumptions and expectations are never part of the deal, and you are far more likely – by definition – to find a fit for the specific area or areas of expertise you need, without strings attached.
And those strings can be costly! An experienced Finance Director (FD), for example, can cost up to £150k per year in salary alone (in Ireland, the average is about €116k) – not counting social security contributions and other benefits, and the liability of a six-month notice period!
So, what does a “different network” look like?
Finance expertise: on demand, on budget
At EFM, we think it looks a lot like us.
Why? Because we’re a team of experienced financial professionals throughout the UK and Ireland who provide “pay-as-you-use” services covering everything from an occasional review to a dedicated FD, plugging resource gaps or even an entire outsourced finance team.
We bill you for the right level of skill for the work being performed and for what you use – nothing more – and help you choose what’s covered (although we regard ourselves as part of your team, so we’ll always advise and guide you to enable you to make the decision that we think is right for your business).
Shortage of finance skills is a long-term problem we can’t solve. Shortage of cost-effective access to the financial skills that are out there is something we’ve been solving since 2000.
Don’t get caught short
If you’d like to find out more about how we deliver smarter solutions to the shortage of finance skills in your organisation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you’re based in Ireland. We’re ready and waiting to fill that gap!