2020 has changed everything

Finance Directors beware, in this market number crunching isn’t enough…

There is no doubt that year 2020 will be remembered by all. The Corona-virus pandemic affected everyone, no matter your geographical location, occupation, age or gender. 

It changed the way we lead our day-to-day lives, including the way we work, travel, shop, socialise and use technology. 

Here at CORE, we have noticed that the rapid spread of the Corona-virus has also accelerated some of the trends which started emerging a couple of years ago in the hospitality, leisure and entertainment sectors. 

One such example is the increase in employer’s preferences for senior finance candidates to have a good understanding of overall operations of the businesses they worked in. What previously may have just been seen as an advantage for a candidate is now starting to become a necessity. Employers want and demand more from their senior finance employees.

It is no surprise that employers want more rounded employees at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty in the air. Companies appreciate that in a post COVID world they will need to be sleeker and more streamlined to survive, and when the commercial landscape for a business can change each day, employees who can see beyond their own roles into a bigger picture are highly sought after.

What may be a bit more surprising is how Finance Directors we have represented (who have had more exposure to the day to day operations of the business) have told us how it has benefitted them in their own roles. We’ve been told by candidates that it’s not just about appreciating how the business is run but the opportunities coming with the experience to build strong relationships with front of house staff members – relationships which have proven crucial if they later needed to introduce any changes be they painful cost cutting measures or generic systems updates. The key bonus that comes with having operational experience isn’t in knowing where the problems are likely to arise but is in knowing who can facilitate, advise and resolve.

If I could pass on one piece of advice to any candidate out there looking to distinguish themselves from the competition would be this one: in a good market where conditions are stable and everyone knows their role, being a number cruncher will be enough. 

In today’s market, top employers are seeking top candidates. They aren’t just after the technical skills but the top down knowledge that can only come from someone who has taken the time to gather operational experience, because in the current market, you never know when this experience can prove crucial. 

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Date Published: 5th August 2020