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Michael Page says Greater demand on finance heads is increasing pressure on already stretched teams

Michael Page says Greater demand on finance heads is increasing pressure on already stretched teams

Six in Ten finance directors expect to move to another company in the next two years

Company performance deteriorates as lack of succession planning causes top talent look elsewhere for career development

Finance heads are concerned about what the continuing impact of the eurozone crisis, increasing competition and ongoing restructures will do to their already stretched teams, according to Michael Page Finance and GAAPWeb’s market trends report.

The report, which was based on responses from more than 500 UK finance directors, heads of finance and finance business partners, revealed that the biggest challenges in 2012 are trying to meet increased reporting demands from business operations and implementing new processes.

Peter Istead, Managing Director, Michael Page Finance said in addition to the standard finance function, finance heads are now frequently responsible for departments that extend far beyond their traditional remit.

“Finance departments are increasingly being brought in to manage and reduce business costs and risk across an organisation. They are therefore required to be more versatile in today’s market,” Mr Istead said.

“We have seen a number of internal reorganisations where finance heads are now responsible for administration, legal and information technology divisions. In some smaller companies HR issues and procurement are also becoming part of finance’s remit.”

“With the removal of many layers of middle management, organisations are reducing promotion opportunities for their key staff combining this with increased workloads and little growth in salary and bonuses can be a dangerous mix,” he said.

Mr Istead added that companies should take notice and explore their employee’s morale or potentially face the consequences of losing them.

“Our research has revealed that one in six finance directors expect to move to another company in the next two years. Unsurprisingly the main driver is to be better compensated however they also want to further their careers by working on projects and deals that will enhance their specific finance experience. They are not content to sit tight in the current market conditions.

“While top talent might only represent 5-10% of an organisation’s workforce, the output of this group of individuals can often be the difference between success and failure or profit or loss of an organisation. If you want to keep your best people, you need to be prepared to take risks and reward quality work, whilst outlining career development plans for those key individuals” he added.

Report reveals a more positive outlook for career transition in UK

Despite an increase in the number of people receiving outplacement support, the percentage of candidates accepting higher or same salaries in the UK has increased in 2012 according to Right Management’s Global Workforce Transitions Report which analyses the trends for its outplacement support across EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific regions in the first quarter of 2012.

Sixty-two percent of candidates in the UK now accept the same or higher salaries compared to 52 percent in 2011. This trend stays the same across the majority of Europe with Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden the exceptions. In addition, the weeks to land a new position* has dropped from 31 weeks in 2011 to 30 weeks in 2012 across Europe, a more favourable trend than Asia Pacific’s 37 weeks, up in 2012 from 36 weeks in 2011.

Nicola Deas, Practice Leader of Career Management for Right Management in the UK and Ireland, comments: “The need for companies to take a strategic approach to managing their workforce has never been more critical in this turbulent global economic climate and we can see that for many, career transition support is still very much in demand across all regions. What is encouraging is the prospects for those given support in Europe is improving. Salaries are being matched or rising and weeks to land a new position is decreasing, which would suggest for the first quarter of 2012 there was a more positive outlook for candidates in a difficult market both in UK and across most of Europe.”

The report also revealed that candidates taking retirement is down from 4 percent in 2011 to 3 percent globally in 2012 suggesting the start of a new and growing trend following legislation across Europe to raise or scrap default retirement ages, as well as people deferring retirement due to economic pressures.

Nicola Deas adds: “We would not be surprised to see this trend continue across EMEA. Manpower’s World of Work Trends report identified the megatrends for the changing world of work and the demographic shifts brought about a declining & lsquo;work-age’ population will mean that companies need to take seriously how they engage and retain older workers to avoid losing valuable knowledge and skills.”

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