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The financial sector finds itself at the crossroads of change. In a field where uncertainty and political shifts stand as a catalyst for change, finance leaders must navigate through challenges with strategic foresight and agility. Vital reskilling and strategic perks and benefits are key drivers we anticipate will help expand the market as you navigate salary plateaus. The future of finance relies on adaptability, and so it’s important to consider these trends we predict will shape the finance sector in the coming year as you map out your hiring strategies for the year ahead.

ESG finance strategies take centre stage

Sustainability isn't just a buzzword; it's a driving force behind significant shifts in the finance sector. As businesses increasingly focus on their sustainability credentials and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, finance leaders will play a huge part in steering their organisations towards responsible practices.

What makes finance and ESG the perfect partnership? The role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) continues to evolve beyond the finance function. Their skills in monitoring and reporting, risk management, and cost optimisation lend themselves well to driving ESG initiatives.

Working closely with executive leaders and collaborating cross-functionally to connect finance with IT and HR for example, makes CFOs better informed and well-versed than most to provide insight-backed strategic recommendations. CFOs possess the strategic position and skill set needed to drive ESG efforts, ensuring sustainable long-term value.

In a world increasingly valuing sustainability, the CFO's unique ability to translate metrics into real change makes them the ideal leaders for organizations aiming to build resilience, attract investors, and secure top talent.

Delve deeper and read more on:

Why CFOs should lead the charge in ESG

Employee skills development

Supporting your finance teams by upskilling and expanding their skillset will help to jointly future proof your business and meet the growing sentiment from top talent to evolve and learn new skills. Our latest survey shows the importance of skills development to workers as 27% of finance professionals say they would move to gain new skills and a quarter feel they’ve achieved all they can at their current employer.

Wondering what skills are in-demand? Our market experts have defined some critical areas for finance leaders to invest in:

  • Mastering artificial intelligence (AI): Embrace AI as a tool that can revolutionise workflow, from market analysis to customising client content. Understanding and leveraging AI will be a game-changer.
  • Storytelling skills: Markets thrive on human emotions and decisions. Those who can interpret and weave data into compelling narratives will stand out. Become a storyteller who resonates with your audience.
  • Technical and credentials: Companies should provide clear progression pathways and invest in upskilling by providing support for training and recognised certifications.

Strategic benefits

While 63% of financial service workers would leave for a higher salary, 41% would be persuaded by a counteroffer. Consider this before letting star employees leave for competitors. All’s not lost if you’re limited by the salary you can offer – can you meet their needs with a counteroffer that significantly enhances their benefits?

Organisations can still attract top talent by creating appealing perks and benefits packages. It's not just about the pay cheque; it's about building an enticing overall compensation structure.

Focus on practical benefits that support well-being, such as:

  • Mental health support. 
  • Flexible start and finish times. 
  • Four-day work weeks.

With 48% of financial services job seekers wanting improved work-life balance, finance leaders will need to show they value the healthy integration of personal and professional lives.

What next? Hire the future of finance

2024 calls on business leaders to develop a more holistic compensation package that considers employee needs beyond their salaries. Karen O’Neill, Business Director at Michael Page explains: 

“As well as a competitive salary, employers need to emphasise the importance of work-life balance during the hiring process, recognising that 48% of financial services job seekers value a healthy integration of their personal and professional lives.

Highlight your company’s flexible work arrangements and supportive culture to appeal to these candidates.”

By staying ahead of the curve, embracing sustainability, investing in reskilling, and crafting attractive compensation packages, finance leaders can position their teams for success.

To gain deeper insights into market trends and salary benchmarks, access the Michael Page 2024 finance salary guide. Equip yourself with the knowledge needed to make informed hiring decisions and build resilient finance teams.

If you have finance vacancies, why not request a call back and one of our industry specialists will be in touch to help you find the best talent available?

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