The conference Talent Management in a Shared Services World was held to enable participants to explore what it means for organisations which want to meet strategic and operational goals, for those who have to manage talent and for individuals who are looking to build a career in finance.
Shared services, whether in the public or private sector, are seen as a way of reducing costs, through economies of scale, while increasing efficiency through greater use of IT and standardised processes. But there have been questions raised the scale of the savings.
Speaking at the conference, ACCA Chief Executive Helen Brand OBE said the shared services debate should also look at the human implications. She said a move to a shared services model will result in changes of work practices and in changes to career paths and expectations for a great many people.
ACCA’s study, called Talent management in a Shared Services World, looked at the adoption and effectiveness of talent management practices across the finance function - from shared services to the retained finance function.
The results showed, at best, that talent management in shared services was patchy and inconsistent .
The survey of 1,200 organisations, with one third representing companies reporting more than $3 billion in annual revenues, showed that 72 per cent of respondents said they did not implement talent management programmes across the entire function, and admitted that they were not aware of such programmes existing.
"It is really encouraging to see HR, Operations and Finance leaders from different organizations and business models coming together with an intent to work as a community to solve the talent challenges of this industry together. After all, Share Services organizations in India have reached a very evolved maturity stage as an Industry and with the growth prospect, the talent issues will come on top of the business agenda." Ester Martinez, CEO, People Matters Media.
Of the remaining 28 per cent of respondents who said they did have a talent management programme across the entire finance function encompassing shared services, only one third of these said their programmes are effective, said Helen Brand
“Our research showed that poor programmes would render finance functions less attractive places to work, making recruitment and retention more difficult and also creating capability gaps.
“Equally, finance professionals were increasingly unaware of career paths or of career options open to them.
“Our research also showed that organisations with no defined career paths faced more challenges in moving talented people across finance functions and geographical areas. In the long run we believe this would undermine efforts to develop finance leaders of the future who have the skills, experience and cultural awareness needed to run successful organisations in an increasingly globalised marketplace.
“The findings were startling and show a need for change,” said Helen Brand.
“ To be successful, global talent management practices must be adopted locally and made to work. Successful interventions include mentoring, coaching and training for local line management as part of a co-ordinated global approach to talent across the finance function.
“ This really is an instance where organisations must ‘Think global – act local’,” said Helen Brand, who ended with a warning to organisations.
“ Unless talent management strategies become more effective and attuned to the needs of the global finance function – that function will not have the capabilities necessary to create true business value in the future, nor critically will it develop the capabilities needed of our global finance leaders,” she said.
About Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)