The War for Talent Doesn’t Stop During a Downturn…

According to global accounting firm EY, not only does the war for talent continue during an economic downturn, it actually gets worse. To find a competitive advantage and survive under these tough conditions, some organizations are leading the way by taking innovative approaches to talent management.

At IFG we believe companies need to fundamentally shift their HR strategies and depend more on contingent staff, which includes: temporaries, consultants, project professionals, independent contractors and statement of work (SOW) resources.

This is even more important during a downturn in an economy, because in a downturn you need to simultaneously retain valuable employees through fair compensation packages and create a workforce that will enable you to capitalize on the recovery. Analysis shows more C-level executives are holding key employees for strategy and goal fulfillment while relying upon contingent resourcing to execute work.

Given that finance and accounting functions are typically a back-office expense, at IFG we are partnering with our clients to deploy highly skilled professional accountants (CPAs) to help them with everything from-day-to-day transactional accounting to complex consolidation and external reporting—all while helping them control their expenses.

This trend is gathering steam as people are back to work from summer vacation and have their Q4 goals to achieve. Additionally, with increased regulatory compliance and reporting initiatives (IFRS, COSO 2013, etc.), using contingent workers is the best solution for companies to execute on these initiatives in a cost-efficient manner.

Deloitte recently conducted a survey on human capital trends, noting that “47% of Canadian respondents plan to increase their use of contingent, outsourced, contract or part-time workers in the next three to five years . . . 53% see it as a long-term priority for their organization.”

We strongly agree and encourage all finance and accounting executives to start planning for more contingent workers to both fill in as interim resources to execute on day-to-day responsibilities, and to augment project teams with highly skilled project professionals.

The more closely C-level executives work with their trusted advisors (Big 4, Professional Services Firms like IFG, etc.), the better aligned goals and delivery of talent will be for effective expense management and the triggering of higher ROI in human capital.