Identifying and developing future leaders is the top talent management challenge Chinese organizations may face in the coming year, according to 21% of Chief Financial Officers that responded to the inaugural Robert Walters Greater China CFO Report.
When assessing the potential of the finance talent to be groomed into senior management roles, "soft skills, problem-solving, leadership, etc" came top of the list (26%).
However, finance talent will need to improve on their soft skills, as 38% of CFOs singled out "leadership skills" as the area they would like to see the most improvement in their direct reports, followed by "communication skills" (22%) and "strategic planning" (17%).
“The finance function nowadays needs professionals with a combination of strong technical expertise and soft skills, but such talent is often hard to find," said Matthew Bennett, Managing Director – Greater China, Robert Walters.
"CFOs need to set out a thorough plan to attract and retain their top players who have shown the potential to be groomed to ensure the development of a sustainable finance function.”
The study also found that the top challenges most commonly faced by the finance function in the past five years included "driving top and bottom line growth" (44%), "tightened business compliance and regulations" (37%) and "change in customers’ expectation" (33%).
“Our research demonstrates that businesses are having very different expectations towards the finance function,” said Matthew Bennett, Managing Director – Greater China, Robert Walters.
“It is now expected to perform high-level analysis and play a part in supporting corporate strategy. The finance function needs to be re-designed in order to have the right structure and talent in place to meet the changing challenges.”