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Finance Indaba 2016: Future Focused Human Capital

“Traditional employment is currently being turned on its head as businesses today no longer have an appetite for large fixed costs,” says Roy Clark from Clarkhouse Human Capital, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Along with other partners, Roy was asked why he is joining the event and what his most important message for finance professionals is. See answers below:

Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?

I believe there are excellent synergies between what the Finance Indaba and Clarkhouse Human Capital are trying to achieve in terms of the vision for the Finance Industry in South Africa and Africa. I will be there to offer advice, guidance and assistance to those in the industry as well as providing insight into how the employment landscape is going to change for financial professionals and how to harness these opportunities.

Our motto is “To rise by lifting others” and we keep this as the core purpose of interactions between ourselves, our clients and our candidates.
I believe we are able to provide a unique service to talented finance professionals through coaching, mentoring and guiding. With our Future Focused Mindset, we work with key clients in specific industries and geographies to capture the growing demand of the freelance or ‘gig’ employment landscape for highly skilled professionals, thus offering more valuable opportunities for the highly skilled finance professional.

For clients we are able to provide a flexible, highly skilled, professional workforce with the talents and resources to kick-start projects, collaborative assignments or crowd sourcing exercises without the high fixed costs associated with permanent employees.

What will you be talking about?

My talk will be focused on innovation and how this will significantly impact the traditional Finance team and business in general and why CFO’s need to be thinking differently about talent.

The days of highly skilled finance talent being attracted by company benefits, long term share options and stability has changed significantly and talent is edging ever closer towards an On-Demand or Gig Economy. This way of thinking is further being fuelled by the way in which technology allows people to do many jobs, including when and where they want to work as well as when and where they are wanted.

The advances in virtual reality, artificial intelligence and data analytics will significantly impact how resourcing choices are made not only in finance teams but across an entire business. These are fundamental areas that CFO’s need to be thinking differently about in order to harness the opportunities that arise.

What are the challenges you can help finance professionals with in 2016?

Changing workplace landscape: Finance professionals will need to know how to navigate their career in an ever changing working world and how to harness the opportunities in a freelance or ‘gig’ employment landscape for highly skilled professionals. Clarkhouse Human Capital is able to guide, mentor and coach talent in preparation for this changing working landscape.

Finding the Right Talent for their Teams: Businesses are fighting for the same highly skilled financial talent available. According to practitioners and experts, attracting top talent in the face of competition from other companies and even within their own organizations ranks as one of the highest causes for concern for business leaders. Clarkhouse Human Capital is able to harness the power of technology, powerful networks and strong relationships to provide the right talent in the right positions at the right time, thus assisting to grow finance teams.

Skills Development: Finance professionals will need to develop the full array of skills needed to become indispensable business partners. This includes bringing both analytics and soft skills to the table, so that they’re able to participate in conversations with business leaders and tell effective stories based on their analysis. Clarkhouse Human Capital is able to guide and mentor as to which path should be followed in order to become indispensable to an organisation.

Data Analytics: Businesses are relying more and more on data analytics to drive their activities and finance professionals will need to understand how their roles will develop in relation to this, as well as understanding how not to become obsolete. They will need to assess how they can help organisations deal with this data overload and harness the power that it provides. Clarkhouse Human Capital is able to provide guidance as to how to develop your career in order to fit in with what a business requires in this day and age.

How is traditional employment changing?

Traditional employment is currently being turned on its head as businesses today no longer have an appetite for large fixed costs. Human capital is becoming very cyclical in nature and the human capital of tomorrow no longer want fixed positions but more exciting projects to work on and build their skills-set. To create long term stability for a business, these resources need to be cost effective and agile. The working world is therefore moving towards resources that are more mobile and flexible.

Is SA ready for a freelance economy?

According to a recent study done by Elance oDesk, the American workforce is now 34% freelance. A startling number considering this works out to about 53 million people. Further it is estimated that 75% of the US workforce will be freelancing in about 15 years from now.

Can South Africa follow suite? South Africa is abundant with forward thinkers and disrupters who embrace this new working world, however there are far too many corporates still stuck in red tape and outdated systems and processes that do not allow for this type of “gig economy” to evolve and happen within their business.

I think we still have a lot to learn from the US and Europe but with time and effort there is no reason South Africa shouldn’t be able to benefit from this way of thinking and embrace this type of work if HR policies and procedures are ready to fundamentally change.

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For more about the Finance Indaba click here

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