Procurement for staff: seeking a cost-effective model for your workforce needs
November 2016 | EXPERT BRIEFING | LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT
Financial directors are programmed to seek the best price but without compromising value for money. It’s a numbers game: how much money is going out and what return on investment will it bring to the business? Where other executives might be more concerned with operating capacity or business innovation, finance directors are the board members who hold the purse strings.
With ultimate responsibility for controlling the company finances, it is crucial that financial directors have all the necessary information to make a valid financial case for a business’s workforce solutions. Today, financial directors are more technology savvy than they used to be, because they work closely with CIOs as they aim to transform a business and become more orientated to the global digital economy.
The digital revolution is revealing that a lot of businesses are lagging behind as they do not have the digital capabilities to harness and leverage new technologies to bring their businesses forward. Financial directors are turning toward a hybrid approach which allows them to outsource talent, alongside nurturing and up-skilling the existing workforce to add more value to business operations.
On a strategic level, financial directors also need to work hand in hand with managing directors or the CEO to develop strategies for growth. Bearing this in mind, they not only navigate a business’ finances but need to be commercially aware of the environment their business is operating in, in order to properly inform any business decision.
The business environment is being transformed by the impact of digital technologies. This impact is taking place in almost all sectors, making businesses turn to IT technology professionals to help them digitally transform their model. Business leaders are redirecting their attention to building a workforce and talent pipeline which helps them to navigate through the digital disruption affecting every sector. In order for companies to thrive in the current business landscape, they need to build a workforce with deep domain knowledge, experience and high-quality digital skills.
Scalability is an important aspect, as the prevalence of agile working models creates a pattern of peaks and troughs in the capability a business requires. Workforce solutions provided by staffing partners give businesses the control to scale their operations up and down according to demand, with the flexibility to ‘switch on & off’ as projects and staffing requirements change. This approach relies upon hiring through a ‘skills-as-a-service’ model, which is more cost effective, and maximises the quality of output.
Yet adapting to digital change involves more than simple investment in IT systems and technologies. Increasingly, the difference between stagnation and growth is in the level and speed of innovation that a company can achieve. In this regard, it is the talent and human capital element which provides the best value and return on investment for companies looking to diversify and enhance their digital offerings through innovative solutions.
Investing in tech talent is undoubtedly a more credible option for delivering long-term growth potential to a business. However, it does raise a more complex set of cost-based decisions for the financial director to grapple with. Persistent skills shortages in the IT sector can make investment in tech talent an increasing liability. Clever solutions exist, however, through which financial directors can ensure their business secures access to the skills for growth while remaining protected from unprecedented costs.
With the great potential available through these alternative workforce solutions, financial directors need to nurture and manage strong working relationships with workforce solutions specialists. In this way they can simplify the complexities involved in securing long-term but cost-effective digital teams. Working with external partners will help the business bring in a blended approach to gather the expertise of experienced technological professionals, without making a long-term financial investment in these individuals.
Financial directors create, implement and monitor the financial strategy to ensure the profitable long-term growth of a business. Through strategic planning and monitoring business performance, financial directors will be informed on what strategies they need to implement in order to future-proof their business. Along with investment in the latest software and technologies, workforce planning and management is an integral component which will help companies harness the capabilities of their staff to contribute to a businesses’ success.
Mike Everest is the financial director at Gibbs S3. He can be contacted email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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