Chief Financial Officer

The Impact of Human Capital on Today’s Financial Leaders

Attracting talented financial professionals is a challenge for many companies. Yet businesses must devote time and resources to employ the best financial professionals. Sandeep Reddy, Chief Financial Officer at Guess, described what it takes for financial leaders to find and retain top talent during his keynote presentation to Argyle’s CFO membership at the 2018 Financial Leadership Forum in Los Angeles on May 22. In his presentation, Reddy offered tips to help financial leaders employ talented professionals who can drive value creation.

Simply relying on brand reputation to stir up interest among talented financial professionals is insufficient for today’s businesses. Conversely, financial leaders must understand why a brand is unique and tailor their search for talented financial professionals accordingly. This approach can help financial leaders identify financial professionals who can help a business thrive for years to come.

Guess is a globally recognized lifestyle brand, yet the company needed to develop a strategy to add top financial professionals. To accomplish its goal, the business needed to rethink how it delivered value to its customers. By doing so, Guess was able to hone its search for financial professionals to those who could help the business drive long-lasting value creation.

“You don’t get the brand by accident. Some creative insight has to happen,” Reddy stated. “You could create the best brand in the world. But if you don’t execute and make progress that resonates with customers, you won’t actually make that brand successful for the long term.”

Finance’s Role in Creating Brand Value

The quality of financial professionals within a business can have far-flung effects on a company and its customers. If a business employs talented financial professionals, these professionals can help the business determine the best ways to provide its customers with value. As a result, this company may be better equipped than its rivals to accelerate its earnings growth and foster customer partnerships.

Ultimately, the right financial professionals understand the importance of value creation. These professionals will do whatever it takes to promote brand value to a company’s target audience and ensure a business can provide its clientele with products and services they want.

“Execution is critical to drive [brand] value,” Reddy noted. “But you need to have [good] people. Because where you have good people, you’ll have good results.”

How to Find the Best Talent

The process a business uses to conduct its search for talented financial professionals is crucial. If a company uses an in-depth process to search for the right financial professionals based on its brand, this company may be able to boost the likelihood of adding talented professionals who can drive meaningful business improvements.

The ideal financial professionals often display potential. These professionals are willing to work hard to help a company achieve its goals and strive to build their capabilities over time. “You have to identify people with potential, and this is easier said than done,” Reddy said. “You then have to develop their capabilities. Because you can’t have [potential] without capabilities.”

Also, financial leaders must search for financial professionals who show leadership potential. If financial professionals possess the skills and motivation to serve as leaders within their respective businesses, these professionals could drive long-lasting business transformation. “True leaders develop leaders, and when you develop leaders, those leaders will drive investments in human capital quality,” Reddy pointed out.

Financial professionals who constantly strive for improvement often prove to be difference-makers within businesses. These financial professionals are willing to do whatever they can to help a company stand out from the competition. Best of all, financial professionals who are intrinsically motivated may lead by example and could raise the bar for peers and superiors within a business.

Identifying financial professionals who are curious may be beneficial as well. Financial professionals who ask questions and want to learn as much as possible may be able to drive innovation. Meanwhile, these financial professionals could help a business discover unique ways to improve everyday processes and procedures. As such, financial professionals who display curiosity may prove to be valuable contributors to a business both now and in the future.

“Don’t accept what you are being told and what you are reading,” Reddy stated. “Ask questions and drill down to the deepest level to make sure you understand the driver … behind what is being explained.”

Visit Argyle Executive Forum's CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER LEADERSHIP FORUM - San Francisco in San Francisco, CA on Feb 13, 2020

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