So with time short and other priorities demanding your attention, how are you supposed to dedicate the right amount of time and resources to the task of hiring? The truth is that it's tough, and if any of this sounds familiar, then you might actually benefit from making no new hires at all.
Upskilling your existing employees and training them in areas that you normally would have addressed with an outside hire can save you valuable time and money — all while ensuring your organization still gets the specialized support it needs. Here's where to start.
40% of hiring managers in accounting and finance see recruiting and retaining talent as their biggest challenges.
Far too often, enterprise leaders focus on recruiting new hires, rather than internal advancement. But while the fresh perspective that a new hire can bring to your organization is certainly valuable, their impact is often delayed due to time spent training, onboarding and getting all-around acclimated to a new work environment.
That's where upskilling comes in. A Pew study and Randstad's own research have revealed that the lion's share of workers believe it's critical to receive training and develop new skills in order to keep up with the seismic changes taking place in the workplace — making upskilling your team a win-win situation. The opportunities for training and certification you provide will strengthen your workforce and add additional value to your operations, while also building workforce morale and driving employee engagement and retention.
but isn't upskilling my team going to be expensive?
Yes, there are obvious costs involved in subsidizing certification programs for your employees. But the cost of a bad hire or lost productivity as you keep a senior-level position open for months while you wait for that unicorn candidate to appear is far more expensive. While you may not have the financial flexibility to devote to upskilling right now due to the dramatic impact that COVID-19 has had on business, it's a temporary condition. And as we start returning to normal, you'll want to be prepared to hit the ground running when it comes to the training and development of your team.
Our research shows that the average time to fill for a majority of accounting and finance firms is two to three months.* And during that time, you'll be forced to allocate resources to focus on hiring rather than other tasks. Plus, the longer a position remains vacant, the longer existing workers will have to step in and cover additional duties, effectively making them less productive in both areas. Calculate what that means for your business, and you'll quickly see how cost-effective upskilling can be.
So what are the credentials you should be offering your team in order to build the knowledge base needed to drive business success today? Here are the top five certifications available, and what you need to know about each of them.
time to hire for a majority of organizations we surveyed was between 2 to 3 months.
certified public accountant
The gold standard in accounting credentials, certified public accountants (CPAs) are equipped to handle even the most pressing financial challenges. From corporate tax preparation to financial analysis to business strategy, this credential differentiates the best from the rest.
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) requires a bachelor's degree, at least 150 credits in business and accounting and two years of public accounting experience.
Between $2,000 and $3,000, depending on state-specific fees and requirements.
The CPA designation is ideal for people looking to become a senior accountant, accounting manager, tax manager, or — down the line — CFO or COO.
certified management accountant
For those who want to deepen their expertise of corporate finance and management accounting, the certified management accountant (CMA) credential is the way to go. Many pros often pursue both a CPA and a CMA, but the latter is of particular importance to those working in the corporate sector, especially those in multinational organizations.
And this certification is particularly forward-looking: As of January 2020, the CMA program will place more emphasis on technology, analytics, professional ethics and decision analysis — all critical muscles businesses will want to have flexed in order to drive growth and success.
The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) requires a bachelor's degree and two years of experience in financial management or management accounting.
$1,080, plus ongoing IMA membership fees.
The CMA designation is ideal for people looking to become a controller, accounting manager, risk manager, financial strategist or CFO.
chartered financial analyst
The chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation is the best credential for those working in investment management and securities. Not only does it confirm that the professional is at the top of their field, but it guarantees expert-level knowledge with regards to reviewing and analyzing even the most complex of accounting reports, forecast trends and investment strategies.
The CFA program digs deep into ethical standards in finance, making it a great filter for employers to use when determining top candidates for a position.
The CFA Institute requires a bachelor's degree and four years of relevant work experience.
$2,550 with early registration.
The CFA certification is ideal for people looking to become a financial advisor, corporate financial analyst, portfolio manager or CFO.
chartered global management accountant
Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA) have extensive mastery of accounting and finance operations and best practices, as well as deep expertise in strategic business planning and management. Created for management accountants hungry to transform into business leaders, this global certification is awarded to those who are committed to staying on top of developments in the accounting and finance realm. Having these stars on board is a surefire way to future-proof your business.
Both the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) administer the CGMA exam. The AICPA requires membership and three years of management accounting experience; the CIMA just requires membership.
$325 plus AICPA membership; exam cost included in CIMA membership.
The CMA designation is ideal for people looking to become a senior accountant, financial analyst, controller or CFO.
certified payroll professional
Looking to help your payroll professionals reach the next level of their careers? Then help them acquire their certified payroll professional (CPP) credential, which signifies a deep knowledge of payroll taxes, benefits standards and compliance (and much more) — all important competencies to have as regulatory standards continue to change at a rapid pace.
The American Payroll Association (APA) requires registrants to have worked in payroll for at least three of the last five years. However, it can be taken earlier upon completion of APA payroll courses.
$380 for APA members; $550 for nonmembers.
The CMA designation is ideal for people looking to become a payroll specialist, payroll administrator or payroll supervisor.
* Randstad US, "randstad professionals: client survey executive summary." 2019.