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The CFO’s Role in Talent Strategy

Finding and retaining top talent remains a priority for growth-focused businesses. The C-suite is acutely aware of how investing in human capital impacts the top and bottom lines. Gartner, a globally recognized research and consulting firm, reports that the workforce ranked third on the list of CEOs’ top 10 strategic business priorities, up 32% from 2021.

With talent strategy as the bedrock of a business’ success strategy, CFOs are becoming even more involved in human capital and talent development. Regardless of the team structure, finance leaders are taking a growing leadership role in the mission to recruit, retain and develop top talent.

As we reported last month, beyond their ability to oversee finances, CFOs have the capacity to assess and measure an organization strategically. That is a key asset in business innovation and positions the CFO as the lifeline for sustainable success. Capability building and corporate culture are critical to business performance — without good people, a company will not grow and thrive. As so, the finance chief has become a strategic leader in elevating performance within the organization, ensuring business and workforce strategies are aligned.

Here are four trends we see as financial leaders take a bigger role in nurturing talent and shaping the future workforce:

Developing a Balanced View

Finance reporting provides a historical view of operational activity and results. But CFOs focused on human capital need a holistic perspective that blends past, present, and future views of organizational success and asks: what has happened, where do we want to go, and what are we doing now to get there? They must also extend the lens of business performance reporting and partner with the CHRO to review employee performance reporting. Employee data and feedback are invaluable tools in understanding where to invest in company culture and professional development to further business goals.

Creating a People Strategy

Beyond headcount and an org chart, developing a comprehensive people strategy keeps the company on budget while supporting innovation and growth. A robust talent strategy focuses on employee relationships and retention. From recruitment to offboarding, the objective should be growing talent through connection, alignment and growth.

Nearly 70% of people are not engaged at work, which leads to high turnover and low retention, according to a study by Bridge, an expert in employee development and ongoing education.

To create a high-performance culture, your people strategy should prioritize:

Connection: Relationships matter between peers, managers, and mentors and should be built upon individual skills, interests, and motivation to increase satisfaction and retention.

Alignment: Company values and goals are clear and transparent, and everyone understands how their individual contributions contribute to the larger vision, mission, and organizational success.

Growth: Opportunities exist at every level of the company for personal and professional development, from mentoring to formal training, stretch assignments, and coaching.

As you plan your people strategy, ask yourself what is the optimal structure for achieving business goals? Are employees trained and empowered to succeed? And are they connected to and engaged with company values and culture?

Tracking and Measuring Progress

The success of talent management must be measured like all other business goals. CFOs, partnering with peers in the C-Suite, can help develop a strong framework for measuring people success that can be interpreted to draw conclusions and analyze the effectiveness of increasing employee growth and satisfaction. Every department, team, and individual should have performance KPIs that clearly ladder up to organizational goals. The success framework should:

  • Be quantifiable
  • Track how the individual is progressing/advancing business goals
  • Identify where to make adjustments in organizational alignment
  • Determine where to allocate more resources and attention when needed
  • Empower you with data for informed decision-making


Results should also be shared transparently and in a regular cadence with employees and teams as a tool for increased performance, to celebrate wins and hold accountability, and to build trust and enhance corporate culture.

Nurturing a Performance Culture

One of the best ways to raise employee engagement and highlight corporate values is by recognizing outstanding performance and exceptional work. When individuals understand how they contribute to their team, department, and across the enterprise, they have more buy-in for business success. They also feel greater pride in their work and are driven to achieve excellence.

People like to be part of a winning team and likewise, appreciate a corporate culture that emphasizes personal achievement and results. Celebrating individual and team success builds morale and boosts engagement, which can directly impact company growth.

As the talent agenda remains a consistent top priority for C-teams, the CFO plays a vital role in integrating financial and people strategy. Optimizing and aligning the management of these key areas will help organizations navigate the current business landscape and the candidate-driven job market.

Is your organization seeking a CFO, senior-level management, or other accounting or financial reporting support?  Alliance Resource Group can provide premier talent that creates lasting value for your company.