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Boost for temporary staff as digitalisation creates finance team skills gap

As companies battle to adapt to the rapidly changing finance landscape, many are hiring from the financial planning and analysis sector.

Company Profile

Robert Half

  • Three quarters (75%) of CFOs believe digitalisation will have a positive impact for temporary and contract employees
  • Over a third (34%) say temporary staff are helping them stay ahead of industry automation 
  • 45% acknowledge that digitalisation has improved team spirit while 63% say it has increased innovation within the finance department

Three quarters (75%) of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) believe digitalisation will have a positive impact for temporary employees within the finance department, according to research1 from recruitment specialist Robert Half UK.

As companies battle to adapt to the rapidly changing finance landscape, many are hiring from the financial planning and analysis sector. To ensure a smooth transition as they build in-house capabilities, CFOs are hiring temporary resource with previous experience of helping firms with transformation, whilst still maintaining financial control.

More than a third (34%) of CFOs agree that temporary staff will be crucial to ensure they stay ahead of industry automation, as more organisations look to implement automation software and solutions. A third (33%) also agree that temporary employees bring a broad range of in-demand skills to their business, including those that will help with the ongoing digital transformation.

In 2018, CFOs were most likely to allocate budget to hire temporary staff in financial management (32%), followed by accounting (28%) and credit management (27%).

Digitalisation benefiting finance departments in the long-term

Overall, CFOs believe that digitalisation will benefit the finance department. Just under half (45%) acknowledge that it has increased team spirit, while nearly two thirds (63%) say it has improved team innovation. Digitalisation is also helping to drive efficiency within finance departments, with many implementing software to streamline operations, therefore reducing the need for staff who simply input data and code.

However, as an indication of the increasing importance of temporary staff to finance departments, nearly three in five CFOs (57%) said that contractors are becoming a key component of their long-term staffing strategy.

Vincent Brown, Vice-President at Robert Half UK commented:

“The days of temporary staff acting as a stop gap in finance departments are long gone. CFOs now recognise the strategic value of temporary and contract staff, especially those who can help them adapt to digitalisation and implement automated processes that will save time and money. By augmenting the finance department with temporary staff, the priorities of meeting operation finance objectives can be maintained while allowing time for upskilling in new processes and systems.

“It is encouraging to see that CFOs believe digitalisation is improving team spirit and innovation ̶ two factors which have a huge impact on workplace morale. By hiring temporary staff who aide the digital transition to automation, CFOs can build a more collaborative, innovative and happier working environment for the long term.”


1 The study was developed by Robert Half and conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm among 500 senior decision-makers in businesses in the UK. This survey is part of an international study on hiring trends and career ambitions in the modern workplace.