The Partnership between CFO and HRD: an evolving Relationship

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Author: Salvatore Corradi -FM Chairman

Daily living with the awareness that the global market is in the throes of a huge crisis has made it clear how much employees are a company’s main resource. The pandemic also highlighted how high the cost of managing valuable talent is, so cash flow issues are at the center of concern. The human capital of a company is therefore one of the determined elements, but also one of the most expensive. A further challenge consequential to the impact of COVID-19 was the evident change in consumer needs and their buying habits.

In the face of this situation, a solid partnership between Human Resources and Finance (which respond to the HR Director and CFO figures) will be increasingly inevitable to address future issues. It must be understood that HRD and CFO share common objectives, they are two essential assets of a company and have the task of allocating sufficient human and financial resources to better align the decision-making process relating to human capital with corporate objectives.

The CFO (cf. “Implementation of Management Control for Company’s Future”) is the instigator of change for the entire company and this person may find himself/herself having to play an active role in recruiting and managing talent working closely in contact with the HR department. Together they have to understand where it is possible to save and, at the same time, reduce the employee turnover rate and evaluate internal skills and resources. On the other hand, the function of HRD has also changed a lot over the last few decades, progressing towards obtaining a strategic role. Do not make the mistake of believing that HRD’s job is only to recruit and retain talent and create an environment that promotes a culture of performance. One thing is certain: the time when CFO and HRD were fossilized and dedicated exclusively to their own duties is officially over.

There must be alchemy between these two figures, so as to allow the CFO or whoever for him/her to provide Human Resources with timely data concerning the health of the company for its part the HR department will be in a position to better understand the measures to be adopted, especially if they concern employees in matters of leadership development, reduction of absenteeism, the hiring of qualified personnel and the promotion of internal talent.

Partnering for performance” is a series of studies that explores how CFOs can collaborate with their C-suite peers to grow, protect and transform their organizations EY’s report, based on a global survey of 652 CFOs and interviews with CFOs and CEOs from large companies. These include an interview with various CFOs and HRDs, where 80% of respondents said that the relationship between the two departments is becoming increasingly collaborative.

The involvement of Human Resources in financial matters (and vice versa) translates into greater growth in turnover and better employee involvement and productivity. These two profiles must leave their ivory towers to demonstrate that the cliché of the “specialist versus generalist” conflict no longer exists.