Valuing the relationship between HR and finance

By Jonathon Sheppard | 02 November 2021

2020 and 2021 have demonstrated perhaps more than ever the importance of the relationship between HR and finance, said Rob Whiteman CBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in his address at the recent PPMA conference.

Mr Whiteman raised many thought-provoking suggestions on the recruitment challenges HR and OD leaders have to tackle that a close relationship with finance colleagues may help with.

These include: the state of public finances and therefore the advantage of attracting finance leaders that can have a meaningful impact on an authority; introducing responsive financial models to offer strategic insight into an authority’s people agenda; the financial challenges of tackling the necessary digital delivery of services; better understanding the economic drivers from a strategic point of view; and adopting modern methods of engaging staff to align with the new agile working world, to name a few.

As a recruitment professional, listening to Mr Whiteman’s thoughts on attracting and keeping the best finance talent resonated loudly with me.

Even pre-pandemic, this has always been a head-scratching challenge for local authority organisations. Add the paradigm shift to our working patterns, locations and habits, and the challenge becomes even more difficult.

The main take-home from Mr Whiteman’s address? Re-thinking how organisations and teams are structured so that employees and leaders can still feel engaged by an organisation and close to its values and objectives in today’s agile working environment is something all organisations should be looking at.

At CIPFA-Penna we’re helping our clients do this now so that they are in shape for the future.

Jonathon Sheppard is senior consultant at CIPFA-Penna

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