Throughout my career, I’ve often said that there’s so much you can learn by listening—particularly to other professionals in different industries. As part of a new TalentRise feature, I’m proud to unveil “Talent Talk”—a series that will highlight my conversations with leaders from across the United States as I pick their brains about their most pressing talent acquisition and HR-related challenges.
Recently, I sat down with Patrick Worsham, Chief Financial Officer at two early-stage companies—Delta Financial Group and Mother Kombucha—to understand his unique perspectives on recent post-pandemic talent trends.
Demand for financial roles
When asked about the most in-demand positions across his businesses, Patrick didn’t hesitate when speaking about the need for financial analysts and accountants. The sudden emergence of remote work has resulted in a flood of Americans moving to the state of Florida which has helped expand the size of the local talent pool. However, demand for such talent is strong.
“Here in the Tampa area, financial analysts and accountants seem to be a precious commodity,” noted Patrick. “There’s a lot of demand for people with that type of professional background.”
A rise in hiring back to pre-pandemic levels—particularly within the leisure and entertainment industries that were jolted in 2020—has been a welcome sight in areas like the Sunshine State. As Americans begin to feel comfortable enough to travel again, Florida is expected to see a spike in the demand for labor to keep pace with the influx of tourists—which bodes well for the short and mid-term futures of the talent acquisition industry to support these businesses.
Turnover tidal wave
As new survey data continues to roll in from across the country, it will be no surprise to witness professionals making a career move. According to a study conducted by The Harris Poll, only three in 10 Americans say they will remain in their current role once the pandemic subsides.
“People will definitely consider making a jump if they’re presented with a 20% pay raise or more,” said Patrick. “It’s created a problem that’s not unique to Florida—it’s happening throughout the country. As the demand for talent continues to grow, workers are going to have greater opportunities to pursue different roles.”
In recent months, Patrick has also seen a significant amount of turnover—especially within lower-level roles—as professionals pursue other higher-paying opportunities that offer 100% remote work. He anticipates that this trend will only continue in the months ahead.
Emphasizing learning and development
To be successful in attracting first-rate talent to your organization, Patrick advises that companies take stock of their people while recognizing and rewarding high performers for their exceptional work product. These high-performing individuals—particularly those with limited experience—will continue to need training and development to remain with their organization. By prioritizing professional growth opportunities, your company can successfully retain its most valuable assets without being washed away by the turnover tidal wave.
“Candidates have the opportunity to pick and choose who they want to work for,” said Patrick. “I think a successful training program is critical in employee attraction—especially for those with limited professional experience. Younger workers expect to envision how they can learn and grow within an organization through professional development opportunities.”
Future of remote work
In the pandemic’s early months, Patrick was forced to work remotely due to family health concerns. However, he has returned to the office—a place that he knows and loves. When asked about the workforce’s return to an in-person setting, Patrick said that the answer largely depends on the individual worker’s recent productivity.
“I’m a real believer in rewarding people who are productive in their role,” commented Patrick. “Everyone within an organization has the chance to add value to their company. But I think some people are challenged when working from home, so it can be hard to make a blanket statement on what works best for each employee.”
While some employees have been challenged to stay focused when working remotely, others have made drastic improvements in their overall performance. From a carbon footprint perspective, Patrick views it as a positive to keep people off the road if they can demonstrate productivity when working from home. He urges organizations to listen to the needs of their employees before making any definitive action on return-to-work decisions.
As our world continues to navigate the future of work in our post-pandemic world, our TalentRise team will keep you apprised of recruiting trends and updates that could impact your business. If the turnover wave hits your organization, our team of executive search experts is at the ready to address your high-level recruiting needs. We can find the right candidate for your future or help you bring on a skilled interim executive to address urgent business objectives.
To learn more about the future of work, check out my latest blog that details the new hybrid workplace and what we can expect in the months ahead.
If your business is interested in hiring high-level financial experts, our TalentRise team can help. Discover more about our solutions geared toward the financial services industry.