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Human resources - Learning potential

The decision to hire untrained recruits or seasoned ACAs will be different for every business. Nick Huber looks at the issues FDs need to consider when choosing the company’s training path.

Getting the right person for the job sounds simple, but is often anything but. It’s a perennial challenge for all types of business departments, including finance. 

But for many FDs, there remains uncertainty over whether to hire qualified accounting staff or to offer training on the job. Hiring qualified accountants can be more costly, but does the saving in time and management resource involved in recruiting raw graduates justify the expense? Is it better to “grow your own” by training unqualified staff already working in the finance department? And how can FDs measure the effectiveness of their department’s training? 

Calculating the value of training is hard, but experts say the benefits can last for years or even decades. “Taking on more junior staff and supporting them with training also ensures they are more ingrained in your company culture and way of working,” says Karen Young, director of senior finance at Hays, the white-collar recruitment company. “Some FDs took this on board and used the recession to find and train accountants. They have established immeasurable loyalty in these accountants as a result.” 

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 225, October 2014. 

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