Accessing an Agile and Adaptable Accounting and Finance Workforce

26 July 2023 Steve Merritt

selecting wooden brick mimicking selecting agile candidate

​Similar to most industries, the accounting space is evolving at an incredible pace. Unpredictable economies, changing workplace structures, and growing talent gaps are present everywhere.

While it's impossible to predict what challenges any organisation might face next, business leaders can take steps to prepare for the unexpected with the right recruitment strategy. Therefore, investing in an adaptable, agile workforce capable of responding to market trends is essential.

Today, we will explore why it's so important to cultivate an adaptable workforce in today's world and how companies can set themselves up for success.

Understanding an Agile and Adaptable Workforce

An agile or adaptable Workforce isn't just a team that embraces concepts like dynamic thinking and flexible working. Adaptable workforces consist of people with a growth mindset who can quickly respond to challenges and trends, adopting proactive behaviours.

Agile employees can respond quickly to new ways of working, from hybrid and remote work to new skill requirements and processes, with minimal effort. They're confident in dealing with change and take a consistent approach to learning and development.

The agile Workforce isn't just another buzzword in the employment landscape. With 80% of companies experiencing talent shortages, agility is becoming crucial to accounting business continuity. As the workplace continues to change and evolve, the most adaptable teams will survive and thrive.

Since the pandemic, interest in agility and adaptability has grown as companies have discovered how quickly their workplace requirements and environments can change. Business leaders can ensure they're ready for the future by building an adaptable workforce.

The Benefits of an Agile and Adaptable Workforce

An agile and adaptable workforce is a resilient workforce.

Agile teams are equipped to deal with any challenge they might face. They proactively solve problems, collaborate with other employees, and take risks to succeed. An agile culture can even prepare employees to become better leaders.

Furthermore, several studies confirm that agile workplaces are more productive, engaged, and creative than their counterparts when facilitating business growth.

By building an agile workforce, companies can achieve the following:

  • Greater business resilience and competitiveness: Because an agile workforce can adapt rapidly to market trends and challenges, it can thrive in situations where competitors might falter. Agile and adaptable companies can respond to market disruptions instantly, seize opportunities, and experiment with new ways to improve customer loyalty.

  • Increased employee engagement and retention: Building an agile workforce can reduce hierarchy issues in a business environment, improve collaboration, and enhance problem-solving. Empowering employees with the right skills and the autonomy to make their own decisions helps to boost satisfaction levels.

  • Improved flexibility: Agile workforces are built on flexibility. Business leaders with an agile team have more freedom regarding workforce planning and optimisation. They can allocate resources based on facts, data, and market trends. Companies can sometimes even reduce costs by adopting an agile approach to workplace structure.

The Role of Recruiters in Building an Agile and Adaptable Workforce

Building an agile and adaptable workforce is a joint effort. It requires the input and support of a hiring team and business leaders and the guidance of the right accounting recruitment agencies. In today's talent-short market, recruiters are often crucial to helping companies achieve their adaptability, agility, and flexibility goals.

The right accounting recruiters already have a clear view of the trends influencing the market, the skills business leaders need, and the talent available. They know how to assess candidates' agility and adaptability and guide hiring managers.

Agile recruiters can help businesses to:

  • Adapt to the changing hiring market: Accounting recruiters understand the changing nature of the hiring market. They can identify new skill sets and competencies necessary for a company and embrace non-traditional talent sourcing channels to find candidates.

  • Redefine job descriptions: The best recruiters can also work with business leaders to redefine job descriptions and selection criteria. They can prioritise soft skills like adaptability and problem-solving and teach teams to implement behavioural interview techniques to assess each candidate's competencies.

  • Implement an agile culture: With extensive experience in the accounting industry, recruiters can offer advice and guidance on how to upskill and reskill employees. They can help businesses create a culture of continuous learning and adaptability.

  • Foster diversity and inclusion: Agile workforces often comprise highly diverse team members. Recruiters can help champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in a company's hiring strategy, assisting businesses to access a range of talented professionals.

Ideas for Building and Maintaining an Agile and Adaptable Workforce

Working with an accounting recruiter can help business leaders and hiring teams source the right candidates for an agile and adaptable workforce. However, it's also important to have a strategy to nurture this mindset and agile practices.

Business leaders and managers should work towards.

  1. Establish a culture of adaptability.

Building an adaptable workforce starts with transforming the company culture, focusing on innovation, agility, and creativity. Leaders can help to keep teams agile and adaptable by creating an environment that encourages teams to experiment, explore new problem-solving strategies, and take creative approaches to accounting work.

Most importantly, an adaptable culture should focus on building a growth mindset, where employees can learn from their mistakes rather than dwelling on errors. Truly agile companies accept failures as a part of growth and see it as an opportunity to improve.

  1. Build an agile organisational structure

Strict job structures and rigid hierarchies can't thrive in an adaptable workforce. For teams to be truly agile, they need to be able to take control of their roles, show autonomy, and collaborate transparently with all other employees.

An agile environment should allow cross-functional teams to interact, share knowledge, and bond regularly. It should also give every employee an equal voice. Team members should feel they have the power to make decisions about their roles, share feedback, and even explore alternative processes when necessary.

  1. Create an agile work environment.

Agile workforces aren't driven by the number of hours an employee spends on a task or specific schedule. They focus on results rather than time spent. Flexible work arrangements can give employees more autonomy in their roles and more control over their careers.

Promoting flexibility and being ready to adhere to the different needs of various accounting employees can help business leaders produce a more agile work environment. At the same time, prioritising flexibility, work-life balance, and well-being help business leaders to improve their employer brand, attract more talent, and retain crucial employees.

The Age of Agility is Here

In today's unpredictable world, knowing what the future might hold is impossible. However, with an agile and adaptable workforce, companies can ensure they're prepared to handle any challenge.

Start building your agile and adaptable Workforce with the help of a professional accounting industry recruitment team, and your company will benefit.

At Hedley Scott Recruitment, our mission is to help Accounting, Tax and Insolvency professionals to achieve their career and business goals. If you want to find out how we can help you, call us on 02 8877 8700 or contact us here.