Building a successful finance team

Alex Rowland, specialist finance recruiter at Sellick Partnership, answers your questions as to the types of candidates you should be looking for and how you can attract the best finance & accountancy professionals in this highly competitive market.


What makes a good finance team within the housing sector?

Building a successful finance team in any business is largely dependent on your priorities and what tasks you need them to undertake. For example, a small niche business may only require one or two candidates with generalist experience to manage cash flow, where a larger originations may wish to explore a more experienced qualified team that can assist more with strategy and growth. In these situations, having a structured team is essential to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities within the organisation. In terms of the team itself, finding candidates that are the right cultural fit is extremely important.

 Is it necessary to have someone with a private sector background in a finance team? What benefits does that experience bring?

It is not necessary at all, however private sector candidates do often bring an array of skills and experience that public sector candidates often do not possess. Private sector candidates tend to have had exposure to much larger businesses and often have a great deal of experience dealing with growth, so they will have an extremely high business acumen and can be very commercially astute.

 What are the key skills a member of the finance team needs to thrive?

 Successful finance candidates tend to be decisive and are able to look at and amylase key mathematical data and present this in an uncomplicated way. For that reason we always look for candidates with excellent interpersonal and communication skills that can go into a business and understand strategic decision making, enabling them to assist with growth and productivity. Aside from that, finding candidates that have excellent excel skills, with mathematical expertise and that have a great deal of commercial acumen will be a great help to housing & property services organisations.

 How can we attract the best finance talent and compete with bigger, more specialist organisations?

 The finance recruitment market is highly competitive, both in the private and public sector, so it is important to ensure you stand out from the crowd to give you the best chance of attracting high-calibre candidates, and the best way to do this is through your own brand and benefits. For example, Housing Associations are famed for their diverse makeup, so you could use this to your advantage when marketing your roles. Businesses also need to be offering benefits such as flexible working if they want to be able to compete.

In terms of finding the right candidates, organisations should engage with a variety of attraction strategies. We would always advise utilising a wide range of popular job boards to maximise reach and engage with active candidates on the job market. In addition to advertising on these job boards you can also get access to CV databases and have alerts set up to immediately notify you of newly registered suitable talent. You can also engage with a specialist recruiter in this area who will save you time and ensure you are presented with the best candidates to suit your requirements.

If you are struggling to find the right finance professional to join your team we could help. Please feel free to contact myself, or the wider Housing & Property Services recruitment team at Sellick Partnership to discuss your needs by calling 01332 542580.