Is Sector Experience Overrated?

With the Brexit deadline looming and economic uncertainty still at large, many organisations are reluctant to take what they perceive to be hiring risks. Companies have sought to mitigate it by only recruiting senior finance professionals from within sector. The rationale is that candidates such as these will add immediate sector-relevant value. In our opinion, the importance of sector experience can be overrated, often at the expense of other professional, leadership and technical competencies. As a consequence, candidates who have real potential to make a positive impact can be overlooked.

When assessing candidates during the hiring process, sector experience is easier to check than other competencies which may take more time and effort. Because of this, sector experience can take precedence over competency when hiring decisions are being made. By playing it safe and only recruiting within sector, some organisations could be limiting the potential of their finance function.

Fear of appointing outside of the sector could prove a mistake, resulting in employers losing out on motivated, skilled, high potential talent. Often, cross sector talent can bring with it diversity of thought and ideas, creativity, innovation, and renewed energy, all of which can be differentiators in a competitive talent market.

Whilst recognising that there are occasions when sector experience is important, our omnichannel approach at Norman Broadbent Solutions is to be proactive around diversity and engage passive talent who are best in class. Our proven approach has produced an exceptionally high success rate in allowing the finance professionals we appoint to materially raise the bar in terms of finance team performance and their contribution to the broader business. In the current business climate, businesses need to innovate and adapt to survive and thrive. To harness the skills of talented finance professionals and ensure that finance teams genuinely contribute to business growth, do employers need to be more open-minded on the subject of sector experience?

If you would like to discuss this topic in greater detail or find out more about how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial and confidential conversation. For more details contact Wayne Poulton  on+44 (0) 20 7355 6941 or