CFOs must focus on ‘retention, retention, retention’

Good morning, 

We’re in the final stretch of 2021 and CFOs have set their priorities for the coming year. A big one is “Retention, retention, retention,” according to Deloitte’s latest report. 

In 2022, talent, financial performance, and growth are the top areas of focus. About 97% of CFOs who participated in Deloitte’s Q4 2021 survey, released today, agreed that talent/labor costs will increase substantially. CFOs and their organizations are looking at a number of ways to increase retention, says Steve Gallucci, national managing partner of the global and U.S. CFO Program, Deloitte LLP.

“Wage increases will go only so far,” Gallucci says. “We’ve heard some CFOs talk about identifying the next generation of leaders three, five, and 10 years out, and expanding their development programs to prepare them for the next step. People want to know their career path and their opportunities to grow,” Gallucci says. Practices like rotational programs are being used broaden exposure to the business, he explains. “Those experiences tend to benefit people personally, whether they stay with the company or go elsewhere,” Gallucci says. 

In regard to financial performance, CFOs are “laser focused” on improving the bottom line, Deloitte found. Their plans include increasing margins, sharpening EBITDA, reaching transformational milestones, and improving pricing to navigate inflation, to name a few. CFOs hold dimmer views of current economic conditions in North America compared to the prior quarter. To facilitate growth in 2022, 67% plan to pursue M&A and new ventures. And 79% said they will allocate or reallocate capital to new business investments. 

Overall, 49% of CFOs said they’re optimistic about their company’s financial prospects, a decline from 66% in the prior quarter. However, CFOs in the energy/resources industry were the most optimistic (75%), up from 50% last quarter. In contrast, the finance chiefs who see the glass as half empty are in manufacturing, where only 28% are optimistic, technology (23%), and health care/pharma (20%). The findings are based on a survey of 130 finance chiefs across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with the majority at companies earning more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

Who are CFOs leaning on? Their CEO, business unit leaders or presidents, COO, and CIO/CTO consistently ranked in the top four of C-suite leaders that CFOs said are most important to their own success, and have the most impact on the company. Chief talent/HR officers were ranked as the fifth most impactful for their companies. I asked Gallucci about their relationship dynamic. CFOs work hand-in-hand with HR leaders, he says. “Our CFO Signals survey found that CFOs are spending an average of 11 hours per month individually with their chief talent/HR officer; that’s in addition to other time spent with them in group meetings,” he explains.

In the war for talent, we all need allies. 

See you tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada

Big deal

Payscale released its End of Year Hot Jobs Report on Dec. 15. The report analyzes the top 10 jobs which have seen the highest growth based on more than 850,000 job seekers researching salaries on Beauty consultants top the list with a profile growth of 79%, reflecting 7% wage growth, according to the report. Rounding out the top five on the list are senior data engineer, senior recruiter, recruiting coordinator, and retail sales associate. "The jobs highlighted within this report demonstrate the impact and transformation of the labor market over the past year," Shelly Holt, chief people officer at Payscale, said in a statement. 

Going deeper

A new report by Gallup estimates that about 25% of U.S. employees haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19. This is the same percentage as the general population, the report noted. About 5% of unvaccinated workers say they plan to get vaccinated, which leaves "20% who can be considered vaccine resistant," according to Gallup. The survey also found that 46% of unvaccinated workers said their employer hasn't indicated a worker vaccination policy. Meanwhile, 36% said their employer is encouraging vaccines. Gallup noted that among vaccinated workers, 40% said their employer requires vaccines. 


Jason Harinstein was named CFO at Collectors Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Professional Coin Grading Service, Professional Sports Authenticator, and Wata Games. Prior to joining Collectors, Harinstein served for five years as CFO at Flatiron Health, where he led the company’s financial operations. Flatiron was co-founded by current Collectors CEO and Executive Chairman Nat Turner. Before starting his tenure with Flatiron, Harinstein served as the SVP of corporate development and strategy at Groupon for six years, after having been the director of corporate development at Google.

Gary A. Vecchiarelli was named CFO at CleanSpark, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLSK) , a sustainable Bitcoin mining and energy technology company. Vecchiarelli succeeds Lori Love, CFO since September 2019. Vecchiarelli has more than 20 years of technical, operational, and strategic experience in finance and accounting. Vecchiarelli was most recently CFO for Imatrex. Previously, he led finance operations for Golden Entertainment and Galaxy Gaming. During Vecchiarelli's tenure in public accounting, his clients ranged in size from $50 million to over $1 billion in various industries.


"We don't have a strong labor force participation recovery yet, and we may not have it for some time. At the same time, we have to make policy now, and inflation is well above target."

—Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell announced on Wednesday the agency's plans to combat inflation, including moving faster to phase out its emergency bond-buying program, as reported by Fortune

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