The market for skilled finance professionals is extremely competitive today, and shortages of these workers aren't likely to end anytime soon. In fact, many believe that demographic patterns will only worsen the talent crunch.

Rather than continuing to wait around for candidates with the right specialized finance skills to walk through the door, companies might be wiser to ramp up their training and development initiatives. Many businesses scaled back, or even ended, their professional development programs during the last recession. For organizations that haven't renewed their efforts in this area, now is a good time to do so.

Training and development initiatives that build job skills in the finance function are, without question, a win-win. For employers, these initiatives elevate the knowledge and quality of the workforce. They also enhance efforts to recruit top talent. Job candidates choosing a new employer want to see that a company will give them a chance to develop their skill set and advance their career within the organization. Providing opportunities for training and development helps them visualize a possible career path.

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