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How recruitment can inspire an underperforming finance team



Many organisations invest time and money into monitoring and rewarding the performance of their employees. As finance professionals, we track ROI on financial activity but very rarely do we investigate performance improvements resulting from our decisions around people selection.

We know a motivated workforce is a more productive one. Underperformers tend to sit at the bottom of the motivation scale and risk dragging high-performers down. Among other things, this leads to a lack of innovation and typically unmeasured costs related to inefficiencies.

Many senior leaders underestimate the impact a quality hire can make on their teams’ culture and overall performance. Instead, focusing on short-term skill challenges as opposed to the benefits of adding new “spark” to the group.

Benefits of hiring the right people

A boost to culture and enjoyment

Team culture plays a huge part in enjoyment levels in the workplace. Poor culture, leadership and recruitment, lead to disengagement and lack of motivation (read our blog on understanding employee engagement.)

A new person will add a new dynamic, which you can manage to boost team culture in a positive light. For this reason, it’s important to consider not only culture fit in your interview process but also the culture you are trying to create. These can be two very different things. Hiring the “same” in terms of personality and motivation does not always create the harmony you are looking for, and it certainly doesn’t drive improvements in performance.

Strong leaders to ease pressure and mentor

In the current climate, businesses have been operating with lean structures within finance functions, in many cases forming large gaps between managers and junior staff, or more employees reporting to one manager. This means managers are spread thin and don’t have time to mentor and coach those below, leading to underperforming teams.

By bringing in a new team member with not only more experience but also leadership skills, they can act as a mentor to those underperforming and provide the coaching and support they need. Even great employees need support and the role of a mentor in their career. At [axr], we certainly believe career planning is important for an individual as well as the overall team success which is why we offer career planning for professionals and their team.

Healthy competition

Underperformance can stem from poor motivation, as well as a lack of challenge. Without these traits employees can become too comfortable in their roles, lose interest and start underperforming. This “comfort” can infect the rest of the team. Professionals need to get familiar with the fact that ‘change is constant’ and this has bred a new level of attitude and behaviour that must be exercised to be effective and add-value within your organisation (read our blog on why professionals need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable here)

Recruiting a high-performer can serve as a new benchmark for the team and create healthy competition. Managing the competition and avoiding your current team hijacking a new high-performance mindset is the key to getting it right.

Final thought

It’s important to understand why your people are underperforming first and then use this information to help recruit the right person to lift the team.

Do you have an underperforming finance team?

Talk to us and arrange a consultation.

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