Cassel & Co sees companies demanding specialisation from recruits

Want to get hired? Finance Indaba silver partner Cassel & Co's Georgina Barrick says it's time to specialise.

Globally there is a significant trend towards hyper-specialisation and in recruitment, there is a move away from hiring generalists to specialists, according to Georgina Barrick, managing director of financial accounting recruitment specialists Cassel & Co.  

“We are a specialised finance and accounting recruitment partner, having worked in the market for 30 years,” says Georgina. “Our networks, the careers we manage, and our databases focus in that key area, which means that when we interview, we understand the real nuances that are affecting finance and consulting professionals. And what we are seeing is that people are becoming a lot more specialised in what they do, in response to industry demand for those types of skills. Specialism is the new black.”

In particular, this year, she says that they are seeing an increased demand for expertise in the tax space. “When large organisations need tax advice, whether for local or offshore operations, they don’t necessarily employ them themselves, but tend to go to audit or legal firms. So those firms are adding to their tax departments.”

Another area that Georgina says is always buoyant is in the insurance sector.

“And of course, audit and risk remain a high priority in finance, particularly post-Guptagate, so there is a renewed need for people who have expertise in good corporate governance in organisations,” she says.

This expertise is extended to areas including corporate gifting policies to B-BBEE compliance.

“This trend from finance professionals being generalists to experts is something that we believe in deeply,” says Georgina. “If you want to be the best of breed, you can’t be all things to all people. If you’re doing a renovation at home, you would find a plumber to do the plumbing work. You wouldn’t find a Jack-of-all-trades to do the plumbing and a bit of carpentry and a bit of electrical. You’d want to find a specialist in each of those fields. It’s the same with recruitment. And businesses are looking for agencies that work specifically with specialised people to meet their needs.”

For this reason, she advises “beefing up” your knowledge and expertise. “If you are good at risk, go out and become world class at risk.”

Visitors to the Finance Indaba Africa on 17 and 18 October can meet up with Cassel & Co, which is part of the ADvTech Group, a listed company and the largest education and resourcing group in South Africa.