Amid Uncertain Economy, Finance Expertise Tops the List of Most In-Demand Skills for 2023

August 8, 2023 The BTG Team

2023 Skills IndexBusiness Talent Group’s 6th annual Skills Index shows significant skill needs in the finance function, for operational excellence initiatives across the board, and for the adoption of AI.

LOS ANGELES, August 9, 2023 — Business Talent Group (BTG), a Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII) company and the leading talent marketplace for independent management consultants, interim executives, subject matter experts, and project managers, today released its sixth annual Skills Index, revealing the most in-demand and fastest growing skills leveraged by global companies to seize growth opportunities amid ongoing economic uncertainty and rapidly emerging technologies.   

With more than three-quarters (77%) of employers having difficulty finding skilled talent, the struggle to fill organizational gaps has significant financial implications—50% of CEOs and CFOs anticipate their organizations will struggle to meet customer demand with their current talent models. This has paved the way for innovative solutions, such as high-end independent talent marketplaces, which can help equip organizations with the skills and talent they need to succeed now and in the future.  

“The skills landscape is evolving at a breakneck pace and can have a pronounced impact on an organization’s ability to remain competitive and profitable,” said Sandra Pinnavaia, EVP, Chief Knowledge & Innovation Officer, Business Talent Group. “Organizations are currently working to keep up with the pace of technological and innovative change, all while navigating a shifting labor market and economic uncertainty. These equally important yet competing priorities call for a wide range of skillsets—and today’s business leaders will need to embrace creativity and agility in sourcing them.”    

Key insights from the 2023 Skills Index include:  

  • Sustained demand for finance expertise 
    There is sustained demand for on-demand finance professionals—with financial controls, accounting, and audit serving as the #1 most in-demand skill, followed closely by financial planning, analysis, and modeling (#3) amid a 71% increase in the number of requests for interim finance executives. 
  • Embracing AI and ever-more data and technology 
    The impacts of emerging technologies are top of mind for organizations, with businesses seeking on-demand talent skilled in technology and systems implementation (#6), as well as AI and machine learning and data science—each with a 100% increase in demand. 
  • A quest for operational excellence 
    Organizations are looking to streamline their processes and boost efficiency with help from on-demand talent skilled in organizational design and workforce planning (#5), operational excellence (#9), supply chain (#10), and organizational transformation (#13). 

Top 10 most in-demand skills for 2023 include: 

  1. Financial Controls, Accounting, and Audit  
  2. Project Management  
  3. Financial Planning, Analysis, and Modeling  
  4. Growth Strategy  
  5. Organizational Design and Workforce Planning  
  6. Technology and Systems Implementation  
  7. Market Access and Value  
  8. Strategic Planning  
  9. Operational Excellence  
  10. Supply Chain  

Top 10 fastest growing skills for 2023 include: 

  1. Lean/Six Sigma/Total Quality Management (+300%)
  2. Divestitures and Spinouts (+200%)  
  3. Program Management Office (PMO) (+156%)  
  4. Manufacturing Strategy (+150%)  
  5. Risk Management (+150%)  
  6. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (+100%)  
  7. Data Science (+100%)  
  8. Turnaround and Restructuring (+100%)  
  9. Treasury (+100%)  
  10. Channel Management (+100%)  

About the research 

The Skills Index is an annual examination of proprietary data on thousands of on-demand projects—from enterprise and mid-market companies to private equity firms and global nonprofits. BTG’s report informs business leaders of key areas of demand in 2023, including talent skilled in helping clients meet pressing finance needs, transform operations to enhance efficiency, seamlessly adopt new technologies, and place intelligent bets for growth.  

About Heidrick & Struggles 

Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII) is a premier provider of global leadership advisory and on-demand talent solutions, serving the senior-level talent and consulting needs of the world's top organizations. In our role as trusted leadership advisors, we partner with our clients to develop future-ready leaders and organizations, bringing together our services and offerings in executive search, diversity and inclusion, leadership assessment and development, organization and team acceleration, culture shaping and on-demand, independent talent solutions. Heidrick & Struggles pioneered the profession of executive search more than 65 years ago. Today, the firm provides integrated talent and human capital solutions to help our clients change the world, one leadership team at a time.®  

About BTG 

Business Talent Group (BTG) is the leading talent marketplace that connects independent management consultants, subject matter experts, project managers, and interim executives with the world’s best companies. BTG provides just the right on-demand talent needed: remote or on-site, part-time or full-time, individuals or teams, all around the world. That’s why more than 50% of the F100 and hundreds of other leading companies trust BTG to curate, vet, and compliantly deliver talent who fuel growth, innovation, and performance improvement. BTG is a Heidrick & Struggles company (Nasdaq: HSII). 

Media Contact 
Molly Coughlin  
Manager, Public Relations, Americas  
Heidrick & Struggles 

About the Author

The BTG Team

Business Talent Group (BTG) is the leading marketplace meeting the demand for high-end, independent talent around the world. We connect leading companies with a dynamic talent pool of on-demand management consultants, subject matter experts, project managers, and executives to solve their biggest business problems. Our diverse team draws on a wide range of experiences and backgrounds to serve our clients and talent.

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