Findex appoints leading HR executive as new chief people officer

'As employers we need to reframe how we engage with our existing talent and stand out to the next generation'

Findex appoints leading HR executive as new chief people officer

Kath Nell entered the employment market freshly graduated and armed with a marketing degree, she quickly gained a sales role and began envisaging her illustrious marketing career path, but timing would change all that.

“Organisations were doing a lot of work around self-managed teams and autonomous teams which was big in the nineties, Nell reminisced. “That became a really great way for me to not only step into an HR role, but to be doing quite leading-edge work, which was around how do you create ownership and accountability, so the work gets done?”

An emerging passion for seeing people and organisations transform meant she never looked back. Nell spent the next twenty years carving a proven track record in organisational change and transformation across several large businesses and now the description on her Linked In profile simply reads, “I make people and organisations better”.

This month, Nell was appointed the Chief People Officer at Findex, one of the largest privately-owned providers of integrated advisory and accounting firms in APAC. 

Read more: Global talent shortage reaches 16-year high

Findex Chief Executive Officer, Spiro Paule, said, “We are committed to investing in our team and attracting the right talent to provide the highest level of service to our clients. Kath is a deeply experienced senior executive, and her skillset is well matched to our people agenda and attracting and retaining talented people.” 

Nell joins the Findex team at a challenging time for the human resources industry, talent shortages are severe especially within the financial services industry. In Australia alone, there is 4,000-plus roles to be filled across the four large accountancy firms.

“It is currently a dynamic job market globally and as employers we need to reframe how we engage with our existing talent and standout to the next generation,” said Nell. “But for me to say that I’ve got all the answers, or the magic silver bullet would be really unrealistic.”

Nell said that tackling the staff shortage starts with focus – “How might we prioritise some of those critical roles that over index in terms of delivering value in the business. Instead of trying to boil the ocean, how might we create some focus.”

Nell conceded that some talent is harder to find than others so managing the internal pipeline is critical. “Giving people great careers and showing them opportunities for growth, creating a culture where leaders are those talent builders and they’re showing and creating opportunities for growth.”

Read more: Singapore unicorn doubles down on DIB amidst talent shortage

Nell stresses that authenticity and consistency are key. “Being true and consistent to your employee value proposition, being very clear about what you stand for, what people will get from your organisation, and then live up to that.”

“Remember while you have an EVP it’s not one size fits all,” warns Nell. “There are things that are really important to people at different career and life stages. So be nuanced around that and find out what’s important to the individual.”

“Some of the things I’ve seen that perhaps haven’t worked so well is when organisations try to create and send a message to the employee marketplace that’s completely inconsistent with what the brand or organisation is about, and it just feels like a gimmick.”

“I pride myself in providing pragmatic solutions at all levels - the enterprise, executive leadership team, functional, and individual levels - catalysing organisational changes, that ultimately make a difference in the long run,” said Nell.

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