Controllers' panel at FEI conference tackles talent development, more.

Author:Raab, Marian
Position:RECRUTING - Conference news

When it comes to attracting and developing top talent, Panelists on the "Controllers' Roundtable" session at FEI's Current Financial Reporting Issues conference in Novermber had some advice.

Nick Cyprus, controller and chief accounting officer of Detroit-based General Motors Corp., says that employees are happiest when they are being developed. Noting that the big accounting firms have a lot of data and "great trainers," he likes to pick one of the most current financial-reporting topics, flavor it to GM's specific needs, bring in an outside trainer to lecture and put 200 accountants in front of him or her.

"I always say the better your resume is internally, the better it will be externally," Cyprus says.

Talia Griep, vice president and controller of Honeywell International Inc., in Morristown, N.J., agrees that it's important to focus on employees' training and education. Develop the career of the individual employee, she advises, not just the current position.

In addition, individual supervisors play a vital role in keeping employees happy, notes Thomas M. Tefft, vice president and corporate controller or Medtronic Inc., in Minneapolis, who moderated the panel discussion." People join companies, but they leave managers," Tefft says.

One recruiting tool Cyprus employs is to reserve the right to make an employment offer to outside consultants who come on board for specific projects. But he adds that if you want the ability to approach outside consultants, you have to write that clause into the contract before the enagement begins.

Cyprus also relies on networking and...

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