How to Collapse the Barriers to Collaboration

HR and finance teams have often found themselves on conflicting sides in the past, but if the two entities want to collaborate effectively, it’s time to change.

According to a new research study from Oracle, the combination of a short-term mindset and entrenched cultural habits are proving to be major hurdles for collaboration between HR and finance teams to happen.

Oracle surveyed 1,510 HR, finance and business professionals from companies with $100 million of revenues or more. The key findings for HR is that successfully unlocking the value from data and helping organizations adapt to the changing nature of the global talent market means rethinking analytics technology, skills and processes to improve collaboration with finance and drive a competitive advantage.

“HR and finance departments bring different, yet complementary skills to the table. While they traditionally have not worked together closely, that needs to change in order for organizations to create a competitive advantage in today’s evolving market and talent economy,” says Donald Anderson, director of organization and talent development at Oracle. “The first step to overcoming traditional barriers and bringing HR and finance teams together is having a collaborative mindset with the right skill sets to both gather and analyze data so that it can be used to make impactful business decisions. That alone will deliver significant benefits to an organization’s performance.”

Anderson explains that the global talent market is more competitive than ever with the rise of new technologies, climbing costs of recruitment and increasing demand for new skills. The survey found that 95 percent of HR and finance professionals plan to make data-driven collaboration a priority in 2019. But to act on data in a meaningful way, HR and finance teams need new skills. For example, the survey found that 49 percent cannot currently use analytics to forecast outcomes and 81 percent are unable to determine future actions based on predictive data.

The irony is that while data and analytics within HR and finance are on the rise, the benefits are limited without effective collaboration. In order to reap the rewards, the Oracle research found, both departments must overcome “short-termism,” break through culture clashes and shrink the existing skill set gap.

In the end, 80 percent of organizations believe HR and finance teams are already helping them make better data-driven decisions. But, their teams will need to acquire new skills, but with an increased focus on collaboration, organizations will be able to gain even bigger business benefits. For instance:

  • 88 percent of respondents believe HR and finance collaboration will improve business performance; 76 percent believe it will enhance organization agility.
  • More than half (57 percent) of organizations plan to achieve more holistic, enterprise-wide insight through collaboration and 52 percent of HR and finance professionals believe it will help them become more strategic partners.
  • Over the next year, 71 percent of survey respondents plan to use AI to predict high performing candidates in recruitment and source best-fit candidates with resume analysis (70 percent).

“The world of analytics and AI opens tremendous doors for HR to harness meaningful insights in order to make smarter decisions and create a talent advantage,” says Tom Davenport, a Babson professor and analytics expert, who worked on the project with Oracle’s Anderson. “Seeing that so many HR professionals are planning to invest heavily in AI over the next year is promising. It means we’ll begin to see more strategic results and businesses competing on an entirely new level to find the right talent.”

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Tom Starner
Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at