A conversation with Thomas Sanglier, director of internal audit at Raytheon

Not only are salaries rising for internal auditors, making it more expensive to hire good applicants, but the array of skills needed for today's internal audit departments are so varied that those that possess all the right talents—including IT knowledge, communication skills, business acumen, critical thinking, risk management, industry knowledge, fraud-finding abilities, and several others—are hard to come by.

Internal audit managers that are looking to fill gaps in the department's collective set of skills have few options. They can pay more to hire talented individuals away from other companies, they can turn to outsourcing to complete work that they don't have the necessary abilities or numbers in house, or they can look to hire candidates without the typical internal audit background that is heavy in accounting and finance training and experience.

Thomas Sanglier, director of internal audit at Raytheon, finds that pursuing internal audit job candidates with non-traditional backgrounds has several benefits. He says the practice not only widens the scope of potential candidates, giving internal audit departments more applicants to choose from, it also provides diversity of thought and rounds out the skills of the department with different perspectives and ways of thinking. We caught up with Sanglier at the SuperStrateiges 2016 conference in Las Vegas in late September to talk about hiring internal auditors with non-tradition backgrounds.

"When we talk about diversity at Raytheon, we talk about diversity of thought, along with diversity of many things," says Sanglier. "In internal audit, many heads are better than one, so having that diversity of thought, that acumen, that knowledge of different perspectives, allows us to look at risk in different ways and through different lenses, and ask thoughtful questions that we may not have asked before."

Sanglier also says that internal auditors with non-traditional backgrounds help the function to accomplish more of the varied projects that senior management and the board are asking it to do. "To be able to deliver the value that stakeholders want, we have to be able to deliver on a broader array of projects and have deeper business acumen than maybe we've had in the past," says Sanglier. "It's that diversity of thought that enables you to meet, deliver, and exceed those stakeholder expectations."

Click here to watch the interview.