As businesses succeed and grow, they depend on a best-in-class management team to maintain that momentum and continue to meet their long-term goals. Of course, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is regarded as the captain of the ship, but the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is equally beneficial; the latter acts as a trusted lieutenant alongside the CEO.
The role of a CFO is far more complex than it used to be. No longer does a CFO simply have to be comfortable juggling the figures, they may be required to supervise entire departments, be it IT, HR or administrative, as well as manage finances. A highly-skilled CFO can make or break a business. If you are recruiting a CFO for the first time, keep these four considerations firmly in mind.
Qualifications required in a CFO
Historically, a CFO was required to prepare the company’s financial statements, handle communications with existing and prospective investors, prepare tax strategies and ready budget forecasts. Although that remains the case, CFOs will also be required to have a hand in the strategic planning of the business. In terms of qualifications, most CFOs should be certified public accountants and have a strong degree of experience within your industry or relevant sectors – something we’ll discuss in greater detail shortly.
Consider using a recruiter
Once the ideal job description and budget for compensating your prospective CFO have been drawn up, spreading the word of your vacancy and finding suitable candidates is your next big task. If you can afford to factor the cost into your new hire, it’s always a good idea to use a professional recruiter with strong links in the financial sector. They are likely to have a pool of suitable names that you can start to vet quickly and work towards interviewing and closing a deal. If time is of the essence, a CFO recruiter can improve the efficiency of your hiring ten-fold.
Select a figurehead with a sound financial plan
Once you’ve interviewed the prospective candidates, a sure-fire way to distil candidates down is by looking at their head for numbers. Although the CFO role has evolved considerably in recent years, it’s still very important for ambitious, fast-growing companies to employ a CFO with a credible financial plan for their business. Earlier this summer, Investoo Group appoints James Beale as Chief Finance Officer based on Beale’s “keen eye for detail and strong financial plan” for the world’s largest financial lead generation firm. A man with a plan helps to set the tone which can infiltrate throughout the company.
Ultimately, recruit the strongest possible candidate
Don’t just hire someone that can meet your job description. Hiring a CFO for the first time represents a seismic shift in the way your company is run. An exceptional CFO can be one of the best investments your business ever makes, creating solid financial foundations to grow and prosper. Ideally, you should look to hire a CFO who has already worked at the level your company aspires to achieve. It pays to have a CFO with friends and contacts in high places.
Hopefully, these hints have given you some food for thought and will add value and credibility to your CFO recruitment process.