Hiring a Chief Financial Officer or CFO is a challenging task in itself, ignoring some best practices during the actual hiring process can make this even more difficult.
That’s why many CEOs have faced this issue before, and will continue to do so. For example, David Feldman of Ampro Computers not only had to deal with a string of unsuccessful hires. He also had to face several wrongful termination lawsuits that cost him $40,000 in legal fees and settlements and 30 % of his time over a span of two years.
Much of Feldman’s woes can be attributed to bad decisions made during the hiring process. In fact, for most CEOs that don’t have a financial background can find CFO job responsibilities and the qualifications to include when posting CFO job opportunities can be extremely confusing.
So, if you’re sharing this confusion, here are 4 hiring process guidelines to help clarify the role of a CFO:
Hiring process guideline 1: CFOs share the same values as your team
Probably the first things that you should look for in a CFO—or any top manager—is that their goals, ethics and chemistry matches that of your team. For example, at Ampro Computers, the need was always for a manager to understand the meaning of ethical entrepreneurial growth. At the same time, he or she should be able to understand what employees desire most.
Hiring process guideline 2: CFOs should have hands-on experience
Another aspect that Feldman considers important is finding a CFO who can work without lots of staff and don’t require clerical help. This is because of the way his organisation is evolving into a flatter structure, regardless on how big the previous firm was. In other words, the CFO must be able to work with what they can get at the organisation they’re being hired to work for.
Hiring process guideline 3: CFOs should have proven track records to help your company grow
Another important aspect in the CFO hiring process is that you should think about the expansion of your company. For example, if you desire to expand through acquisitions or international trade, you should include in the CFO job requirements as having appropriate experience in this area. If your company needs to improve in terms of its profit margins, include in the CFO job requirements experience and a track record of making this possible.
Hiring process guideline 3: CFOs have technical experience
Of course, this CFO job requirement applies to companies that is large enough to require more than a single bookkeeper. In this case, you’ll have to find someone who understands these basics such as accounts payables and receivables, and inventory control. On top of this, the CFO should also have to be able to deal with complex financial issues such as investment management or even international tax planning. If the CFO candidate has relevant contacts with bankers or even at Big Six firms, this will prove to be useful for the organisation as well.
Of course, Feldman has also concluded that reliance on recruiting specialist can save a lot of time and money given his prior experience. But taking advice from his corporate lawyer, banker and even accountant, he will definitely think about these hiring process guidelines the next time the need for a CFO arises.
Are there any hiring process guidelines that you can think of that can help recruiting the right CFO for the job? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.