Hiring the Right CFO

Arguably the second most important role on your executive team behind the CEO is the CFO. The Chief Financial Officer role has increased in scope over the past decade. Per KPMG, “Over the last decade, the CFO’s role has shifted from number crunching to co-driver of corporate strategy focusing on long-term growth strategies.” With the average tenure of a CFO at just four years, you may be hiring for the role more often than you’d like. Hiring the right CFO can make a big difference in your future success.

Finding the right CFO for your company is as important as finding the right CEO. There are more openings than great candidates. And top CFO’s are not applying to online listings. In fact, they are going to be very discreet in their job search and working with retained executive search firms.

As the role has evolved, the skill set has broadened. Today’s CFO is responsible for navigating increased regulations that the company is responsible for meeting. They are also more in demand by investors. With an increase in due diligence, real time reporting, and a desire for face to face meetings, CFO’s are becoming a go-to resource for investors.

Mike Lo Parrino, a partner at EY stated, “In today’s environment, a CFO’s role is strategic. For traditional back office functions, such as accounting and reporting, a strong controller is critical. CFOs must be forward-looking and be expected to drive change by utilising a mix of technology (including advanced analytics, data management and automation), talent, and third-party vendors to maximise operational efficiency.”

Because of the competitive hiring environment, do you fully understand what makes your organization and opportunity different? With the potential of multiple offers on the table, why would a CFO pick yours? If you haven’t already refined your story and can quickly and easily share your unique selling points, you may have trouble landing the best candidates.

Do you know where you want to go as a company? Mapping out your strategy is a critical step prior to hiring a CFO. If you’re going to shoot for aggressive growth, you need a CFO that is growth oriented. If you’re trying to turn the business around, then you may need a more conservative CFO who can improve processes and find efficiencies that impact EBITDA, cash flow, and other important metrics.

Working with a retained executive search firm, like Sheer Velocity, will increase your odds of finding the best person for the job. We work with you from the outset on the narrative and uncover the unique differentiators that will appeal to candidates. Before we source a single candidate, we’ll know exactly who we’re looking for and what skill sets they need.

We also focus on culture fit right away. The CFO will have a prominent voice on the executive team. Their impact to the organizational culture is tangible. If you hire someone that creates friction with your culture, the effects are long lasting. We work with you to avoid those issues.

Beyond their background and core skill set, we assess their leadership style, their problem solving approach, and team management capabilities. Hiring a top CFO that fits your organization takes time, patience, and expertise. The ROI on making the right choice will be evident for years to come.

To learn more about our executive search capabilities, send us a note. We’re happy to walk you through our approach and answer any questions you may have.