Finances & Money

Hiring Great Financial Executives

Hiring is one of the most important decisions you can make when you’re running a business: it’s a major investment and very important get right. This is magnified when you are hiring for senior financial roles: making the wrong choice gives the wrong candidate access to sensitive information and high level decision making, which could have serious consequences for your business.

Fortunately, there are relatively simple guidelines to follow to ensure quality in your hiring process, and make sure you get the right person for the job.

Know What You’re Looking For

It’s important to create a profile for the employee you want that’s specific to your business. Don’t make the mistake of thinking what’s a good fit for a competitor or peer is automatically good for you: the right financial mind for growing your business is not the same as the right one for a period of stability.

Make sure you’re creating a profile that you can measure effectively: looking for ‘a good CFO’ is generic. Looking for a CFO with a track record of creating effective business strategies and accurate forecasting is something you can quantify and compare your candidates against.

Seek Expert Help

Not all recruitment consultants are created equal: do your research and find one that specialises in the sort of role you are trying to fill. Savannah Search for example specialise in high end recruiting, from the executive level up and are therefore more likely to have a stable of suitable candidates. Experienced recruiters like George Nice can also give advice about refining your search. Modern, high level recruiting is a far more collaborative process than you might expect.

Ask the Right Questions

Once you have the profile of your ideal candidate, and a pool of interviewees from a recruitment consultant, you’ll need to craft interview questions to get the most out of your candidates.

  • Elicit open answers. Try not to ask questions that have an easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response.
  • Be direct: don’t make your interview an exercise in guessing what you want to hear. Directly ask candidates about relevant areas of experience, and if they’ve missed the thrust of the question, don’t be scared to guide them back on track.
  • If appropriate, test the skills you need. In this case, it would be relevant to ask them to devise and present a financial plan or forecast. This lets you examine their communication skills, financial acumen and instincts at the same time.

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