Hiring Tips from CSX CFO

Fredrik Eliasson, Executive Vice President and CFO of CSX Transportation

Since 2012, Fredrik Eliasson has served as the Executive Vice President and CFO of CSX Transportation, one of the most recognizable and successful names in the railroad industry. In his first year with CSX, Eliasson spoke with Business Insider about the company’s response to the fiscal cliff and economic uncertainty. At the time, Eliasson responded with a focus on logistics, purchasing managers and senior level executives.After leading CSX through multiple hurdles in the past two years, Eliasson now provides tips on finding the best talent at the perfect time – one of his greatest skills.

Get Specific

For Eliasson, a significant factor of hiring financial talent is behavior. In order to identify the perfect candidate for a long-term position, companies must get specific about their requirements. In the railroad industry, clear articulation, effective communication and an ability to anticipate company needs and concerns are at the top of the list. Within CSX, these desired traits are well-documented and communicated to prospective hires.

Use Case Studies

Case studies are important tools, according to Eliasson. The use of case studies in the interview process brings personal traits and professional qualities to the forefront. By using a variety of these studies, CFOs and members of the executive leadership team are able to accurately evaluate a potential candidate. As stated in a recent article, “Candidates are graded on the quality of their assumptions, analysis, presentation and final recommendations.”

Steady Supply of Candidates

Whether recruiting talent from within or hiring a staffing agency, a steady supply of candidates allows companies to choose the best possible individuals for responsibility-laden financial positions. In the case of CSX, the size of the financial team has grown – and continues to grow – significantly as a result of access to numerous candidates.

Proper Rating Systems

In addition to using case studies to find the perfect candidate, it’s essential to accurately measure and rate each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Within CSX, members of the executive team use a standardized, ongoing rating system to pinpoint a candidate’s positive traits and areas of needed improvement. So far, over 80% of finance professionals hired at CSX have completed the company’s stringent hiring process.

What is your opinion about CSX’s hiring strategy?

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