How CFOs Should Approach the New-Hire Dilemma

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Though CFOs are responsible for forming and developing the finance team, they’re faced with so many responsibilities – financial and non-financial alike – that they rarely get to work with new hires. Without this interaction or any intimacy, CFOs can end up knowing very little about their team, even if they’re the ones who hired the new finance employees.

Business has shown us time and time again that one of the most important aspects of management is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Furthermore, there’s often an expectations gap between CFOs and their new hires, especially if the new hire is a recent graduate. This disconnection between the CFO’s expectations and what a new finance or accounting graduate can actually offer must be bridged for a successful professional relationship.

What CFOs Must Understand About New Hires

CFOs demand excellence and hire those who are experienced and ready-to-go. While new graduates certainly have the financial knowledge and prowess to be an asset to the financial team, the maturity of recent graduates is incomparable to those who have spent time in the business world. This can affect:

  • Soft skills. While colleges and universities do an excellent job teaching financial principles, they discuss leadership, communication, or conflict management in the classroom. Even with an internship experience, many of these skills can take time to develop.
  • Big picture understanding. CFOs must understand that though new hires might understand the technicalities and various functions in finance, they haven’t yet had the opportunity to see how it all culminates in a large picture for an organization.

As the chief financial officer of any organization, part of your job is to actively develop your accounting and finance team. By understanding these gaps of experience and soft skills in new hires, CFOs will be in a better position to professionally develop their teams.

Furthermore, keep in mind that business school has evolved since you’ve experienced the business or finance curriculum. If you regularly hire new graduates from a local college or university, feel free to contact the educators to understand the current program curriculum. Also be sure to pair the new hire with an experienced employee who can act as a mentor and foster professional growth.