Hiring a CFO is nothing short of a major task. Not only will the hiring team be judged for their selection, but one wrong move could completely change the face of an entire organization. On the flip side, a good selection can take a company from struggling to make ends meet to total success. Whether you are a CFO charged with finding a replacement or another member of upper-level management tasked with the incredible duty of finding the next CFO, it can be helpful to prepare for the process beforehand.
Which Route to Pursue?
When looking to fill a position as important as CFO, the search process looks a bit different. Obviously you can’t simply skim the online job boards. Instead, you have to reach out to those around you and utilize connections and tools.
- Recruitment firms. For very large companies, executive recruitment firms are often the best choice. These firms specialize in finding high-level talent and are reputable sources. While these services come at a stiff price tag, the payoff is almost always worth it down the road.
- Mutual connections. Often, CFOs are hired as a result of mutual business connections. Whether it’s through previous business, industry events, or other interactions, CFOs are constantly networking with other executives to ensure their name is always at the top of the list.
- Standard application. While most avoid the standard application process, you can still use this method as long as there are serious filters in place. You will need to assign an internal team to sort through applicants and weed out high-level talent from low-level talent.
Who Should Be Involved?
Companies often wonder who should be directly involved in the hiring process. Of course, you will want all top-level executives and board members involved – but who else should be included? It often helps to have a couple well-respected, lower-level employees on board so that everyone has a voice. There is no clear-cut answer, as different corporations employ varying strategies.
Hiring a new CFO or replacing an existing one can be challenging, stressful, and difficult. As an organization, it’s important to sit down and discuss what the process will involve ahead of time.