How to Hire a CFO

May 18th 2024 | Posted by Phil Scott

Hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a critical decision which influences the financial management and direction of your business.

In this blog, we will share our specialist approach and views on how to hire a CFO, considering the financial principles and business environment.

In the first instance, you need to identify what you expect from a CFO. Responsibilities often include overseeing financial operations, risk management and strategic planning, however, the role may also extend to financial reporting, structure planning, and investor relationships, particularly in larger companies.

Candidate profiling

We would advise you to create a detailed profile for your ideal candidate, which should include:

  • Qualifications: Essential qualifications including a degree in finance or accounting and preferably a further qualification such as ACA or ACCA.
  • Experience: Looking for extensive experience in financial management, with a preference for backgrounds in the same or a related industry.
  • Skills: Critical skills including strategic planning, excellent communication, proficiency in financial legislation, and leadership abilities.
  • Personal Traits: Honesty, reliability, and strategic thinking are crucial.

Sourcing candidates to suit your business

You can find potential candidates through:

  • Executive Search Firms, who specialise in sourcing high-level executives.
  • Professional Networks, such as websites like LinkedIn are invaluable for connecting with finance professionals.
  • Internal Promotion, considering whether current employees could be developed into the CFO role.

The interview process

A structured interview process is essential and should include:

  • Initial Screening: Phone or video interviews to verify qualifications and experience.
  • In-depth Interviews: Face-to-face meetings to assess their expertise and cultural fit.
  • Panel Interviews: Sessions with senior leaders to gauge the candidate’s strategic fit within the team.

Selecting your ideal candidate

You should assess candidates based on their interviews, qualifications, and the results of background checks; considering their potential for long-term success at your company and not just their previous achievements.

Making the offer

Make an attractive offer that includes a competitive salary, benefits, and perhaps a bonus structure linked to performance metrics. Ensure the offer reflects the standard and cost of living in your specific location.

Integrating a CFO into your company

To ensure a smooth onboarding process, you need to set clear expectations, provide the necessary resources, and introduce your new CFO to key stakeholders. By establishing their roles and responsibilities from the very beginning, your new CFO should be well on track for a positive and successful future within your business.

If you would like further support in your recruitment journey, please reach out to us here at FD Recruit.

Selecting the right CFO involves a thorough understanding of the financial qualifications, skills, and personality traits that align with your company’s needs. By planning the recruitment process from role definition to candidate integration, you can significantly enhance your organisation’s strategic and financial standing.