The importance of writing the right job description for your new role

October 11th 2013 | Posted by phil scott


Writing The Right Finance Director Job Description

For employers looking to recruit a new FD, the information that you put into the job description defines whether you entice the perfect person for the role or attract multitudes of partially suitable applicants.

The key is to give a detailed and accurate overview of the role and responsibilities involved in the job and a targeted person specification that clarify to candidates the suitable skill sets and personality traits that would work best in your business.

If it is a new role, make this clear and highlight the fact that there is the opportunity to shape the role and develop a department, whereas if there is an outgoing incumbent don’t be tempted to just detail what they have been doing but rather think of areas for improvement or new skills that would be beneficial.

Below are a few tips for writing the FD role you want to fill:

  • Be specific

If you keep it vague you will be inundated with applicants and the danger is that candidates who are looking for something specific could miss your role.

  • Break down responsibilities

Include around 10 of the most important tasks involved in the job; be selective, showcasing the variety within the role. For each one listed you can break it down further by operations and managerial duties.

  • Make the job and your business attractive

You need to sell your opportunity; include any unique selling points of the company, awards won, staff benefits or incentives packages – don’t just rely on a company name to do it for you. Give an overview of business activity and include the company’s values, ethos and outline any future plans.

  • Picture the ideal candidate – but be realistic

You want to aim high; include personality traits that would bolster your business – even skills that are lacking currently. That said, be careful not to write something that no candidate could realistically achieve and be aware of asking for traits that could be deemed as discrimination.

Typical job description duties – we also have a full sample job description to help you:

  • Responsibility for leading financial strategy; analysis of existing systems, implementing recommendations for improvement to achieve the most cost effective outcomes at all times.
  • Working with the MD on wider business strategy, identifying areas for growth and new profit opportunities based on financial analysis.
  • Development of policies, systems, processes for finance personnel.
  • Reporting and accounting as per regulatory legal requirements including taxation, dividends, annual reports and accounts – be abreast of new initiatives and impending legislation.
  • Management of finance team – leading finance staff, motivation, training, recruitment and selection as well as maintaining relationships with existing partners – banks, accountants, private equity and finance professionals.

For tips on the personality traits and skills required from a modern FD see our blog ‘Recruiting the right FD’.