Business Development

Popular Trends In CFO Executive Search

Published on: January 20, 2024

Last Updated on: March 5, 2024

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Hiring a CFO was never a simple thing. You’re looking for someone with formidable accounting skills, the ability to take responsibility, and the traits of a true leader, all in one person. The thing is, however, that the business world is growing in some interesting directions, and you have to find a way to adjust. With that in mind, here are some popular trends in CFO executive search to help you figure out how to set your own expectations and requirements the next time you’re to hire a CFO.

Compassionate Leaders

Compassionate Leaders

In the past, a CFO was expected to be primarily profit-oriented. Today, however, even a CFO needs to show compassion and identity sensitivity for their staff. In today’s world, we pay more attention to social issues, which is a unified front that the entire management has to take.

The majority of the business world is showing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Now, you need someone who’ll do more than just follow this to the letter. You want someone who understands what these stand for and understands the spirit behind the concept.

One more thing that’s worth pointing out is the fact that this won’t come naturally to the majority of your staff, which means that the higher management will be in charge of organizing onboarding and sensitivity training. Sure, most of this happens in-house, but if not, it’s the job of a CFO to coordinate these courses and follow-up expenses of this education.

It’s also important that modern work culture isn’t like it was in the 50s. This is not just because of the ridiculous claims that people have “gone soft” but because there are actual studies out there that show that happy workers are more productive. Also, today, we know that people don’t leave bad jobs nearly as much as they leave bad management.

Digital Fluency

Digital Fluency

This hardly comes as a surprise. All your financial processes are digital, and you need someone who understands all the tools and platforms that you use, as well as someone who can quickly adapt to changes.

This is especially important since a CFO needs to understand more than just financial platforms. What if your team is using an elaborate ERP? Without understanding it, you cannot make any kind of projections or forecasts.

This requirement is so essential that you’re unlikely to find someone without this in their credentials when browsing the talent that CFO executive search firms have to offer.

Even payrolls are handled through vendor processing platforms, which simplifies things on the end of an employee but makes them a bit more tech-complex from the perspective of accounting.

It’s also important to understand that a lot of companies have remote teams, some of which insist on getting paid in crypto. This is a whole other ordeal that you’ll need someone proficient enough to handle.

Lastly, in order to make them stay longer and be more engaged, there’s a wide range of employee benefits that you need to tap into. For instance, you may offer them the opportunity to buy company stocks at a special rate, etc.

One of the CFO’s responsibilities is fundraising and, in the modern world (especially in the tech industry) this involves crowdfunding.

Each of these processes happens via a dedicated platform, and this is something that you’ll have to keep in mind.

Keen Analytical Mind

Keen Analytical Mind

Even in the past, gut feeling was a term used for a brief analysis based on one’s personal experience. Sure, it is a sort of intuition, but the gut feeling of an industry veteran was always held in a higher regard than the gut feeling of an absolute beginner. Why? Well, because a veteran works with more data by default.

Today, however, the analysis needs to be based on actual data. When asked for a projection or an estimate, a CEO won’t be content with a CFO giving them an essay on why they think something is or isn’t a good idea.

What they’ll expect instead are pie charts, numbers, projections, and graphs. In other words, what you need are actual numbers, and you need someone who’s good at getting the necessary insights.

Of course, today, the majority of this is automated. This means that you’ll need the assistance of someone who can handle all of these AI analytical tools. While we’ll put this here, the truth is that this point can also be counted in our previous section, the one talking about digital fluency.

Overall, depending on the size of the enterprise, these analyses could be the most important thing you’ll do. Finding someone good at it is, therefore, a top priority.

Growth Skills

Growth Skills

A lot of companies hire a CFO for the first time when they’re facing unprecedented growth. We’re talking about a scenario where a small enterprise transitions into a medium enterprise and again when a medium enterprise transitions into a large one.

This is why one of the things that your CFO needs to know how to do is to take your company public. This is a scenario where your entire enterprise is under looking glass, and you need someone who can execute this flawlessly.

Then, you need someone who can handle the requirements of a global expansion. We’re not just talking about hiring remote workers. What we mean by that is finding someone ready to handle international transactions, compliances, and tax regulations. In other words, you’re looking for someone who can make running an international business seem easy.

Finally, the larger your team grows, there are more factors to your payroll. Your HR cannot run without the support of a good CFO, not to mention that these problems grow exponentially every day, and the place of a CFO in your firm remains vacant.

It’s always better to hire a CFO before you need them.

Wrap Up

There’s a reason why every successful company hires a CFO, and if you fail to follow suit, you’ll figure this out the hard way. Still, the role of a CFO differs from one company to another, and it evolves with every trend. It is, therefore, important that you keep up with these trends and adjust your needs to the time.

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Barsha Bhattacharya

Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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