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Hiring a Chief Financial Officer

Posted on May 6th, 2020

Are you putting together a corporate dream team of mentors, coaches, professional advisors, and top-tier talent? Then your next hire needs to be a top-notch CFO.

Like the CEO, CFOs have a company-wide view of the business. They operate in the middle of all the data flows in and around the business. A good CFO uses this vantage point to make a good company great.

When seeking out a great CFO to join your team you should look for someone who has knowledge and passion for your company’s industry. A good CFO understands the ins and outs of your company’s industry. If the CFO candidate knows and cares about your company’s clients and stakeholders, he or she is more likely to be successful in the position. For example, if you are in manufacturing, then you absolutely should hire a CFO with plant and manufacturing experience.

Among other things, a good CFO needs to have top-notch communication skills, be reliable, a problem solver and have a good cultural fit.

If you want to search for a chief financial officer yourself, start your search by utilizing your industry networks. Utilizing your professional network is a great way to find a CFO who fits into your company’s culture and can get the job done.

What does a top CFO cost? If you want a great CFO then you should be prepared to pay at least market value plus the increase necessary to entice a person to make a move, which is often 20% for a great candidate that is not actively looking. What many entrepreneurs do not realize is the return-on-investment that a great CFO can bring to a company. They can prevent lost profits and misspending. The lack of a CFO’s direction leads to many lost opportunities to price your products and services properly, to manage your inventories better, and to separate good customers from bad customers. The greater the company’s revenue, the greater the salary must be. More company revenue means more responsibility for the chief financial officer. Therefore, higher revenue leads to a higher base salary.

If you do not have the time or inclination to conduct your own CFO search, then you can hire an executive search firm. Hiring an executive search firm to find a CFO saves you time and stress. Instead of spending your time contacting people in your network or vetting candidates, you pass this work off to a team of qualified professionals. With someone else handling the search process, you can spend more time helping your business grow and thrive. You should pick a firm that has both experience hiring CFO’s and has deep network contacts and knowledge within your industry.

CEO Search Partners has been placing Chief Financial Officers in the Food, CPG, flavor, and ingredient business for over 25 yrs. Contact our CEO Robin Copping at (773) 251-6240 to see what we can do for you.