The CFO'S Perspective

CFO Selections Team

Recent Posts by CFO Selections Team:

What to do Before Hiring a CFO

We came across a recent McKinsey article that provided advice for new CFOs on how to succeed in their first 100 days. Their premise was:

“In recent years, CFOs have assumed increasingly complex, strategic roles focused on driving the creation of value across the entire business. Growing shareholder expectations and activism, more intense M&A, mounting regulatory scrutiny over corporate conduct and compliance, and evolving expectations for the finance function have put CFOs in the middle of many corporate decisions—and made them more directly accountable for the performance of companies. Not only is the job more complicated, but a lot of CFOs are new at it—turnover in 2006 for Fortune 500 companies was estimated at 13 percent. Compounding the pressures, companies are also more likely to reach outside the organization to recruit new CFOs, who may therefore have to learn a new industry as well as a new role.”

And while we agree with this assessment, we feel that it leaves out an important piece of the puzzle: organizational support.

Topics: Recruiting Search Services CFO HR

How Much Will Raises Be This Year?

With so much economic uncertainty the employment landscape in 2022 will likely remain tumultuous. Information about how many people are employed, where, and for how much is going to continue to dominate the business news headlines. And much like last year, compensation will be at the forefront of many employees’ minds as they watch their cost of living increase and worry whether their pay will keep pace.

Of course, for the nation’s unemployed, discussions about how compensation may fluctuate this year remain inconsequential. And for small businesses that have been doing their best to absorb rising costs without laying people off or shutting down, the idea of giving raises this year is likely going to be a moot point. But for middle management, executive leadership, and HR personnel at mid-sized to large companies, the question of what to expect in the way of raises remains critical to business planning.

So, what should you plan for a raise this year?

Topics: Recruiting Economic Trends Hiring Planning Staffing Financial Projections HR Budgeting Forecasting Expenses Salaries

A Retirement Farewell: Saying Goodbye to Tom Varga, Tom Broetje, and Larry Numata

As the year draws to a close, unfortunately, we must bid farewell to some of our nearest and dearest colleagues and friends Tom Varga, Tom Broetje, and Larry Numata.

Each of these men has contributed to our firm in a unique way to power its success. Their contributions to the long-term evolution of our organization will invariably be missed because the years of experience they leave with are not going to be easy to replace.

So, while we selfishly wish they were not leaving, we wish them best in their retirement.

Topics: CFO Selections This is Us

The Difference Between Retained and Contingent Search

When you need to fill a leadership position, who can help find the right candidate for the role?

Recruiting companies fall into one of two camps, either retained search or contingent search firms. Understanding how these approaches differ is key in determining which is a better fit for your hiring needs.

Over the last 15 years, we have worked with more than 2,000 consulting and search clients, placing CFOs at companies spanning a wide variety of industries. In that time, we have evaluated innumerable recruitment prospects, giving us unique perspective into the types of questions, misconceptions, and concerns that arise during the hiring process. The most common questions we hear are regarding the nature of retained search as prospective clients try to determine what kind of recruiting firm is going to be best for their open role.

Topics: Recruiting Search Services Hiring Staffing Interim CFO

Is My CFO Underperforming?

As executive financial recruiters we work with companies every day who have lost their CFO for a variety of reasons. The CFO may have left to pursue a better opportunity, retired, or made a career change. And in some instances, the CFO may have been shown the door due to subpar performance.

In all honesty, the latter scenario is the least common. Most organizations are hesitant to let their CFO go because of the inherent doubt in the process of doing so. First, there is the big question of how to determine whether your CFO is making the grade. (You certainly do not want to let your CFO go if you cannot be certain that someone else will be able to do the job better!) And, secondly, there is the daunting prospect of needing to find a replacement that is going to be better performer.

But just because it is not very common in practice does not mean it should be. Companies, especially those with owners and CEOs that do not have strong financial acumen themselves, do not typically evaluate their financial leadership as thoroughly as they should. Unfortunately, if your CFO is underperforming, not identifying this in a timely manner or not doing anything about it, can be extremely costly. When your financial leadership is falling short of expectations, strategic planning can fail, affecting revenue and profitability.

Topics: CFO Analysis Leadership Growth CFO Responsibilities Assessment Strategy