The CFO'S Perspective

Do You Need a Professional Services Firm for an Interim Hire?

When a key employee leaves, hiring a replacement is of paramount importance. But when it is going to take considerable time to find the right person to fill the vacant role or a hired replacement cannot start right away, an interim hire is used to bridge the gap.

So, who do you turn to when you need help with interim employment?

Hiring managers may ask, “Does it matter who we bring in to help us hire an interim position, anyways?” and “Do we need to spend much money to hire someone that we only plan on keeping around for a short time?” The ubiquity of staffing companies makes them an attractive choice for inexpensive hires in individual contributor roles. But what about interim executive leadership roles?

A role like the CFO position needs to be filled with an experienced professional who is ready to lead the organization. As CFO Magazine explains,

“Leadership voids are particularly perilous when it comes to the CFO position. CFOs are the ultimate utility players in an organization — they’re captains of detail orientation. They need to seamlessly interact with all parts of the company to gather and disseminate information. At the same time, they need to be a strategic thought partner with the CEO. Having this seat empty can cause the best of companies to stall. Interim CFOs keep a company in a safe pair of hands. They provide stability by offering critical financial reporting and business intelligence and moving key projects forward. Interim CFOs enable proactive companies to keep the momentum going. They also, maybe most importantly, allow them to take their time to find the right next full-time finance chief (vs. rushing to hire whoever is available at a moment’s notice).”

The importance of the CFO role begs the question, do professional services firms provide an advantage for these types of hires? What sets them apart from staffing agencies? And do these advantages justify their premium pricing?

Topics: Recruiting Hiring HR Change Management Interim CFO Transition

How is a CFO Hired?

Hiring for any executive leadership position can be a complicated process, but a CFO brings its own unique set of challenges. Organizations that downplay the importance of a thorough job description or attempt to rush through the steps can end up needlessly prolonging the search process or settling for a candidate that does not fit their needs.

Hiring a CFO hinges on writing an effective job description for the position that outlines not only the required qualifications for the role but also the expectations for someone acting within the role. And while this is a foundational piece of the search, it is only the first step in the process. Once the role of a CFO is defined, the active process of hiring a CFO begins. Each subsequent step must then be undertaken with an understanding of how it will build on previous steps and make additional progress toward finding the best candidate for the role. From identifying key decision-makers and setting a hiring timeframe to talking to a recruiting firm and evaluating your hire, each step is integral to the overall process.

So, how is today’s CFO hired exactly? Our executive search team answers your most common questions to explain the process.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring HR Leadership Interim CFO

A Practical Guide to Fractional Service Providers

Business owners in the middle market are all too familiar with the task of trying to optimize cost structures – getting the most efficiency and “bang for the buck” out of facilities, equipment, customer relationships, and many other elements of a successful enterprise. People have always been vital and important to businesses, but over the last several years, we have noticed a shift in attention toward people in a different way.

Searching for ways to optimize human capital, while fighting the inefficiencies of talent markets, is an ever-present challenge for businesses in the middle market. The human capital corollary to the engineer’s triangle (fast, cheap, reliable – pick two) seems to be availability, relevant experience, and compensation expectation.

An example could be a stable, modestly growing manufacturing business in a small town outside of a major metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest. It has just outgrown the capability set of its hardworking bookkeeper and needs some expertise in setting up more robust financial oversight and reporting capabilities, but attracting capable, senior-level finance talent to its town with a handsome compensation package seems like overkill.

Topics: Hiring CFO Responsibilities Interim CFO

Options for Hiring a CFO

When your business gets to the point where it needs to hire a CFO, what are your options?

  • Full-time In-house
  • Interim Outsourced, virtual or in-house
  • Fractional Outsourced, virtual or in-house

These days a lot of organizations are looking to hire virtually, which makes “hiring a virtual CFO” a hot topic. Amidst all the remote work buzz it is easy to lose your focus and forget what you were trying to accomplish in the first place by outsourcing the role.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring Staffing Leadership Growth Interim CFO Transition

Evaluating the Cost of Hiring a CFO

Most business owners I speak to look at finance and accounting personnel as an overhead cost. While they are most certainly a cost, the benefits that a CFO brings can alter that “cost” narrative into one of “investment.” Today I will help you define a CFO's role as one who is viewing your organization in a forward-looking manner and how they can be a good investment.

Topics: Recruiting CFO CFO Responsibilities Interim CFO