The CFO'S Perspective

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

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

What is a Fractional CFO?

When you want to hire a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) you can hire someone on a fractional basis or into a full-time position. But before trying to understand your options for hiring a CFO, you first need to get to the very nature of the role:

  • A CFO is the position at the top-end of the spectrum of financial leadership that is outward-facing and forward-looking.

Once you frame the role in this way, you can start deciding how much time you need someone focusing on that area of your business.

A fractional CFO is basically a part-time or limited engagement CFO. Depending on the company’s needs, a CFO can either perform ongoing high-level financial analysis and oversight on a less than full-time basis, or financial management during a specific challenge or across a predetermined time. However, a fractional CFO may not provide enough support for an organization with more extensive financial needs.

So, when is a fractional CFO a better fit?

Topics: Recruiting Search Services CFO Hiring Leadership

ASP Contingent Recruiting Services vs the A.I. Goliath

Recently, CFO Selections division, ASP announced they are now offering contingent recruiting services in addition to their bookkeeping and accounting services. The new ASP recruiting services team is led by Quinn Finnigan. Quinn’s experience includes Deloitte, Seattle Seahawks, and Amazon. In 2015 Quinn made a transition to recruiting and combines his accounting and recruiting experience to provide the type of services people and companies deserve.

Topics: Recruiting News Search Services

Too Few or Too Many CFOs?

As the leader of our executive search practice, the most common question I get asked is, “What is the market like for CFOs?” 

My reply has generally been, “Well, in the Pacific Northwest there is an oversupply of experienced CFOs but not enough ‘up and comer’ CFOs”. 

I also mention: “It will cost you a lot more to get an inexperienced CFO than it did in the past.” 

Why do I say this?  It is all about demographics and supply and demand.

Topics: Recruiting Search Services Hiring HR