Most companies rely on their Finance Departments for dozens of daily duties: controlling expenses, keeping an eye on overhead, investing assets, etc.
Industry innovators are smart to focus on attracting finance professionals who possess skills not only in these operational duties, but in strategic leadership abilities as well.
Employers who can demonstrate their commitment to candidates, who can serve as strategic partners, will land the most qualified prospects. To accomplish this, impress upon interviewees that their understanding of the financial implications of potential courses of action and their ability to communicate those scenarios will be respected and rewarded.
Their aptitude – or ability and willingness to learn – beyond the technical knowledge required to earn their undergraduate finance degree or pass the CPA exam, will serve them well in your organization. Focusing on their ability to discuss financial alternatives with executive management, boards of directors, and stockholders will make them more than employees, but trusted advisers and consultants.
To start, make sure your Finance Department, human resources, recruiting firm, and executive leadership all understand the strategic skills the company needs from its next hire. Include your CFO in the interview process as well as in drafting a job description and an inventory of current employees to discern which strategic skills are missing from the team.
During the selection process, explain the role the new hire will play and how it complements the expertise you already have on staff. Finance Departments that build teams of individuals with diverse leadership, strategic, and communications skills increase productivity and play crucial roles in achieving business initiatives.
Make sure candidates know management seeks to harness all the strategic planning, change management, capital budgeting, and other corporate-level abilities at its disposal. That means hiring and rewarding Finance Department managers whose skills include analyzing capital expenditures, forecasting, quality control, inventory management, demand projection, and other duties that require interpretation of financial data.
The key difference between Finance executives that are able to comprehend and interpret this data, and those that are able to communicate that information to others is the key factor between Financial executives that are able to truly contribute to a companies long term growth .