Financial executives and CEO’s often focus on reducing turnover as a way to save money for their companies. They know losing a key employee costs the firm in several ways. It forces a re- engagement of the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process, with all its attendant costs for job announcements and third-party financial recruiter fees. It means a new employee will have to be trained, and established workers will spend part of their otherwise-productive hours orienting and explaining duties to the replacement.
But not all employee turnover is equally damaging. According to the Journal of Management, company performance suffers most when the turnover comes from the ranks of management, in mid-sized companies, and where the lost employee’s responsibilities centers on relationships with key investors, finances, or inventory/quality control. It is important to note that Finance Executives are ultimately responsible for all three of these critical areas.
Because replacing a Finance Executive is extra-costly, in terms of lost productivity and opportunity, hiring for the long term is especially critical.
Here are a few ways to make a new hire (and yourself) comfortable about him or her joining the company and the prospects for a mutually beneficial long-term employment relationship:
- Conduct a “free trial.” As part of your interview process, be sure to employ ‘Situational Interview Techniques’ to determine if this candidate is the best fit for your organization. Place the candidate in a situation he will face regularly in the new position. This could include role-playing or preparing a reaction to a case study audition. If the situation is not critical, you could even include the potential employee in a real-life financial discussion or analysis. This will give you a chance to see the person in action, observing not only his skills, but also his demeanor when interacting with future peers and superiors. At the same time, the candidate can taste success and absorb a bit of your company culture.
- Make them feel at home. Take time to introduce new hires to their teammates, and encourage conversations that are not necessarily work-related. There will be time for policy reviews, formal training and structured work flow. This informal orientation shows the employee you are excited to have them on the staff. It’s also an opportunity to reinforce those feelings among established staff members by pointing out workers whom the new employee would do well to emulate.
- Show them the path to success.Point out current employees who have moved up in the organization or have taken advantage of some of the perks – such as tuition reimbursement – that your company offers. This demonstrates to the new colleague a vested interest in her development. It can come with a subtle hint of the performance standards you expect. Couch it in terms of mutually beneficial goals, and emphasize the support you can provide to ensure she can meet the challenges.
It has been estimated that 5 in 10 new hires have some level of reservation about their decision to accept a job. It pays to make new employees feel at home early in their new position. Show them the workplace can be fun as well as productive. Strive to demonstrate ways the firm is dedicated to their success. This will help convince them that your company is more than a stepping stone or “just a job.” The goal should always be to have your employees feel that your organization is a place to build a career, where they should be encouraged to make long-range plans for their career path.
Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, and can be reached directly at or direct dial at 888-866-7276
Anna Souers is Director of Finance Recruiters and can be reached directly at or direct dial at 800-450-3808