Three Things To Look For in a CFO, CFOO, or Finance Executive Candidate

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Finding the perfect candidates for financial management jobs is not an easy task, especially if your company is looking for executive finance managers, like CFOs (chief financial officers), for the first time.

Chief financial officers, often referred to as chief financial and operating officers, can be incredibly beneficial for companies — but only when the right candidate is hired. And considering how much the average CFO job description has changed in recent years, it’s important to remember that there are basic qualifications for financial manager jobs, but that these qualifications should be used as guidelines and not concrete rules.

With that in mind, here are a few of the most common things that businesses look for — and expect from — candidates who apply for CFO, CFOO, or any other financial management jobs in your company:

  • Because a CFO is largely responsible for managing the entire financial side of a business, it’s definitely important to look for candidates who have education, training, and experience in the accounting and corporate finance industries. Most CFOs of major companies have a master’s degree in a corporate finance area of study, and have plenty of experience in accounting or financial analyst positions.

  • That being said, experience in the industry isn’t everything. Sometimes, companies benefit from hiring someone with more experience in a specific industry rather than in corporate finance. Additionally, with the amount of technology that’s taking over the industry, it’s important to look for someone who either has recent training using newer technologies or is flexible enough to learn and use this technology well.

  • And of course, even though financial management jobs will necessarily require a strong grasp of mathematics and corporate finance analysis, it’s important to remember that other personal traits — often the traits that can’t be measured in years of experience or degrees — are just as important. A financial manager has to display strong leadership skills and the ability to connect with employees on all levels, but also be capable of communicating with other executives, and even with board members, investors, directors who don’t understand the technical side of a company’s finances.

If your company has been looking for a CFO or executive finance manager and just hasn’t found the perfect candidate yet, keep in mind that about 85% of the people hired in financial management jobs aren’t necessarily actively looking for a new job, but would still consider a new job offer if the right opportunity presented itself. So make sure to get out there and keep an open mind!

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