If your company is still deciding whether you need a chief financial officer, or you're close to making the hire, there are certainly qualities you should be on the lookout for with any candidate. However, if you want to make the right hire the right way, it's about more than just identifying the ideal professional to become your first (or next) CFO.
In addition to them having all the tools they need as professionals, you would also be wise to make sure they have what they need in terms of support from their team and your entire organization. With that in mind, you should do more to set them up so that they can hit the ground running. That includes the following:
1) Get them in a room with other top decision-makers
First and foremost, you will want to ensure your new CFO has plenty of face time with others in the C-suite. Planful notes that this can help ensure everyone is on the same page and that there's a general understanding of the company's vision and goals in making the hire in the first place.
2) Give them long-term financial documents
A CFO's job is to keep the company running smoothly financially, so they will need to know what plans they will be helping to keep afloat, Planful added. Every organization has its own unique way of doing business, so build in time to let them become acquainted with your bookkeeping practices, for as many years back as they think will be relevant.
3) Let them get to know their team, and others they will deal with
Along similar lines to meeting with other top execs, the CFO will of course have to know their team and what each member brings to the table, according to Sage Intacct. During their first week, a handful of get-to-know-you sessions could be critical.
4) Give them the chance to build their own systems
Again, your new CFO will have their own way of doing things, but your previous top financial decision-makers had their unique approach as well, Sage cautioned. It may take time for everyone to get onboard with the new system, but the new CFO shouldn't be beholden to the idea of "that's the way it's always been."
5) Set the initial priorities
Once your new hire knows the lay of the land, you need to ensure they have the ability to dig into some existing projects, Gartner advised. This will help everyone get acclimated and still tackle some projects that need to be worked on.
6) Understand the tasks for a startup CFO
For an early-stage company, the initial CFO requirements might be more that of a financial controller. However, here the knowledge and understanding of cap-tables, how investments affect the equity and management is likewise important. Furthermore, the CFO should be an integral part of the overall management team and help guide the company and its management not only financially, but also strategically.
7) Empower them to act quickly
Finally, depending on what you ask of this new executive, they might be able to quickly identify inefficiencies or mistakes that went unnoticed in the past, Gartner further added. As such, they should be aware they have the power to recommend changes more or less right out of the gate.
When you need to make a big hire, whether that's for a CFO or any other professional to bolster your company, turn to the experts at YES Partners. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.