Here Aidan Kenny FCA, an experienced CFO, shares his tips for hiring a senior financial professional.
A critical requirement in a new finance manager hire is personality fit. I’m less concerned with the current market obsession of having exact industry experience, which I believe represents one dimensional thinking.
Most Chartered Accountants have had enough exposure through their training to be able to adapt to different industries – particularly those who have qualified in practice and then spent time working in industry.
Personality fit with the team is key. In many cases, you’ll be looking for someone you would be happy to work with through long evenings preparing board reports or closing the month-end. A candidate must be able to get on well with non-finance people also – this is key for your department to be valued within the organisation. I also have a preference for someone who has travelled and widened their horizons. The more industries someone has been exposed to, the better.
For the more senior hire, I would consider the use of personality tests. They can be wrong, but in many cases can be unnervingly accurate. In a previous finance director role we ignored the results of a personality test due to other business factors. We found out quickly that the personality test was indeed accurate.