Executive recruiting services want more than just numbers these days. The role of chief financial officer has historically been one geared entirely towards that of finance. Naturally, this makes sense, but in recent years the way business is done has changed so much that a CFO can no longer just be a “numbers guy.” While those qualities are still important you need more to separate yourself today, according to Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, and reported by the news site SJ-R.com.
“To be truly influential, finance leaders also need to be good listeners, taking into consideration the feedback of experts in other parts of the business, asking good questions, and avoiding jumping to conclusions before they have all the information,” McDonald said.
As an executive recruiter at one of the largest executive search firms, here are the three qualities he says executive search services now look for in high-ranking CFO-type positions.
1.) Strong Business Acumen: This is the no-brainer, but McDonald also added the acumen should span across all departments. That means they can no longer see only the finances and have no blue about how the entire operation or business runs. By understanding the company in a holistic way you can, “enhance the overall health of their company, from finances to compliance to staff morale,” McDonald said.
2.) Excellent Communication Skills: Due to the isolated nature CFOs used to operate under they didn’t necessarily have to be a people-person. That’s no longer the case. Now executive recruiters want the people in charge of finances to be able to effectively present finances, data, and information to different groups of the company that may have different levels of financial understanding.
3.) Influence with the Right Information: Nowadays CFOs spend a lot of their time working with departments like human resources and information technology. By collecting and using the information they get from non-finance departments they can then better, “use their financial management experience to shape strategy,” McDonald said.
Whether you’re in the $66 billion drug packaging industry, the $145 billion packaging industry, or the CFO of a production company where the average workers make $11.95 an hour the ability to go beyond the numbers has become an essential part of the job. Keep in mind, your ability with the numbers is assumed by executive recruiters.