A finance director is accountable for various top-level responsibilities and activities under the areas of accounting and cash management.

Persons holding this position are responsible for producing or overlooking the creation of corporate and consolidated accounts, financial investment reports, and internal audits. They ensure these documents are accurate and meet compliance standards.

They also manage and make decisions regarding different types of financial transactions, planning, and budgeting. Additionally, they contribute to the introduction or enhancement of information management systems and procedures and corporate strategies.

Lastly, finance directors lead financial communication and foster relationships with shareholders and investors.

Since finance directors have huge and important responsibilities in the company, hiring one using your usual recruitment strategies may not work to your advantage.

Finding the Best Person to Hold the Position of Finance Director

If you are hiring a finance director for the first time for your company, follow these tips to go through the whole process with fewer troubles and ensure you will select the most qualified candidate:

1. Assess what the role entails

The first step to hiring a finance director is to carry an internal assessment of what you need this person to do.

Identify the responsibilities the role calls for, now and in the future. Be as specific as possible so that you know what to look for in the potential candidates and they have a clear idea of what you are expecting from them.

Aside from researching what the role requires and entails, ask the top-level executives and key stakeholders and other people that would be most impacted by the hiring decision for their input or prerequisites.

By doing so, you can compile a list of must-haves for the position that you can use in creating the right job description. It will also be a handy tool that will guide you objectively throughout the hiring process.

2. Write a job ad that will attract qualified candidates

Once you have the perfect job description that fits your requirements, you can work on creating your finance director job ads or postings.

When creating job ads for senior positions, choose your words and the format carefully. These posts are reflections of your business and brand. If you want to attract topnotch applicants, you have to create an impressive job posting.

Start by highlighting the main appeal of your job opening. Identify a role or responsibility and perks that set your opportunity apart from similar vacancies posted by other companies.

Your job description should also highlight the unique responsibilities they will be handling that can support their career goals now or in the future.

You can also catch the eye of qualified candidates by adding a business overview in your ad. Provide some details about your company, such as its brand story, working environment, and other points that applicants will find interesting.

Don’t forget to provide details about the type of personality you want the candidates you have. By doing so, you will increase the chances of attracting applicants that will fit into your business environment and company culture.

Whatever you decide to write, ensure the content is clear and easy to understand. Make it easy for candidates to read to encourage them to apply for the position.

3. Screen all resumes carefully

Going through numerous resumes and separating the most qualified applicants from the ones that are not will be one of the most time-consuming and exhausting tasks you will face. But if you know what you have to look for, you will streamline the screening process efficiently.

Below are some crucial points to look for in a candidate CV:

  • Clear yet concise information about the applicant’s background and qualifications. This is a good indication of the candidate’s communication skills.
  • Relevant work experience and qualifications. Check the applicants’ career history and years of relevant experience. This will give you an idea of how capable and ready they are to handle all responsibilities.
  • Easy-to-find selling points. Smart candidates know where to put and how to highlight their top accomplishments and unique skills. This point is a sign of the level of organization of the applicant.
  • Evidence-backed numbers. Aside from stating their achievements and skills, applicants should give proof of these with quantifiable statistics. These additional pieces of information will help you interpret their accomplishments and compare them with others better.

4. Prepare well-thought-out interview questions

To make the most of your interview, narrow down your choices to the most qualified and desirable candidates, and ask the right questions.

Start by asking questions that are designed to reveal an applicant’s technical skills and core values. Prepare ones that will give you an idea of their management or leadership and problem-solving styles as well.

Lastly, ask the candidates a few hard questions that will allow you to look into their professional ethics and standards.

Invite the managers or executives the finance director will report to and key shareholders to join during the interviews, as well. Encourage them to ask the applicants questions so that they can weigh in during the final selection process.

5. Look into your shortlisted candidates’ backgrounds

Finally, since you are hiring a person that has top-level responsibilities and needs to make plenty of financial decisions, you have to be sure the candidate is honest and trustworthy.

With your applicants’ consent, hire a third-party company to conduct a full background check on them. The service provider should look into and give you details regarding their civil and criminal backgrounds, professional licenses and affiliations, educational degrees, employment and credit history.

With these additional pieces of information, you can be sure you will put someone with integrity in one of the key positions in your organization.

If you don’t have plenty of time to spare in hiring a finance director, you can always entrust the whole process to executive recruiters. With their help, you will find and recruit a qualified and trustworthy candidate — one that will meet all your requirements.

David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group, including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.

Finance director stock photo by Tashatuvango/Shutterstock