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Should you hire a CFO? Your guide to Why, When, Where and How

Hiring a Chief Financial Officer isn’t a decision any company should take lightly. It’s an important and expensive position to fill, so you want to ensure that you’ve made the right CFO hire when the time comes. But how do you know when that time is? This ultimate guide will walk you through the why, when, where and how you should go about recruiting for this important role.

Should I hire a CFO?

Have you ever thought about whether a CFO might be right for your business? It can be a daunting question to answer considering the potential costs.

Their primary role is managing the finances of a company, which encompasses many different areas such as financial reporting, record-keeping, financial planning and financial risk management.

If you have a start-up or a small to medium sized business, we understand why you might want to avoid hiring too many other people, especially in such a costly senior role.

You want to avoid spending too much and may feel it necessary to take on the responsibility of the finances connected to the business on your own.

However, even if you are a dab hand at accounting and have the basics locked down, it still makes sense to hire someone with specific skills, experience and expertise in this area.

They will be able to take a more pragmatic approach to your finances and it always pays to have two sets of eyes rather than just one.

When to hire a CFO?

There is no right or wrong answer as to when you should hire a CFO. It really depends on your own business, its development and the industry you are working in.

If you are experiencing rapid growth and finding it hard to cope with, or you feel dealing with financial issues is taking up a lot of your time – time you could be spending more effectively working on the things you are best at – it may be time to hire

Additionally, if you are at a stage where you are looking for investors, financial management and the presentation of your finances becomes paramount. Investors are going to expect a businesses finances to be extremely transparent and tightly controlled.

Seeing a senior member on the board or management team who has full responsibility for this area will reassure investors.  It will also give you the skill-set in your team to produce and present the figures and projections that will needed to attract and secure investment.  A CFO is going to give your company what you need from a finance perspective and increased credibility in the investment market.

Perhaps you are worried about the expense? This seems to be the biggest issue with hiring a CFO for most companies. Let’s be honest, a Chief Financial Officer is a very senior position; an expensive position.

There are ways to mitigate this cost, though. There are alternatives out there to hiring a full-time member of staff.

By hiring a CFO on a part-time or even flexible basis, you can have the benefit of their knowledge, skills and expert input when you need it most.

What are the benefits of hiring a CFO on a part-time or flexible working basis?

We’ve discussed some of the benefits of taking on a Chief Finance Officer on a flexible basis, but here’s a more comprehensive list:

  • Saves your company salary costs that can be used to grow, while also benefiting from a CFO
  • Opens you up to more of the best talent. Flexible working is now a must for the best candidates, rather than a “nice to have”
  • Saves money on office space and fees
  • Improves company culture and productivity when implemented correctly

How do I hire a CFO?

If you are interested in hiring a CFO, you are probably wondering how you would actually go about this.

In much the same way as if you were hiring for any role in your company, there are a variety of options.

You could, for instance, place an advertisement through the various job boards and platforms online.

female cfo at desk working with files

However, if you are a startup owner, you may not have all the time in the world to spend sifting through applications.

Therefore, you may find looking for a suitable CFO for your business through specialist recruitment agencies, like ours, a better option.

They will do a lot of the talent scouting, screening and vetting for you. This is helpful since you only need to pick from a handful of the best of the best, rather than a mixed bag of great and not-so-great candidates.

At Capability Jane, this is what we live for and excel in; matching you up with the perfect talent for your business. In fact, you can check out an example of the level of CFO candidate we work with by visiting our star finance director candidate, Laura’s profile.

Where to hire a CFO?

Following on from the above point, if you are looking for the best place to recruit a CFO for your company, we would recommend you look for a specialist recruiter. More importantly, one with the necessary expertise and experience in hiring for your needs.

Capability Jane is a great choice (we’re slightly biased, of course!), particularly if you are a startup or business looking to cut costs and save as much money as possible. We can you with the talent you need on more flexible and affordable terms.

We specialise in supplying executive and senior level professionals to employers who are interested in taking on part-time and flexible roles.

If you’ve never considered this before, contact us and we’ll be more than happy to assist you and answer any questions on hiring part-time.


Author: Caroline Doherty – Commerical Director at Capability Jane

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