In my last article, I spoke of leadership being contextual. This is particularly true in the recruitment of a Finance Lead, complicated by the technical requirements of the role.
The early days of a business are focussed on acquiring customers and delivering on the promises that are sold, be it through products or services. This focus means that in the initial stages financial acumen is not a competency that is necessarily core to success.
At certain stages of the lifecycle of a business, the financial resource will need to be assessed and recruited. Luckily, accounting is almost homogenous, right? Sure, a Chart of Accounts may have different names for the same thing and there may be a nuance based on industry but outside of that if you get a CA or CPA you’ll be onto a winner….
It would be true to say that the technical knowledge of someone who has earned a CA or CPA qualification should be a given. However, the manner in which they apply this knowledge and interact with the business will be coloured by their experience and personality. So, how does a business owner ensure that they get the right technical ability, as well as the right fit for their business in the person they recruit?
The role that will lead your finance function is much like the others in that it is necessary to align the role, and the individual fulfilling it, with your strategy and culture. However, a complication in the selection process is that Business Owners often don’t have a full understanding of the finance function to be able to make the best possible hire.
Effigy believes that before any recruitment decision for the finance function you need to understand three items:
- The Systems and Processes of the Finance Function
- The Financial Position of the business
- The Strategy you want the function and position to support
These items will inform the style of Finance Manager you will need:
- A weak working capital position will need a Finance Manager oriented to relationship building, ready to have the tough conversations.
- Having a strategy founded on innovation needs a Finance Manager comfortable with ambiguity.
- Unique Accounting Systems will favour specific knowledge of them.
To help draw up a picture of the Individual Effigy has developed the 7 Characteristics below that I’ll take you through in my next article.