5 Qualities to Look for When Hiring a Finance Leader


Hire a Finance Leader with EDI Staffing

When building a solid finance team, the right leader can make all the difference. It’s crucial to look for someone with specific skills, experience, and attributes that align with your company’s needs and goals, so your business can push toward success.


Here are 5 qualities to look for when evaluating candidates for a leadership position in finance:


1. Strong foundation in finance.

A solid foundation is fundamental for any leader in finance, whether it is a CFO, controller, or consultant. They should be competent in making informed decisions and have some background in financial analysis, reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and risk management while having an understanding of industry trends and regulations. Acquiring all of this experience could take five to seven years, which is typically the range employers look for when hiring a controller, according to Indeed.


2. Proven leadership experience.

When hiring a CFO, controller, or consultant, you want to look for candidates with a track record of successful leadership experience. Evaluate any previous roles they have held, the size of the teams they have managed, and the outcomes they have achieved. You should also consider the individual’s ability to uphold ethical standards – especially if it is important to the growth and sustainability of your business.


3. Excellent communication and collaboration.

Assess your candidates to see whether they can collaborate and convey complex information in a way that is easily understood by non-experts. You might evaluate this through:

• Interview scenarios
• Asking about past experience
• Reference checks
• Requesting a short presentation

As the finance industry evolves, your new hire should also be able to lead teams through change and communicate new strategies with clarity and confidence. A strong sense of communication bridges the gap between financial intricacies and the broader organizational context. All of this promotes a healthy alignment across all levels as you bring new leaders aboard your business.


4. Sound decision-making.

Finance leaders must make sound, data-driven decisions that align with their organization’s objectives. Identify how your candidates weigh risks, evaluate alternatives, and make critical choices. Here are some attributes of a good finance decision-maker to look for:

Data-driven – relying on data and evidence to support decisions.
Analytical – able to identify patterns and use meaningful insights.
Strategic – integrating objectives with long-term goals for sustainable growth.
They make sound judgments – make comprehensive assessments and are well-reasoned.


5. Strategic problem-solving.

Learn about the candidate’s problem-solving abilities and approaches by asking behavioral and scenario-based questions. They should be adept at strategic planning and have the capability to align financial objectives with overall business strategy. Look for candidates who can articulate a clear vision for achieving goals and growth.


Finding the right professional to lead your finance department is an essential investment in your organization’s future. Of course, depending on your business, many other qualities weigh importance as well – a global perspective, technology proficiency, and relationship building; however, take the time to identify some of these five common ones throughout your candidate search.


Looking for assistance to find the best fit to guide your finance department?
Start your search for a finance leader today!

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