Recruiting a Finance Director!

Recruiting a Finance Director!

Recruiting is becoming an increasingly difficult exercise for finance departments. The latter are notably confronted with increasingly better-prepared candidates. Trained by the during their previous experiences in consulting firms, candidates also have all the information about the company at their disposal thanks to the Internet, executive vice-president finance of Delphine and director of human resources. In addition, good financial profiles are scarce and recruitments often take place in a hurry. It is therefore common to make mistakes as has happened to me before: I hired candidates because they were available immediately, although I had a presentiment that, given their character, they would have difficulty integrating into the job.

In this context, particular care must be taken in the job interview exercise. The first step is to identify the candidates to be called. Some financial directors rely in this context on outside skills. “We recruit around two key senior executives per year within the finance department. For each open position, we use headhunters who provide us with a list of candidates from which we select around five to meet with them. ” Other CFOs prefer to perform this selection task directly. “For the three to four recruitments that I carry out each year in finance, I ask my contacts to find out if they do not know any research professionals, but above all I select profiles on the Internet and social networks, and in particular LinkedIn or at fdcapital.co.uk specifies. Before summoning them, I make sure during a quick telephone interview that I have understood their background and that they have fully understood the characteristics of the position.

Technical questions

Apart from this prerequisite, which can increase speed, financial directors must then receive candidates in good conditions. In particular, they must be aware that they now need to devote more time to identifying the right profiles. “We generally plan a half-day to successively convene the candidates in order to more easily compare them with each other,” explains Michel Favre. The human resources director meets them at the same time, which allows us to compare our points of view a posteriori without influencing each other during the interview. ” On D-Day, you must also give the candidate time to reveal himself. “I generally devote an hour per person,” emphasizes Christophe Clerc.I opt for a benevolent attitude in order to establish a climate of trust which leads him to give himself up.

But some CFOs instead prefer to start by giving the floor to the applicant. “I always leave five to ten minutes to the candidate at the beginning to allow him to explain the most important points according to him with regard to the position to be filled, underlines Nicolas Badré, chief financial officer of Nexans. This is an opportunity for me both to feel whether the candidate really wants the position and then to reflect on certain elements when questioning and answering. ”

Experiences to detail

Indeed, beyond technical skills, CFOs expect certain personal qualities from their future employees. During the interview, I try to understand how the candidate managed his career, explains Michel Favre. I check in particular that its ambition coincides with that of Faurecia. For example, a management controller who has only carried out reporting assignments without ever having a managerial role risks lacking the ambition to evolve in the company. In addition to ambition, the recruiter also experiences the honesty of the candidate. It is crucial that he is transparent about his background and his knowledge. In addition, I ask the candidate to tell me about his operational experience because I believe it is essential to know the processes of the company in which we work. Finally, for positions of responsibility, I inquire about the candidate’s management style: if he has only been used to managing teams present on a single site, I try to understand how he would approach the management of decentralized teams.

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