Whether you’re a Human Resources manager or a small business owner, the task of hiring is one of the most daunting, and risk-laden aspects of your job. Author and business owner Gene Marks puts it this way: “No matter how much work you put into it, no matter how many interviews you conduct, no matter how many books you read about the process, in the end it’s still just a leap of faith.
“You can minimize the risks and try to weed out as many inferior candidates as possible. But, whether you’re the human resources director at a Fortune 500 company or a small business owner, you never really know for sure if this person is going to be the right hire or not.”
As the chief executive of a consulting company that focuses on pairing up part time financial managers and finance executives with companies that need them, I’ve gleaned some insight about how to increase your odds of getting a good hire in the finance department. Here are a few tips below.
Have at least two or three people interview your candidate
A part time financial manager will be an integral part of your management team and need to collaborate well with several other department heads. Don’t let the hiring decision rest on only one person’s opinion. Marks suggests bringing on an outside advisor as part of the process too. “Getting insight from others, particularly those that have no personal agenda, will help you round out your opinion of the candidate.”
Get someone qualified to ensure they have the technical skill base you need
When hiring a part time financial manager, you should start off being comfortable that their technical skills are already there. At this level of management, an understanding of the numbers and the institutional frameworks surrounding their profession is a must. However, it’s impossible to know whether these skills are there if you don’t have them yourself – and if you did, you would be doing the job, not them! So enlist the advice of an experienced Chartered Accountant or a similar professional to get a sense of their level of insight.
Find someone with a passion for the details
Financial oversight requires an unusual combination of skills. Your part time financial manager will need to be able to think strategically and grasp the bigger picture. But, because they’re dealing with numbers, they’ll also need to have an eagle’s eye for detail. You’re looking for the equivalent of someone who would be willing to spend an hour looking for the missing word on the crossword puzzle.
Look for someone with the ability to translate financial jargon
Your part time financial manager has arguably one of the most important communication roles in the company. Not only must they understand the numbers, but they must be able to tell non-financial colleagues what they mean for the business. Use the interview to get them to explain a few financial scenarios – and see how clearly they are able to do it.
Stick to a shortlist of criteria
In some ways, hunting for the perfect part time financial manager is like hunting for a life partner: you’re never going to find the perfect spouse, and if you did, they probably wouldn’t be interested in you! So decide on a few non-negotiables and stick to them. Whether it’s a certain qualification, experience in a certain area or a particular management style, use these as your weeding tools as you search.
Don’t underestimate the importance of personality
Your part time financial manager will need to embrace your corporate culture and work within it. He or she will also be working with you! Be honest with yourself in this area. The part time financial manager candidate may have the most convincing CV in the world, but if you’re going to find them intolerable to work with, you should go with someone else.
Above all, remember you don’t need to undertake the task of finding the perfect candidate by yourself. The Finance Team can guarantee the experience and qualifications of our associates, and provide you with suitable candidates to interview to make the search an easier one. Contact us to find out more.