Post lockdowns and under global headwinds, when selecting a part time Finance Director one should consider a few key elements. Your part time finance director should be able to oversee all the financial aspects of your company and have the necessary qualifications and experience to ensure the correct flow of financial information to the chief executive officer, the board of directors and where necessary, external parties such as investors and financial institutions. The incumbent should be able to create a financial strategy that dovetails with the company’s overall business strategy to create a winning formula for success.
Experience is critical when selecting your part time finance director. One should select a seasoned financial professional that has had many years of experience in a multitude of industries in some cases and industry specific experience in others. Experience cannot be bought (or faked for that matter) and is one of the first attributes that Human Resource departments and company leadership take into consideration when assessing top financial talent. Part time finance directors are typically semi-retired or financially secure and don’t necessary need or want full time employment but can still add a huge amount of value in terms of their experience and skill to companies who either can’t afford or can’t justify the work load of a full time finance director.
There are 3 ways to select a part time Finance Director:
1. Recruitment Agencies
Recruitment agencies have been the traditional avenue for sourcing full time and interim financial talent for some time now. While the recruitment model has and will continue to work well for full time placements there have been challenges when it comes to part time and interim placements. The biggest challenge is that most Part Time candidates are actively looking for full time employment and as such there is a high turnover of staff. This results in inconsistent service levels as great candidates are lost to full time positions and replaced by unknown and untested staff. This inconsistent service offering can lead to unhappy clients and serious brand damage.
Generally speaking, recruitment consultants who are placing professional candidates on a part time / interim basis are not professionally qualified or experienced and consequentially don’t understand the client need fully, which can lead to the wrong candidate being placed at a client. This is a crucial element of the process as most business owners are not financial professionals and therefore rely heavily on the consultant to advise and make the most appropriate selection.
There are not many agencies in the industry that specialise in part time / interim placements as the focus tends to be on full-time placements. This does appear to be changing as the international trend to outsource highly skilled professionals becomes more popular here in South Africa.
2. Private Referrals
Some accounting professionals consult to companies on a contract basis and are sourced either directly through advertising or referrals from friends or colleagues. While this option may well be cheaper than other methods, the client has none of the benefits associated with contracting through a consultancy.
Human Resource departments or company leadership will still need to conduct their own background checks and establish candidate suitability which is a difficult and risky task for an entrepreneur / HR Manager without a financial background.
3. Specialist financial outsource consultancies
These companies specialise in employing experienced and flexible financial professionals. All their staff members have undergone a very stringent selection process that focuses on experience and their ability to deliver and all references are confirmed prior to them being included in any form of service offering.
These companies are managed by professionally qualified and experienced individuals that are able to understand the challenges of the client and through experience and a good working relationship with their staff are able to place the right individual or team of people at the client that are best suited to the challenges at hand.
These firms charge an all-inclusive hourly/daily rate depending on the type and length of engagement and as a result there are no hidden costs. The price you pay INCLUDES annual leave, sick leave, pension/provident fund contributions, medical aid, travelling allowances, incentive bonuses and the like. These hidden costs can add between 20 to 50 percent to your cost of employment. You pay for hours worked. Nothing more.
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