Want Business Growth? Nurture Your Financial Talent


CFOs are the lynchpin of any successful company, from medium-sized businesses to FTSE 100 giants. This is the role that ensures finance and business strategy link up. If they get it right, an ambitious company can be propelled into the big time. If they get it wrong, businesses can dip into the red and never recover.

Competition to recruit the best CFOs is understandably stiff. So how can you give your company the edge by growing talent internally?

80 percent of CFOs agree that succession mentoring is their responsibility but only 50 percent have the time to do this.

Meanwhile, it takes 30-33 weeks for an external recruit to transition into a senior financial role.

That’s 30 weeks of less than optimal productivity. 30 weeks of someone not justifying their full salary. And 30 weeks without the benefit of a fully engaged CFO adding tangible value to the organisation.

Do you really want your company to spend seven months waiting for the CFO to get up to speed? Why spend money on recruiting a stranger, when the perfect CFO is already in the building?

An internal candidate, ideally mentored by the existing CFO, will already be familiar with the organisation. The ins and outs of your processes. Who does what and where. The company’s goals, values and history.

That’s why companies who have +5 percent growth in revenue tend to recruit CFOs internally. Because they know it gives them a competitive advantage.

When 60 percent of CFOs are recruited externally and only 53 percent of CFOs feel that their organisation creates opportunities for junior financial hires, retaining talent gives a business an edge.

But how do you do it? Although finance is a good starting point, commercial and management experience are both important as well. It’s about spotting capable people with the right aptitude and experience, then filling in the gaps.

It takes more up-front effort, higher training outlay and greater forward planning. But that’s eclipsed by the cost of recruiting from outside.

After starting in finance, ideally they will gain some commercial and management experience before transitioning from a senior financial role to CFO. 67 percent of CFOs believe that those who spent their whole career in finance are at a disadvantage compared with those with commercial expertise.

Identify someone with the right skills and experience, water with the right mentorship and watch your CFO grow.


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Infographic courtesy of Euromoney Training.

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