Redefining the CFO
The recruitment market is tight. The squeeze of the pandemic—on money, labor, and resources—has created fierce competition for the caliber of financial talent that can ensure solvency, promote growth, and keep an organization ready for the next industry or market-influenced adjustments.
Trickier still, the pandemic has reshaped the profile of such candidates, exacerbating key qualities here, reprioritizing designated aptitudes there—shrinking the talent pool to the size of a raindrop.
As one of the few Finance Executive Search specialists consistently meeting the challenge of filling today’s financial talent gap, Grayhawk Search offers this brief list of the professional and behavioral capabilities that we look for when recruiting candidates for our growing list of global clients.
Profile of the 2022 CFO
The modern CFO
Needs to both meet baseline expectations and demonstrate a strategic fluency tailored to the times. A winning admixture of Old School and New School aptitudes is essential to help keep a company operational and profitable under the new normal:
Accounting and finance competence
A basic measure of any CFO is the demonstrated ability to construct and manage an accounting and finance structure complying with Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) and all applicable regulatory oversights. That said, reliability of this type is no longer restricted to simply “keeping the books.” For the rest of 2022 and beyond, organizations need a CFO whose revenue allocation skills decidedly support a strategic corporate vision for which he or she has been a leading architect.
Any CFO that’s going to succeed within a culture must be able to grasp its overall economic environment and mechanics. They must also plan for the contingencies foreseen in their analysis, with an eye on optimizing said organization’s fortunes. In 2022, this means using advanced modeling and AI to more accurately predict such outcomes. Given the unreadable tea leaves of the current economy, forecasting takes on a forest’s worth of branches; contingency and accuracy become more important than ever. A CFO steeped in the current data revolution becomes a valuable weapon in the profit-threatening war against market, industry, and consumer volatility.
The CFO needs a granular understanding of your organization as a whole, not just its financial operations. There’s a natural, even healthy, tension between finance and operating units like IT, production, marketing, and sales. Throughout the pandemic, however, in-house tensions between departments have sometimes reached the heights of Greek drama. Today’s CFO must pull off a cross-cultural balancing act, lessening inter-departmental friction while spreading the wealth in the most strategic manner possible.
Partner for growth
The CFO needs to do more than just mitigate risk; they need to take risks—albeit responsibly—when appropriate. That said, the influence of the pandemic has created a risk-averse culture. The 2022 CFO, therefore, must be an effective influencer, able to promote progress to C-suite collaborators through a strategic vision supported by reliable data, viable alternatives, and reliable safeguards.
Just as the digital transformation spawned by the pandemic reshaped the workforce, it’s also redefined the skillset of the modern CFO. This added emphasis on technology has created demand for financial talent with significantly heightened tech literacy—foremost, the ability to sustain and progress the hybrid work environment. But on a grander scale, the 2022 CFO must procure and champion an arsenal of progressive digital solutions, including cloud-based platforms, data mediation services, AI-based technologies, and reliable cybersecurity measures.
In today’s volatile atmosphere, only the most reliable financial recruiter, one with access to exclusive talent foundries, a proven, scientific approach to skills and personality assessment, and a keen, up-to-date understanding of what it takes to function in transformative times, can provide the kind of gifted contributors that can modernize, even revolutionize, your C-suite.
Grayhawk Search can reliably locate the candidate you need to profitably weather the remainder of 2022 and whatever’s next in store.
Grayhawk Search – Today’s CFOs for a better tomorrow.
Please take the time to read further insights.