When you’re starting a new business, a part-time chief financial officer can help you manage the company’s finances and financial planning. However, finding the right seasoned professional with the experience you need for your company could be a challenge.
What is an important trait you should look for when hiring a part-time CFO:
Credibility: Credibility is a big one because part-time CFOs, even with extensive experience, are hard to find. To fill this key position with a professional who has a track record of success with similar companies will give you confidence that this person can help you create and make good decisions. The experience will prove valuable when you’re dealing with new clients and need someone with a strong network.
Professionalism: Because part-time CFOs are usually juggling multiple jobs, they typically have less time to focus on working with your business. You’ll need someone who is a fast learner who can get up to speed quickly and must have a work ethic that is extremely strong. You don’t want to waste any time training a new hire and need someone who won’t fit this bill.
Availability: If you hire a CFO who is not available to talk and will be working on behalf of your company remotely, you need to have a set of processes in place that will ensure that you, your employees, and clients will be able to quickly focus on the job to be done which will not be overly disruptive.
What questions should you ask during the interview process:
During the interview process, you should ask questions to find out how well suited a candidate is for the position. The way a potential CFO answers these types of questions will help you gain an inside look at the candidate’s work ethic, skill level, and compatibility with your business.
- What has the candidate done to prove their experience and credibility within the industry:
You want to hire a partner that has expertise and a track record of success. Prior to interviewing a candidate, talk with friends in the industry to get a sense if the candidate has the right experience, reputation, and skills you need to get your company started.
- Have the candidate work through a mock scenario related to the candidate’s job description for your business:
Ask questions such as:
a. What is a recent high-profile problem your business had?
b. How will this candidate solve this problem?
c. Imagine a client calls in looking for helping with his retirement plan. A. How would this candidate handle the situation? B. What process would the candidate use to help the client?
This will help you understand how well suited this person is for your business and also give you a chance to evaluate the candidate further.
- Verify the candidate’s professional references:
Before you hire a candidate, it’s important to verify the candidate’s professional references. Have you’re references call a former employer to get an accurate review of the candidate’s character and character.
- What is feedback from former employees?
Hiring someone who has been fired or who has a poor reputation is never a good idea.
- Is the candidate motivated?
You want your CFO to have a strong drive to succeed, and it is important to find talent who is passionate about helping you grow your business.
- What is the candidate’s work ethic?
Your #1 priority is hiring a candidate who is willing to help you build your company and is willing to put in the extra effort needed to keep your company running smoothly.
- What is the candidate’s experience with other, similar companies?
If you’re hiring a chief financial officer who isn’t part of your team, have them answer what their experience with other similar companies is like. This will help you find out how well suited they are for the job and help you determine if they can provide you with the level of service you need.
- Has anyone suggested to the candidate that they’re hiring the wrong person?
Having a spiritual confidant for the candidate is extremely important. You want to hire a member of a team that can better support the candidate throughout the hiring process.
Make sure to ask anyone who you have professional and personal relationships for a recommendation.
- What did the candidate do to earn a company award?
You want a candidate who has a strong work ethic. Reward your CFO with an incentive program that has a set of rules and requirements to earn a, for example, a company award.
- What is a real-world example of how they helped a tough client or situation?
This is important because your part-time CFO who doesn’t work in your company will be left to help customers who contact the company if the founders and employees do not have the ability or time to help the customer.
Choose a candidate who has a history of helping complex clients with a winning track record.
- How can the part-time CFO help your business and employees?
You want to hire an expert that can help your business and will be able to create a great working relationship with your employees which will benefit your business in the long run.
Ask them how they do it and what tips they have. Your CFO will be responsible for managing the finances for your business and needs to be able handle the business’ financial growth.
- What is the greatest deal that you have ever brokered?
Hiring is important because it affects everything you do in your life. Great CFOs are analytical, forward-thinking, and do the best they can every day.
- How do you work with a team of people?
A part-time CFO isn’t not be a part of the team that works for the company. Great team members do not play their own game.
- What would you do in this situation?
You want to hire someone who isn’t just an employee. Credibility and interest in a candidate will help you grow your business.
- What are the key components to a good CFO?
When hiring a part-time CFO who is not going to work in the office, is an important part of the hiring process. You must have a professional who is a student of the craft.
You need to hire someone who has the ability to retain a lot of information and who is looking to build a long-term career path while continuously improving their skills creating a machine that is difficult to beat.