A CFO’s Influence on a Company’s Hiring Practices

August 14, 2015 Zuman

Many companies have combined their human resources and finance departments, and doing so makes sense. One of a company’s primary expenses is payroll, so including leadership from both the employee and financial sides under one umbrella is a natural merger.

Having financial input in HR operations may be an adjustment, however. For a department that is already comfortable with its hiring practices, adding a new voice to the mix can be tricky. But if utilized properly, a chief financial officer influences the way new workers are sought out, interviewed and eventually hired to the benefit of the company.

By adding the finance department into the hiring process, a business utilizes its resources in an intelligent way.

Benefits of CFO input
A CFO can play a major role in creating and implementing a hiring strategy. With an understanding of the company’s finances and resources, a CFO offers guidance on the types of candidates to seek and ways a business can find new talent that maximize the budget. However, heads of finance should do more than just relay the numbers. They should work with HR to develop a big-picture plan for recruiting, hiring, training and retaining workers for the company.

Creating a plan involves looking ahead. One of the top qualities of CFOs is they are forward thinking, according to Workforce magazine. Predicting the challenges a new employee may face in the job can be a key part of the hiring process. Additionally, by helping a company anticipate a variety of factors, such as potential growth or changes in the organizational structure, a CFO enables the HR department to know approximately how many new hires will be needed and when.

Along with being forward thinking, CFO’s can assist a hiring strategy by providing business leadership. A finance background helps CFOs analyze job candidates from a unique perspective during the hiring process, ensuring the candidates will fit well in the organization, and with an eye on a company’s bottom line, will be valuable in the long run. Business needs are top priority for CFO’s working with HR, according to Business Excellence, and showing that leadership in the interview process is a great way to support the organization.

Having a CFO in job interviews also allows a business expert to give their input on the future workforce. With an understanding of how hiring impacts a company’s finances, from a worker’s salary and benefits to the cost of training an inexperienced worker, the CFO can assist the HR department to make educated decisions on who to bring on board. An in-depth knowledge of the company structure and how finances impact pay scale also plays a major role in promotions and company advancement decisions.

Knowledge of finance can help a business when hiring new employees.

Sharing new ideas
The merger of finance and HR has taken place at many businesses all across the world, and many find the relationship to be beneficial in hiring. Ernst & Young conducted a study on the pairing and determined over the last three years, 42 percent of business found their CFOs and chief human resources officers to be “much more collaborative.” By sharing responsibilities, the two departments learned strategies and best practices from one another.

Brian Jemelian, senior vice president of finance and administration at Yamaha, said his company saw improved strategies after the two different departments melded into one single unit.

“The traditional finance and HR roles of the past are blurring,” Jemelian said in the Ernst & Young report. “The best finance leaders will have an appreciation of issues that were traditionally in the HR domain. HR might not be as strong as finance at number crunching, but they are now much closer to our business strategy, goals and threats. At Yamaha, the HR team spends the time to really understand and add value to our various business segments.”

CFOs should take the time to understand the CHRO and hiring team at  their companies so they can all be on the same page during recruitment and when it comes time for interviews with potential job candidates. Members of the finance department also should not be afraid to voice recommendations on potential changes within the hiring process. A collaborative effort works only when both parties share their thoughts, and a CFO can add a unique perspective to a company’s hiring methods.

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