Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


People skills add up for CFOs

It’s not just about numbers – people skills add up for CFOs


CFOs are no longer hired purely for their abilities with numbers and analytics, with strong people skills equally as important says recruiting experts Hays in New Zealand.

According to a survey of 500 CFOs, conducted for the recruiter’s ‘DNA of a CFO’ report, commercial acumen, people management, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement are four important skills for any successful CFO.

“Compared to 15 to 20 years ago, people skills and general management capabilities are a much bigger part of the selection process,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand. “CFOs are certainly no longer hired purely for their abilities with numbers and analytics – although of course this has to be an underlying technical strength – but added to the classic skills mix is an increasing requirement for a whole range of different competencies.”

According to the Hays survey, 64% of CFOs say commercial acumen is the most important skill for a CFO to have. People management took second place (57%), reflecting the CFO’s role as a leader, influencer and negotiator.

This was followed by strategic planning (51%), while almost one quarter (24%) of respondents nominated stakeholder engagement and risk management/corporate governance skills as essential.

“The importance placed on commercial acumen can perhaps explain why so many CFOs go on to become MDs or CEOs, or take a calculated risk to set up their own business ventures,” says Jason.

“It also explains why many CFOs take on roles outside finance on their way to the top finance job. A general management position can certainly give an up-and-coming CFO a more strategic mindset and understanding of how other departments operate – which can put you in a stronger position when you do become CFO. It’s important for a CFO to stay close to the business, and commercial awareness is essential if you want to be a successful business partner,” he said.

“Meanwhile the importance of people skills is understandable when you consider that CFOs manage large teams and also need to know how to present numbers to non-financial people in easily digestible pieces.”

The Hays survey also showed that 27% of CFOs believe that the operations function is the single most important discipline for them to partner with. “Over the past decade CFOs have been instrumental in reviewing the policies and controls within their organisation. This has brought them into close contact with operations teams and so coining the term ‘business partner’ into day-to-day business and finance language,” said Jason.

Operations was followed by sales (10%), IT (8%), HR (7%), legal/compliance (5%), procurement (5%) and marketing/communications (2%), which all trail some way behind the strategic importance put on working hand-in-hand with operations. But 36% of CFOs indicated that it is important for finance to partner with all of these departments.

The report is available at www.hays.net.nz/CFO

Methodology

500 finance professionals were surveyed face to face over December 2013 and January 2014. The majority held the position of CFO, while a small percentage indicated their current job title was Finance Director, Group, Divisional or Regional Finance Director, Director of Finance, Head of Finance or GM of Finance.

400 were based in Australia and 100 were in New Zealand. Of these, 47 per cent work in commerce and industry for an ASX non-listed organisation and 20 per cent work for an ASX listed organisation. 28 per cent work in the public or not-for-profit sector, and 0.4 per cent work for an accountancy firm. The remaining 4.7 per cent elected not to specify their organisation.

These CFOs were asked about their educational background, qualifications, international experience, responsibilities, challenges and personal aspirations.

To see more detailed profiles of the CFOs who appear in this report, please visit www.hays.net.nz/CFO

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

- Ends -

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news