What to look for when hiring for your finance team

finance staffThe hiring process is a daunting one. Any business owner or even manager can find themselves suffering anxiety when making a decision to hire new staff members. Each department has specific job roles that need to be filled or the department won’t be able to operate at optimum. But finding people to fill these roles can be a long and difficult task. Often times there are many job applicants who can do the role but not everyone is a good fit for your business or the other personalities in the specific department.


One of the first departments to be created in a new business is the finance department. This is a crucial part of any business and the employees who work in the finance department are often times slightly separated from the rest of the staff. The job of an accountant, bookkeeper and so on is a serious one. There’s no room for error and when mistakes do happen the consequences can be rather dire. This means that those operating in a finance department are number smart and the majority of them have some sort of formal tertiary education in finance. They’ve been through a degree or course which has prepared them to work in a career that focuses on balancing the books. But financial minds also focus on planning the financial year ahead, handling all aspects of corporate finance, investment strategies, cost controls, raising funds, company growth and expansion and keeping profit margins thick and healthy.


Finding the right financial person to employ is imperative to the company and can be a nightmare for the manager or owner making the final decision. This is because having a financial qualification is not really enough in the working world. When a job advert is placed, the qualifications listed as requirements are imperative and as an employer you will expect to receive applicants who can boast the necessary. But when browsing through the CVs that are sent through, there are other factors to bear in mind.


Consider applicants who have had some exposure to management and problem-solving tools


There are many part-time courses available to students and graduates that will boost their problem-solving abilities and give them a management skill set. If an applicant has taken the time to invest in these additional types of courses, you as the employer should pay attention. Their abilities will have been expanded by having studied the principles of management and things like time keeping, teamwork and business economics. This means that they will have a greater understanding of business operations in the real world.


Look for applicants with a mathematics background


Many of us feel like mathematics in school was, at best, an odd thing to learn. But in truth, complicated maths subjects, such as algebra and calculus, help give you the mental acuity needed when managing complexities in the financial markets. Those who have completed an additional tertiary level mathematics course will have been put through their paces with statistics too. This often results in them having better decision-making skills when they need to take risks based on likely outcomes and conclusions. What’s more, statistics offer insight into why a company would move around its stock.


Those adept at numbers aren’t always adept at communication


Even though financial professionals spend their working lives in a fairly quiet space, it’s important that they understand their colleagues and teammates enough to successfully communicate. Also, it is so worthwhile to have critical thinking as an attribute. This will be developed through studying psychology. Being able to evaluate human behaviour in financial decision-making sessions is invaluable, especially if client interaction is a part of the job spec. Being able to observe people within a financial environment is a talent and one which, if nurtured, will assist with identifying mistakes and correcting them quicker.


Those with business writing and presentation skills are generally just more confident


By employing a finance person who has completed courses in business writing and presentation skills, you’re employing someone who has already identified the need to appear professional at all times. They’ve put themselves in a position to learn how to create a great report, a comprehensive overview of ideas and suggestions and will be able to offer answers to question immediately. They’ll be practised in the art of presenting and their confidence will be one notch up from the average finance graduate. These courses don’t result in major qualifications but they’re so worthwhile. You cannot nurture a newbie into your next CFO if they’re not confident and become overwhelmed by presenting to making a strong case for their decisions.