A Finance Manager isn’t just someone who understands the numbers. They typically analyse, interpret and report those numbers in the context of business objectives. It’s an important position within any organisation. And hiring the right person who fits into your company culture is business-critical.
At Richard Lloyd Recruitment, we work with our clients to find top-tier accounting and finance professionals for their teams. Over more than a decade in business, we’ve learnt a thing or two about hiring Finance Managers and have pulled together our top tips to help you in your talent search.
In truth, a Finance Manager is an indispensable member of your team. The term ‘Finance Manager’ will vary significantly depending on the size and complexity of a business. I.e. an SME may employ a standalone Finance Manager whose role will be hands-on and all-encompassing from an accounting perspective, whereas a larger organisation's Finance Manager could be two or three rungs off the top role in the department. That being said, typically it is their job to oversee the day-to-day financial health of your business. By doing this, they’re helping to ensure its continued viability.
A Finance Manager's job description will usually be quite varied. Some of the tasks they may be responsible for include:
Monitoring cash flow
Forecasting and financial reporting
Analysing market information
Helping to devise financial strategies
Overseeing more junior finance team members
Hiring a trusted Finance Manager should ensure the longevity and growth of the business.
When you’re ready to hire a Finance Manager, you first need to think about who you want in the role. What are the skills, experience and qualifications they will need? Is there anything else you need to consider to make the right hiring decision? This could include the current team dynamic and future plans for the role and the company.
It goes without saying that a Finance Manager needs an analytical mind and technical skills to succeed in their role. They need to be able to look at the data, interpret it, spot trends and then provide relevant and accurate financial reporting and forecasting.
Attention to detail is also important. An extra zero or a misplaced comma is hugely significant when you’re a Finance Manager preparing reports. They should also have a high level of commercial acumen to understand how a business operates as well as the impact of different operational demands they may encounter.
In addition to these technical skills, there are also “soft” skills that a Finance Manager should have. They need strong interpersonal skills such as communication and negotiation as well as time management and organisational skills.
A candidate who is new to the role of Finance Manager won’t have had the time to develop the necessary skills to 'hit the ground running', as such you may find it more valuable to hire someone who has had previous experience in this position. The amount of support available for the person who would step up into this role would determine if this is a feasible option.
Given that a Finance Manager will usually have a team reporting to them, people management experience is also important. People are often promoted to leadership positions based on technical capability so be sure to identify candidates who have supervisory experience combined with training and mentoring skills. A Finance Manager who can lead and develop a team while also delivering financial outcomes is worth their weight in gold.
Depending on your industry, you may want to hire a Finance Manager who has experience in your sector. However, don’t discount someone who can bring fresh eyes - and solutions - to your current industry challenges.
Typically the path of study that leads to the job of a Finance Manager will be a degree in finance, accounting or similar, coupled with the completion of a professional accounting qualification such as CA, ACCA, CPA, CIMA or equivalent.
Qualifications alone will only get a Finance Manager so far but combined with the right technical and behavioural competencies you can find a very strong candidate.
Skills, experience and qualifications aside, there are other things you may want to consider in your hiring decisions. These will likely be completely unique to your business.
A big one of these may be the culture of your organisation. If you can find a skilled and experienced Finance Manager who fits seamlessly into your team and culture, they’re more likely to hit the ground running.
Values alignment can also be important. Particularly when you’re looking for a new Finance Manager to promote the mission and vision of the organisation.
Remember that the Finance Manager salary you’re offering will also have an impact on the candidates you attract.
Given the current recruitment climate, you’re not alone if you're struggling with hiring a Finance Manager. But we can assure you that there are high-quality candidates who will meet your expectations and requirements. You just need to know where to find them.
If you are looking to hire a Finance Manager, temporary, permanent or contract, or other staff for your team, contact us at Richard Lloyd Recruitment and speak to one of our experts.