A leading finance recruiter on the types of candidates that stand out in this market

Research and surveys consistently indicate that finding and retaining talent tops a CFO’s list of internal concerns. And when it comes to finance and accounting talent, recruiters’ jobs are getting harder and harder. But there may be a more effective approach when searching the talent pools.

To get some insight on the subject, I had a chat with Josh Fisher, CEO of DeWinter Group, an accounting, finance, and IT executive search firm in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. “In recent years, it has been difficult to hire great finance and accounting specialists at all levels,” Fisher told me. “And I think part of that was that about 1,500 companies went public in the last three years. That’s just an exorbitant amount of CPAs, accounting professionals, and finance executives that were needed, that weren’t needed before. Global IPO activity hit an all-time high in 2021, according to White & Case research. Of course, this year the IPO market has cooled considerably And growing companies compete for the same talent, he says.

Fisher, who has more than 18 years of experience with the firm, says recruiting for finance and accounting roles has evolved over the years. “It all started with having to make your way and find leads,” he explains. “We had to ask everyone for names. You had to do a lot of deep research just to know who you are targeting. And then, kind of overnight, LinkedIn became the Facebook of work, and kind of changed that dramatically, it wasn’t a game of finding people anymore, it was now a game of connect with them.

But, “what hasn’t changed is who they are to create and build a relationship,” he says. “We’re over 20 years in the same functional area, with 100 people doing this.” Part of the process now also includes “going to LinkedIn and asking for referrals from people you’ve placed, people you know, and clients who are in a similar industry.”

Here’s an interesting tip about recruiting finance and accounting talent: “I think inevitably you’re trying to reach the more passive job seekers,” says Fisher. “Most of the time, in finance and accounting, that’s where the best talent is. This is where you end up finding the people who get customers excited. »

So someone who is aggressively looking for a job in accounting or finance might not be the best candidate for a recruiter to choose? “On the agency side, and I would say internally too, that’s very often not what they’re looking for,” Fisher says. “Most often they’re looking for the person who’s okay and probably happy, but they have a boss who’s never going to leave, or their business has slowed down a bit, or moved. Anyway, there is something that gives them an opening to have the conversation. As recruiters, “we don’t convince either party, but we can help start that conversation,” he says.

Once you start converting, that’s when candidates start to differentiate, says Fishers. “I think with finance and accounting, the skill sets start to become very similar when you look at certain boxes within organizations,” says Fisher. “And what really defines a good match is the form and the chemistry between their immediate boss and the rest of the management team. , is that they connect with management.

Although it’s increasingly difficult to recruit finance and accounting talent, Fisher says flexibility attracts candidates. And a selling point for finance and accounting careers is financial stability. “You have stability and hyper-growth in the same kind of package,” he says.


Until tomorrow.

Sheryl Estrada
sheryl.estrada@fortune.com

Future event: If you’re a CFO in the Chicago area, join us at Sepia on September 22 for our in-depth dinner conversation on working with CFOs. The talking point: The financial talent model of the future. I will be joined by Fortune CEO Alan Murray, Fortune Financial Writer Lee Clifford and Clem Johnson, President, Crist|Kolder Associates. Click here for more information and to apply. Please note that participation is free and subject to approval.

Big deal

Hogan Lovells’ survey, “Navigating Deep Waters,” assesses the perspectives of compliance professionals who integrate social and governance aspects of ESG into existing compliance programs. “Until recently, the main external risks for many companies have been in the fight against bribery and corruption, but with the growing interest in ESG, their main concerns have changed,” according to the report. Eighty-two percent of companies surveyed said ESG risk is their current and future business strategy priority. The main concerns of compliance officers interviewed were that ESG was not integrated into existing risk practices, a lack of ESG knowledge and skills, and a lack of engagement. However, the survey found that US companies are more likely to prioritize ESG risks. About 88% of compliance officers in the United States say that ESG is becoming a priority for their organizations. The findings are based on a survey of 600 multinational companies in Europe, Asia and Brazil, including 100 professionals operating in the United States.

Go further

As CFOs cut costs in this inflationary environment, they plan to protect their digital investments, according to a report from Gartner, Inc., a management consulting firm. Over the next 12 months, CFOs made digital acceleration a top priority. And a third of CFOs and CEOs surveyed said they would prioritize back-office automation technologies.

Ranking

James Hathaway has been appointed interim CFO of Qurate Retail Group, part of Qurate Retail, Inc. (Nasdaq: QRTEA, QRTEB, QRTEP). Jeffrey A. Davis, chief financial officer, has resigned from the company and is expected to remain for a transition period. Hathaway joined Qurate Retail Group in May 2021 as SVP to lead finance for the company’s largest reporting unit, QxH, serving as Chief Financial Officer for QVC US and HSN. Prior to joining Qurate Retail Group, Hathaway spent over 20 years at PepsiCo/Frito-Lay in roles such as Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. And prior to that, he held various divisional and business unit CFO positions within Frito-Lay’s U.S. operations.

Darren Myers was named chief financial officer of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (NYSE: AQN). This follows Arthur Kacprzak’s decision to step down from the role with immediate effect, according to the company. Kacprzak has agreed to remain with the company in an advisory capacity through the end of 2022. Myers most recently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Loblaw (TSX:L), the largest sales company retail in Canada. Prior to Loblaw, Myers spent 16 years at Celestica (NYSE and TSX: CLS), a global supply chain and manufacturing company. His roles included EVP and CFO.

Understood

“We’re going to have a recession because we’ve had five months of zero M2 growth, money supply growth, and the Fed isn’t even looking at it. We’re going to have a huge recession in 2023.”

—Steve Hanke, a professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, said in an interview with CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” Monday. The money supply in the United States has stagnated in recent months, which will likely lead to a major economic slowdown, Hanke argued.

This is the web version of Daily CFO, a newsletter about the trends and people shaping corporate finance. Sign up to receive it for free in your inbox.

Leave a Reply