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CFO executive search firms looking for external talent

New data from Crist|Kolder represents good news for CFO executive search firms and the candidates they place. Research suggests that the percentage of executives hired from outside their companies is reaching the highest point for a decade.

According to the data, 43.4% of Chief Financial Officers at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 have been headhunted from other companies, up from 33.6% ten years earlier.

Examples of executive search firms recruiting CFOs

Recent examples of CFOs being poached include Brian Newman who joined UPS as CFO having previously been at Pepsico; Intel who recruited George Davis from Qualcomm and Tim Stone, who joined Ford Motor Company from Snap.

These placements are all examples of organizations looking to hire executives who will offer fresh perspectives and new ideas and be less tied to traditional strategies.

Chief financial offers can highlight transferable skills

When an executive search firm is seeking to find executives based on transferrable skills, they often need to look beyond Linkedin.   The “professional network” is a hugely valuable tool for recruiters, but it is at it’s best when a recruiter is looking to find someone working at a competitor of the client.  Recruiters will draw up lists of “target companies” and will then use Linkedin to identifying and contacting the executives in relevant roles with those firms.

However, it’s reasonable to assume that the recruiter responsible for the executive search that took Newman from Pepsico to UPS did not see Pepsico as a competitor of UPS.   In reality, it was most likely down to the skills and experiences that UPS felt they needed and that Newman appeared to possess.

Support for this is provided by the PR surrounding Newman’s announcement which described the new hire as:

“Newman is a proven senior corporate leader with extensive finance, operations, corporate strategy and information technology experience. He served in positions of increasing responsibility at PepsiCo over 26 years and has worked in Asia, Europe, Russia and the U.S. in various corporate, regional and sector assignments. He began his career in investment banking prior to joining PepsiCo. In his current role, Newman has leadership responsibility for all finance and operations activity across the Latin America region”.

Why a CFO can’t rely on a Linkedin profile

How would an executive recruiter use Linkedin to identify a CFO with experience in Asia, Europe, Russia and the Americas, with a banking background and specific experience ranging from IT to Operations?  Newman has a very detailed profile (albeit not an updated one!) but the Linkedin recruiter search screens do not allow this depth of searching.  It is not possible for a recruiter search for someone with experience in both IT and Operations, beyond a simple free text search that will bring up tens of thousands of results.

This is where services like GatedTalent can assist.  Our platform allows an executive to highlight his or her transferrable skills and achievements in a private manner. It offers a recruiter detailed and structured search screens to identify the executives with the required skills and provides an easy way for the two to connect.

Those looking to get on the radar of CFO executive search firms are welcome to join one of our upcoming live webinars on transferrable skills and how to be visible to recruiters – register here.

According to the research, 43.4% of CFOs at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 have been headhunted from other companies, up from 33.6% ten years earlier.

Recruiting Brief