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Finance Leadership Talent Attraction Trends in 2013 (UK)
Search and selection criteria for CFOs and their leadership teams have tightened over the last few years. The average tenure of CEOs continues to shorten and this has an impact on talent attraction and selection thought processes. There is very little appetite to choose CFOs/FDs who do not fully understand the business sector/segment inside-out and who can, in theory, add value from day one.
Six finance leadership talent attraction trends
At the Page Executive CFO practice, these are the prevalent finance leadership talent attraction trends we’ve experienced in 2013:
Narrow focus in search assignments. Sector bias has continued to dominate the search criteria in mandates. Organisations rate industry exposure above specific competencies, although the quality of experience plays a close second place in all selection processes.
Demand for PE-experienced FDs. Private equity investment has increased dramatically and we have experienced a renewed appetite for replacement CFOs following a change of shareholding, which has often also been preceded by a change in CEO/MD.
M&A on the rise. Continued consolidation of players in markets such as engineering, leisure and energy has brought about requirements for new searches for re-structured or re-positioned divisional CFOs.
Female finance leaders are sought-after. There is a demand to attract female CFOs and executives but it can be a challenge matching this requirement in addition to sector and track record mandatory experience.
Extended interview processes . While the average search an d selection cycle has become marginally shorter than in previous periods, there can often be several weeks between interviews – even when there has been expressed appetite for speedy decision-making. This is due to the risk-mitigation tactics of increasing interview stages/numbers of interviews aiming for consensus-driven hiring decisions.
- Sectors in demand. We have seen uplift in the following sectors for finance director roles nationally:
- Building andconstruction
- Oil and gas
Optimism for the future
With a rise in finance leadership roles being recruited across multiple sectors and continued demand for directors and executives with specific sector backgrounds, we are optimistic about the future.
There will, in the short to medium term at least, be the continued war for talent and specific sector requirements. However, as the market picks up there will need to be more flexibility in attributes being sought and the speed with which businesses make decisions. This increasingly justifies the partnership with search firms, such as Page Executive, to advise and work together in securing the best possible candidate.
We are, consequently, expanding our CFO practice in order to stay ahead of these trends to be able to deliver on the volume of search assignments and to be able to fulfil specific search criteria in the best way for our clients.
Get in touch with Lucia Knight, from Page Executive’s CFO practice, to find out more about finance leadership talent attraction trends.