listenIf you haven’t noticed, the market for CFO talent has become very competitive this year, at least in the SF Bay Area. Certain segments such as SaaS are too hot to touch! The bottom line is that top tier talent is scarce. A number of CFOs I’ve talked to recently said they can’t even think about looking at another opportunity because they’re already stretched thin by the opportunities in front of them. So, if you’re a company wondering how to hire a CFO, how to go about it? You need to work on your CFO recruitment skills, and I can help.

As the CEO or an investor, you believe in your heart and mind that your company is the greatest company on earth. The challenge is how to communicate this concept to the CFO marketplace.

Lessons from Your Own Experience

Thinking about the last time you made a major career decision may shed some light on the process of recruiting. First, think about how you came to make the decision. Was it spontaneous, or pondered thoroughly? What did you come to believe about the hiring company? Who made you aware of the opportunity? Now, put yourself in the shoes of the CFO you are trying to recruit. How will the initial outreach be conducted─the critical step to engage the prospect in your opportunity? Why should he/she respond to your siren? What key messages will engage him/her? Who will conduct the outreach? If you’re working with a search firm, who within the firm will make the call?

Executive Recruiting Skills – a Rare Commodity

Having trained recruiters and developed a proprietary process for the art of CFO recruitment, I can say that few recruiters, and even fewer non-recruiters, have the thorough training and expertise required to conduct a successful executive search from clarifying the objectives, all the way through the process to the offer and acceptance, to follow-up.

After working in executive search for over 22 years, I have some insights that many folks in my industry just don’t have. What many professionals don’t understand is that a number of so-called “headhunters” simply bring business in the door, but don’t necessarily fulfill it. My advice on how to hire a CFO: if you hire a search firm to partner with you, be sure to find out in advance how your opportunity will be being marketed, and exactly who is doing that marketing for you, and what are their skills and experience.

How Not to Make a Recruiting Call

Have you received a CFO recruitment call that started out like, “Hi Joe, I’m calling you because I have been retained by this great company that is looking for someone just like you!” Not a good recruiting call in my book. If you want to know how to make a great recruiting call, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned that works. Call me, Dave Arnold at 408-205-7373 or email