The Grady Group

A Guide to Trends for CFO Hiring in 2024

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It seems job seekers are in the driving seat right now with recruitment. That’s according to the data from employers, with the vast majority staying that candidates have the balance of power right now in hiring.

So, what does that mean for your business when hiring a CFO? In short, you need to stand out from the competition to hire the best talent. One way to do that is to get on top of the latest trends for CFO hiring. Read on for more.

The Role of the CFO Is Evolving

Before you can begin recruiting for a CFO, it’s crucial to understand the broader landscape.

Businesses have changed the way CFOs operate in the C-Suite. And that’s changed some of the talents and skillsets required of a new CFO.

If you want your company to stay ahead, it’s essential to understand this and use it to determine your CFO job spec prior to any recruitment drive.

The Strategic Demands

In 2024, CFOs must demonstrate a more significant input into a company’s strategic direction, working closely with the CEO.

Their insights into the financial health of a business will be crucial to any high-level decision for the company. Plus, they’ll be involved in planning new strategies and large-scale investments like acquisitions.

Any CFO you recruit will need an excellent understanding of how to drive growth in a business.


CFOs are beginning to have more of an operational leadership role. They will look at aspects like efficiency, for example, or supply chain costs and optimization.

Innovation and Technology

A financial role isn’t technical. Yet, a CFO is expected to have an understanding of technical investments.

They need to know how technology can support a business via operations, like efficiency gains. And they’ll need to embrace innovation through new technology.

They’ll also need an excellent understanding of why investments like cybersecurity are essential.

ESG Leadership Skills in CFO Hiring

ESG (environmental, social, and governance) leadership is something that companies expect across all C-suite roles.

It’s something that many finance executives are becoming more skilled in. And you must include this in any recruitment CFO recruitment strategy for a business.

ESG has become more crucial for businesses. Customers want to buy from companies that embrace sustainability and ethical standards.

CFOs play a vital role in driving this strategy and investing money in the right areas of the company.

For example, a CFO might become involved in helping the company reduce its carbon footprint.

That might be via investment in more eco-friendly resources and renewable energy. It might also mean a company moving to more eco-friendly product designs.

CFOs must also be mindful of social responsibility and putting ethical standards ahead of cost-cutting. That means taking care of employees locally and globally and possibly supporting nearby community initiatives.

Ethical standards will also involve CFOs being more transparent about the company finances. That means accountability for how and where money is spent and pursuing ethical accounting practices.

All these trends mean a difference in how you recruit. It means putting these new skills and priorities on any CFO job spec and checking them throughout your hiring process.

Retention Strategies and Talent Development

It’s becoming increasingly clear to ambitious companies that recruiting talent is only the start of a long-term strategy for their business. This recruitment needs to include ways to develop and retain that talent.

That trend is happening across roles, but it’s especially vital for senior positions like CFOs.

An effective CFO needs to grow in their role. They need to be adaptable enough to face the constant change that’s an integral part of the modern business world. They must embrace continual learning and reskilling in their role.

So what does this mean for recruitment? It means you need to look for these qualities in a candidate and actively seek them out at all stages of the hiring process. It also suggests that training and development must form a central part of any package once you are ready to make an offer to the right person.

Recruitment teams must also tie compensation packages to business growth. That helps incentivize new CFOs to stay with the company for the long haul.

A More Modern Finance Function

Today’s CFOs face the challenge of modernizing finance to help businesses stay competitive. For example, a long-established finance department might need streamlining to make it more efficient.

It might need to embrace modern technical solutions like AI to keep in step with how competitors manage their finance departments.

It means understanding unique challenges that didn’t exist decades ago, like cyber threats such as ransomware. These CFOs need to be skilled at doing these types of significant overhauls.

This requires strategic thinking and strong leadership. They’ll also need to understand the industry well. Thus, their decision-making takes a longer-term view of what’s happening around them.

For example, suppose you are recruiting a CFO for a consumer products business.

In that case, you want someone with knowledge of this industry. Or you may prefer someone with experience overhauling and modernizing established finance departments.

Change Management and Adapting to Uncertainty

CFOs in today’s evolving landscape need to be experts in change management. They may find themselves at the center of significant organizational changes. That might include strategic shifts such as global expansion or major restructurings.

They need to be highly adaptable and have a problem-solving mindset.

As CFOs, their companies will rely on them to steer the ship during periods of upheaving. They’ll need to keep investors and other financial stakeholders happy.

When recruiting, you should look for someone who can take a thoughtful and pragmatic approach to these challenges.

They need to make decisions that help companies adapt fast. At the same time, they’ll need to ensure they retain the long-term viability of the company. It’s a careful balancing act.

That requires skill and experience. Most importantly, CFOs need to have the qualities of a leader who can explain this vision to their team.

During periods of upheaval and uncertainty, employees can feel anxious. It demands strong and clear leadership. They must keep teams working together when most needed for a business.

The Emerging Role of Metrics and Analytics

CFOs have always had to be great at number crunching. But there is a different angle to this role now. In the technology, IT, and analytics age, most companies have access to massive quantities of data that we could only dream of in previous decades.

We can track anything, from the tiniest information on how a single product converts to using vast data pools to forecast 12-month trends. That has moved businesses towards data-driven decision-making. And that’s something that will be crucial to a CFO.

They’ll need to understand how to gather the correct data, analyze it, and use it strategically. And that’s more challenging than it sounds. It requires the expertise to wade through millions of data points and find the most relevant ones for a business.

When recruiting for a CFO, you want someone with experience in using modern analytics. They must know how to use it well.

Ask for evidence of how they’ve used such data in the past. For example, they may talk about how they’ve predicted financial trends for a business.

There is another side to this, too, which relates to security. As businesses collect more data, that asset can become a vulnerability in the wrong hands. Your CFO must understand the importance of data security in your industry.

Cost Reductions and Operational Efficiencies

Economic uncertainty and increasing competition have left many companies facing ongoing pressure.

There is every chance that this will continue through 2024. It’s essential to keep this in mind when recruiting for a CFO. You want someone who can handle this and support the business.

That might mean finding areas of efficiency throughout the company and focusing on productivity. Or it might mean finding significant cost savings.

But you need someone who can take an analytical approach and measure and assess where things are in your business. Then they should take the right approach to making the changes the business needs. All this must be juggled against other demands, like more sustainable working and producing high-quality goods.

So, it may need a multi-pronged approach, like negotiating contracts with suppliers, viewing operational costs, and improving inventory management. It requires someone who can bring more than one idea to the table.

When recruiting, it’s something to challenge candidates when they get to the interview and panel interview stage. Find out what ideas they have and what they’ve succeeded at doing in their previous role.

Staying Informed on the Trends for CFO Hiring

Securing the most talented people for your business can have a transformative effect.

So, when thinking about your recruitment strategy, make sure it’s up to date. The trends for CFO hiring will help you stand out as an ambitious business and a sought-after employer. It will help you attract the best.

Expert recruitment support is also essential to securing top talent. The Grady Group has secured finance leaders for CPG businesses like yours since 1999.

The Grady Group is a leading specialist in finding top talent for the consumer packaging industry. Learn more about how we can support your executive recruitment efforts.

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