Straight Answers

The 70/30 Rule

The 70/30 Rule

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question:  I’m the CFO of a $50mm Tier 2 auto parts manufacturer. I’ve recently had to go to the market to recruit a Controller. I’ve looked at a number of candidates and there’s been one person in the process that I’m especially keen on because she would be an excellent fit for us personality wise. That being said, she’s not a perfect candidate. She’s got a lot of what I’m looking for – she comes out of a manufacturing environment and generally speaking she has a well-rounded background.…

Marketing Basics for CFOs

Marketing Basics for CFOs

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m the VP Finance of a mid-sized CPG manufacturing concern in Mississauga. I just learned that the company’s owner-managers have decided to look for a strategic buyer so I think it’s about time to start looking at the job market again.

I haven’t done any active job hunting in about fifteen years so I really don’t know if the method of looking for a job today is much different than how it was done back in the day.…

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m the CFO of a $300mm software developer and I’ve recently been in the market for a Manager Financial Planning & Analysis. We’ve zeroed in on what I think is a very good candidate (she’s currently in FP&A with another software firm) but she’s close to the top of what we pay managers at this level (she’s at $115,000 and other managers are making around $120,000).

The candidate is looking for about $125,000 which would put our salary parity scale for this level out of whack.…

Beware Buyer’s Remorse

Beware Buyer’s Remorse

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I run a trade association and we’ve recently had to go to the market to recruit a Director of Finance to look after all of our finance and administration functions of the association. I don’t have a finance background so I’m basically taking the advice of the outgoing incumbent (she’s retiring), in regards to the financial qualifications of the people we’re interviewing.

I’ve seen four people so far and out of that lot, there’s one person that I think might be an okay candidate for the job.…

10 Job Hunting Basics for CFOs

10 Job Hunting Basics for CFOs

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m a CPA CA with twenty years’ experience in food manufacturing. I’ve spent  the last ten years as VP Finance and CFO of a frozen food processor in Mississauga. My company was acquired six months ago by a private equity firm and so I decided back then that I should start looking at the market.

I’ve contacted some recruiters and I’ve sent my resume in on a few different CFO and VP Finance jobs that I saw advertised on Indeed Jobs and LinkedIn but I haven’t gotten any traction out of my  job hunting efforts yet.…

Rolling the Dice on a CFO Hire

Rolling the Dice on a CFO Hire

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m the CEO of a family owned, $50mm electrical contractor in Scarborough. Our CFO decided to move on unexpectedly and we’ve been conducting a search to replace him over the past two months. I’ve tapped into my network and have seen a number of potential candidates, some of which were okay and some of which were obviously not suitable for the job. I haven’t felt strongly enough about any of them to pull the trigger.…

Show Me the Money

Show Me the Money

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’m the CFO of a $300mm retail chain. I’ve been interviewing someone to fill a Director, Financial Planning & Forecasting position we’ve got open and we’re just about at the offer stage. The person I’m considering hiring is currently earning $150,000 (plus bonus) which is right at the top of our salary scale for positions at the Director level.

The candidate has indicated that they’re very interested in the position but they’ve also indicated that they’d like a salary of at least $165,000 to make the move.…

The Postman Always Rings Twice (a day)

The Postman Always Rings Twice (a day)

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I have a general question about placement agencies. I’m the VP Finance of a $200mm food products manufacturing company and as you might imagine, I get calls repeatedly and consistently from various and sundry placement agencies looking for business. I don’t have a lot of turnover but on the rare occasion I do have an opening I have given a couple of these placement agencies a shot at filling the job. And I have to say the results I’ve seen from these placement agencies is all over the map.…

Important Management Tip: Millennials Like to Eat Too

Important Management Tip: Millennials Like to Eat Too

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I’ve just taken over as VP Finance of a Mississauga based, TSX listed, software developer. Generally speaking, I like the staff that I’ve inherited; they’re young, energetic, smart as can be and generally fun to work with. My issue is that at 5:30pm around here, you could shoot a cannon anywhere in the finance & accounting department and not hit anyone.

I talked to my controller about this and she basically said: “Welcome to the wonderful world of software.” According to my controller, the high tech industry and especially software development companies, are overwhelmingly populated by millennials.…

The Truth About Online Job Applications

The Truth About Online Job Applications

Straight Answers to Real Questions

Question: I was most recently CFO of a mid-sized food manufacturer in Mississauga. Due to a change in corporate ownership I’ve been on the street for the last six months or so. I haven’t actually kept track but I’d estimate that I’ve responded to more than two dozen CFO and VP Finance open positions posted on LinkedIn, Indeed Jobs and the rest.

I like to think that I’ve had a pretty marketable background but I haven’t even had a nibble from all the positions I’ve applied to.…