Study reveals CFOs operating in HR
Traditionally, the chief financial officer (CFO) role was solely focused on ensuring the books were in order. However, in recent years, this position has branched out and CFOs are have begun to apply their trade in other departments.
This trend was highlighted in a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey that polled over 2,100 US CFOs. Respondents were asked what new responsibilities they had taken on in the last three years.
Surprisingly, the human resource department was the most common response with 21 per cent of the vote, and information technology closely followed with 19 per cent.
Other responses included operations (18 per cent), marketing (17 per cent), and sales or business development (10 per cent).
Just 14 per cent of the CFOs polled in the survey indicated that their role hadn’t changed in the past three years.
Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, explained that as the business world has becomes more complex with compliance and regulatory pressures, CFO expertise is now a critical element of the entire team.
“With technological advancements and the emphasis on data analytics and business transformation, companies are looking to their financial leaders to partner with departments throughout the organisation, (sic) including HR and IT, to help enhance efficiencies, grow revenue and contain costs,” he said.
It is interesting to note the reasons behind why CFOs are more involved in HR in particular. Mr McDonald stated that businesses often want a competitive hiring environment involving rewards and remuneration. However, with revenue tighter, CFOs want to be kept in the loop.
“Financial executives are often collaborating with HR on benefits and other areas that not only affect a firm’s bottom line, but also its ability to attract and retain leading employees,” he concluded.
With more CFOs applying themselves in the HR department, it is best to offer the best technology possible to ensure their time is efficiently used. One suggestion is HRMS, which can track applications and better manage open positions and recruitment efforts.