What Employers Want: The top six non-finance skills for finance leaders - Part 3

Published on: 26 Apr 2016

Part Three | Effective communication and strong commercial acumen

In this three part series; Cedar looks at the increased emphasis on soft skills when hiring a finance leader. In part one we looked at leadership and risk taking skills. In part two we looked at the need for forward thinking and strong interpersonal skills, but what else do employers want?

5. Effective Communication
In order to lead change, you are expected to deliver financial data, analytics and insight not just to the board, but also to the wider business. As well as the ability to communicate facts and figures, it is imperative for effective leadership that they can communicate the organisation’s vision – it’s short, mid and long-term goals. It is essential that you have the ability to ‘relate and translate’. This means having the skills to understand and communicate with different personality types and tailor vocabulary and language and how they present complex information to suit the audience. Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills are imperative to ensure that complex information it is communicated and clearly understood by people at all levels and divisions in the business.

6. Strong commercial acumen
Leading a finance team is more than simply understanding and presenting numbers; it’s about truly understanding the commercial cause and effect that sits behind them. In order to shape and influence the business strategy you need to have had relevant experience of commercial challenges. This ensures you can participate effectively across other departments and projects. Change initiatives should be based on solid business information and logic and financial information and modelling. Technical accounting skills are still highly sought after.

The senior finance market has become increasingly competitive and in order to excel, finance leaders must possess much more than just a professional finance qualification and technical experience to succeed. Demand is high for rounded, robust individuals who possess these critical soft skills to add real strategic value to a business.

If your finance team is lacking any of the skills outlined in this series or if you are looking for your next move contact Cedar on 0203 002 8050 for more information on how we can help.

Cedar is a specialist search and selection business focused on sourcing senior financial talent across commercial organisations.

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