For many [most] mid-large-sized organizations, the roles, and responsibilities of a director of finance differ from that of a chief financial officer (CFO), though there can be some similarities. Just like the hiring of a CFO, hiring a director of finance can seem like a daunting task and financial commitment, but having a competent and qualified individual in this role is integrally important as managing finances for companies of significant size requires a team to manage the task.
For career-oriented individuals with a passion for numbers and finance, making deliberate choices and building a strong resume can be instrumental in the process of eventually preparing an individual to meet the qualifications of a director of finance. The title may be used for a mid-level to upper management position depending on the size of the company. In smaller companies, the finance director may be included as part of the executive team.
The history of the field of finance and the recording and management of financial activities dates back to the dawn of civilization. While fiance has roots in scientific fields, such as statistics, economics, and mathematics, it also includes non-scientific elements that liken it to art.
As the complexity of financial instruments, transactions, stock markets, reporting requirements, and regulation has increased, the need for specialized roles in finance, including a director of finance, has grown.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected employment and the job market, however, the role of the director of finance has become increasingly important for companies as they look to recover from the economic challenges experienced in the past year. Currently, accounting and finance teams are focusing on accounts receivable and collections, accounts payable and disbursement management, cash flow projections and treasury management, financial reporting, and Sarbanes-Oxley and internal controls. These teams are often left by the director of finance.
As a result of the focus on COVID requirements for reporting and more, employers are increasingly seeking professionals to support day-to-day accounting needs, compliance and reporting requirements, and demands related to lending programs.
The director of finance is often viewed as the member of the leadership team who is responsible for creating a solid foundation upon which a business is successfully set up and equipped to grow.
The director of finance contributes to the attainment of the company’s business objectives by providing strategic and financial guidance to ensure that the company’s financial commitments are met and develops all necessary policies and procedures to ensure the sound financial management and control of the company’s business.
The director of finance needs to be a good financial analyst and a strong communicator. It helps if they have extensive senior-level accountancy experience, along with significant managerial experience, industry knowledge, and thinks strategically.
Before we get to exactly how to recruit the best director of finance in Seattle here are more details about the typical responsibilities of the job.
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Most positions require a Bachelor’s degree, while many directors of finance positions require a CPA, CFA, and/or an MBA and significant experience in the financial industry (5+ years) may be able to use their years of experience to replace the degree. While candidates can complete a degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, or Accounting, a wide variety of degrees may qualify someone for the role, depending on their previous experience.
Top Schools – US News & World Report rankings.
Given the importance of the director of finance role, candidates can and should expect to be well compensated for the high levels of responsibility that accompany the job. As long as companies need to manage and make money, there will continue to be a place for the director of finance, especially in a mid-large-size organization.
For more detailed compensation information for directors of finance in [city-name], download our free compensation/salary report below.
The average annual salary for finance directors in Washington was 138k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $66.41.
For more detailed compensation information for finance directors in Seattle, download our free compensation/salary report below.
Do [position-plural] like working and living in the famous city of Seattle? Most say yes, but certainly not all. Seattle seems to be one of those places that people fall in love with, or leave as soon as they can.
As far as cities go, Seattle could be the winner in the beauty contest. It’s surrounded by natural wonders—the sea, majestic mountains, and the greenest emerald forests. Hence the city’s moniker – the Emerald City.
It’s also got some mega employers and high salaries for techies. Here are few other highlights about living and working in Seattle.
On the other hand, the online forums are full of folks who do not care for the city. The main complaints?
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Director of finance positions will see an unusually high growth trajectory in the next 10 years. This is testimony to just how important this position is when it comes to an organization’s overall success. Positions in finance at all levels have a strong demand across many industries and types of organizations, including the public sector.
According to the BLS, the job outlook for directors of finance is projected to grow 15% from 2019-2019, much faster than the 4% average growth predicted for all jobs. However, this growth is expected to vary by industry.
Financial managers in the investment industry, cash management, and risk management are expected to stay in high demand.
The supply of candidates and demand for open positions have a direct correlation to a company's ability to hire. Download a free Supply and Demand report for finance directors in Seattle, Washington below.
Finding and hiring the best director of finance candidates can save you money right away and well into the future.
The costs of making a bad hire are well documented. The cost can run as much as 30% of the employee's first-year earnings according to the US Department of Labor. Bad hires can cost a whopping $240,000 in expenses related to hiring, compensation, and retention per The Undercover Recruiter. 74% of companies who admit they've hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire according to CareerBuilder. These statistics support our long-held position that behavioral questions are the best way to get to know your candidates and past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.
The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.
When defining the role you are creating, we recommend a position profile to fully evaluate the position you are hiring for. You must decide if the engineer can work remotely or must work in Washington. If working in Seattle is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.
When you are looking to source the best quality candidates for your open positions, make sure you have done the legwork to hire an "A Player". You can do this by making sure your company's perspective is aligned with the current market, you have taken into account the job responsibilities, as well as what type of characteristics you are looking for to fit your company culture. Then proceed to write a job posting to attract high-quality candidates.
Becoming a finance director requires years of preparation in terms of acquiring the necessary skills, honing these skills to mastery level in progressively responsible jobs, and demonstrating leadership and people skills at all times. In today’s fast-paced business environment, the role of the finance director requires skills in many different areas, so sourcing and hiring the right person to fill this role can ensure the financial side of your business is well managed.
You wrote a job posting, posted the position online, and received a lot more resumes than you’d bargained for! Next comes the enormous task of sorting through those resumes to eliminate the ones that are clearly not a good fit. Now, you have a stack of resumes for candidates who have potential. So how do you go about screening the remaining candidates?
It starts on the phone! As a recruiter, the goal of your telephone screening is to learn more about your candidates. You can confirm that they have the educational qualifications and relevant experience, but you also need to determine if they would fit into your company's culture. To make this job easier, use a system to consistently evaluate results. This way you can equally and objectively compare candidates and evaluate their "soft skills", like communication and thinking process. Download Amtec's Professional Assessment Questionnaire below to help with screening candidates.
An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.
At Amtec, we believe in the power of behavoral interview questions to go beyond the experience and skills listed on the candidate's resume. Although you will want to confirm in the interview that the candidate does indeed have the experience listed on their resume, your assessment needs to go much deeper than that. An interview using behavioral questions can help you determine how well the candidate will fit with your company culture.
Download Amtec's best practices on conducting super effective interviews to find the best candidates and fill your open jobs.
Get the info you need to hire the best finance directorsFree Interview Guide