When asked to rank the most important quality in management-level candidates, CFOs listed interpersonal skills ahead of experience and knowledge.
RHI Management Resources, a consulting firm providing accounting and finance professionals on a project basis, wanted to know what executives looked for when hiring senior-level employees. An independent research firm polled 270 CFOs from a random sample of companies with 20 or more employees.
The survey participants responded as follows when asked what single factor weighed most heavily in their decision to hire a management-level job candidate:
Interpersonal skills – 28%
Years of experience – 25%
Industry experience – 18%
Proven accomplishments – 14%
Technical knowledge – 12%
Other/don’t know – 3%
RHI Management Resources believes the emphasis on interpersonal skills results from the fact that today’s managers must interact with a number of departments within their organizations. Consequently, they must be able to communicate well and relate to both colleagues and senior executives.