Nine in 10 CFOs are interested in consulting work

12 September 2019 2 min. read
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A survey from HR and recruitment consultancy Robert Half Management Resources has found that senior-level accounting and finance executives (CFOs) consider consulting an attractive career option. Nearly half (47%) of those executives said that consulting was very attractive, with 43% believing the field is somewhat attractive.

"High interest in a consulting career speaks to the opportunities available," said Tim Hird, an executive vice president at Robert Half. "People frequently want to work longer and take on new challenges. Consulting helps professionals accelerate their career growth and continue learning and applying their skills, all while enjoying greater flexibility."   

Variety and challenge is the most appealing aspect of the career, according to 27% of respondents. Compensation and flexible schedules were also high on the list of attractive features, at 21% and 20% respectively. The ability to make autonomous decisions (18%) and active employment (13%) rounded out the list.

The most attractive aspect of a consulting career, according to CFOs

"Companies face a number of staffing challenges today, including talent shortages, lean middle-management teams, and a lack of skills in-house to tackle strategic projects, such as an acquisition or system implementation,” Hird said. “In response, organizations increasingly seek consultants and interim professionals who can provide specialized expertise and ease the burden on core teams."

Robert Half Management Resources also compiled a list of five key traits consultants need. According to that list, consultants must be adaptable, able to comfortably acclimate to new people, process and technologies; able to offer support during times of marked change within organizations; and show drive and enthusiasm, acting as a source of motivation for both staff and stakeholders. Consultants must also possess soft skills that allow them to communicate effectively and efficiently, as they align viewpoints and collaborate. Technical skills on specific, project-dependent subjects are also necessary.

The survey is based on responses from 1,000 CFOs at US companies with 20 or more employees. As a company, Robert Half Management Resources provides senior-level finance, accounting, and business systems professionals, as well as interim staffing, for business projects. The firm operates out of 140 global locations. Its client list includes more than half of the Fortune 100.