NEXT IN LINE?
Survey: Most CFOs Don't Have Successor Picked Out; Lack of Time and Qualified Candidates Cited as Top Reasons
MENLO PARK, Calif., June 13, 2013 -- If a firm's top financial executive suddenly left the company or had to resign, most organizations would not be prepared to deal with the aftereffects, new research suggests. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey, nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) said they have not identified a successor for their position.
Many respondents (61 percent) said they have yet to identify a successor because they are not planning to leave their firm in the near future. This is down 20 percentage points from a 2010 survey. For an increasing number of financial executives, other issues are hindering their efforts: 19 percent of CFOs reported being too busy focusing on other concerns, and 14 percent cited a lack of qualified internal candidates.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 2,100 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
CFOs were asked, "Have you identified a successor for your position?" Their responses:
CFOs who have not identified their successor were asked, "Which one of the following most accurately describes your reason for not identifying your successor?" Their responses:
|Not planning on leaving in the near future||61%||81%|
|Too busy focusing on other concerns||19%||6%|
|No qualified candidates currently working at your organization||14%||7%|
|Not a priority as you would no longer be with the company||5%||4%|
|Don't know/no answer||1%||1%|
"Succession planning is a critical business process that should be implemented throughout the organization," said Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. "Even if there is no immediate need to fill a position, identifying future executive talent helps companies prepare for the unexpected, develop a pipeline of strong leaders and build a more capable staff.
"The process starts with recruiting and identifying the right personnel with desired leadership qualities," added McDonald. "Employers should provide professional development opportunities and hands-on experience to ensure the next person in line for a key role is ready for a smooth transition."
About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has locations worldwide and offers assistance to hiring managers at roberthalfmr.com.