Interim Finance Director

Client profile

  • Client: Steve Potter 
  • Job title: Interim Finance Director (“FD”) 
  • Client aim: Recruit a permanent FD to replace himself in two businesses  

Background

Steve is an experienced interim FD and is in the unique position of having worked with Artemis Clarke as a candidate and as a client. Initially, our founder Kate contacted Steve as she was looking to build a database of good quality interim FDs. Steve took Artemis Clarke’s unique candidate assessment and when a role matching his skills became available, was put forward and offered an interim FD role with a transport company. 

While in the position of interim FD, Steve decided to come back to Artemis Clarke, this time as a client. Artemis Clarke helped him recruit his permanent replacement. When Steve found himself in his next interim position, he became a client once again. The brief was as before: find a high-quality permanent FD to replace himself. On each occasion, Artemis Clarke was ideally placed to help. The time spent getting to know one another paid off, as the familiarity gave a sense of mutual confidence that ended in great results.  

We talked to Steve about his experiences of working with Artemis Clarke. Here’s what he had to say.  

The challenge: recruiting excellent director-level finance professionals to replace interim FD

Which problems were you looking to solve by working with Artemis Clarke? 

“I went into the transport business as interim FD as the previous head of finance had left. I was there to tide the business over and then a permanent person would be recruited to take my role. 

“I needed to find someone quickly – who fitted the role very well. Given that I know Artemis Clarke’s assessment having been through it myself, I know the vetting process candidates are going through. I know what marks I’d expect someone to get – the cut off between a good candidate or not.”  

What is your experience of working with recruiters to place finance candidates?  

“There are two or three recruiters that I value highly and Artemis Clarke is one of them: listening, having an appreciation of the type of personality that you might need, and a two-sided understanding – from both candidate and client perspectives.  

“All of the good recruiters will give you a shortlist rather than bombard you with CVs – and that’s exactly what Artemis Clarke provided. A good recruiter will filter the right type of shortlist for you. Independent recruitment businesses are better in my experience. I prefer to work with a recruiter like Artemis Clarke over the larger ones that deliver ‘conveyer belt recruitment’.”  

The business impact of working with a specialist finance recruiter

What did you like about what Artemis Clarke could provide? 

“The vetting process, the speed of service, and the quality of the candidates that get put forward. It saves having to go through a whole load of CVs. With Artemis Clarke you get the CVs that are appropriate. One of the standout features of working with a specialist is that you tend to get a good quality set of candidates, and usually more than one good candidate that could do the job. This has happened both times I’ve worked with Artemis Clarke as a client.” 

What does Artemis Clarke do differently to other recruiters?  

“One of the things that appeals is their vetting process. It’s very good. The other thing is that you get a sense that there’s a real understanding of what’s required, not only in terms of the skills, but the type of person required. 

“I’m now in a different company as an interim FD and again recruiting to replace myself with someone permanent. I explained that the business is quite complex and needs a very thorough type of accountant. Kate offered to do a second bespoke test for us and asked me to go through it as well to get a sense of what it means when I see the results from candidates. This test really helped to assess the candidates very well.  

“There is real flexibility in the service Artemis Clarke provides. It’s great. I know they are not the cheapest, but you get good service so I’m happy to pay for this.” 

Recruiting for the big picture, not just the finance skills

Did you achieve the results you wanted? 

“Yes on both occasions.  

Were there any unexpected benefits of working with Artemis Clarke? 

“The offering of the extra test showed some useful insights. they give feedback on the test results too, so I’m equipped with the knowledge of what is a good candidate even before interview. The candidate quality and the tests do seem to go hand in hand, the quality of the tests themselves seem to weed out the right candidates.” 

What did Artemis Clarke do that was particularly helpful?  

“You feel like you’ve been listened to. I really value dealing with someone who’s an experienced accountant. Kate can relate very quickly to what you need, what’s important and it makes it quicker to explain the requirements of the role and how it fits within the business. 

“I think getting to know me as a client and taking time to understand the business is key. Recruiting for a key role like an FD isn’t easy and finding the right personality makes a big difference.” 

Artemis Clarke’s take on recruiting interim and permanent FDs…

Relationships are key to successful recruiting  

We’re thrilled to have such a positive relationship with Steve. The work that we have done together exemplifies everything that is positive about recruitment. And it comes down to one word: relationships. The fact that Steve has been both a candidate and a client underlines the importance of relationships. 

Effective recruitment is about building relationships with people, not focusing solely on the job specification. To find the best candidates, a recruiter has to develop a good relationship with their client. It’s about getting under the skin of the business. And to place the best person, recruiters must take the time to build a relationship with their candidates. By understanding their individual strengths, skills and personalities, the recruiter can put forward candidates in good faith. We only supply candidates we would feel comfortable interviewing if we were recruiting for that role in-house.  

Find the right finance professional for your business

If you’re recruiting an FD for your business – interim or permanent – the responsibility is a big one. This person will be helping to steer the ship, taking high-level business decisions and overseeing the financial aspects of the business. It’s down to you to make the decision; however, working with a professional can help put your mind at ease. We were struck by a comment made by the MD of the business Steve most recently recruited for: 

“…our detailed briefing was understood and underpinned the entire selection process. The screening and selection process effectively checked ability, approach and attitude rather than simply rely on the written CV. The final candidate shortlist was of a high standard; all demonstrated a good technical fit for the role, giving us confidence to select on personal fit with the team and with a view to both current and longer-term plans.”

Mark Perkins, Aquamain

If you’re in need of recruitment support rather than a pile of CVs, speak to Artemis Clarke on 0117 244 1891. We’ll guide you through the process and ensure that you only see the candidates most suited to the role.