At first glance, you might think that a CFO and HR leader are an unlikely pair. The match shouldn’t be overlooked, though. By working together, this surprising team can manage their talent at optimal levels and greater understand the needs of their fast-growing company. CFOs and HR who collaborate on talent management are known to effectively improve recruitment and hiring processes, company culture, and overall employee retention rates. 

How? By… 

Making data-driven decisions

Data analysis performed by one department can lead to great insights, but two departments sharing their insights with one another is a force to be reckoned with. CFOs can help HR enhance their people strategies by offering key insights that emphasize business priorities central to the finance department. These metrics often include payroll headcount, operating cash flow, and inventory turnover. By gauging assets and sales insights, the CFO can show HR where the company is struggling in operations, allowing HR to tend to individuals who may be responsible and performing poorly, in an attempt to help boost their productivity. 

Talent management can be better practiced when HR provides the CFO with their own metrics, as well. These typically include performance evaluations and employee satisfaction rates, allowing finance to determine where productivity has either contributed to or hurt the company’s operations success within a given period of time. 

Together, HR and the CFO can adjust their people strategies and shape new metrics in order to make better training and talent acquisition decisions, based on what worked in the past and what onboarding techniques molded new hires properly, which contributed to a positive increase in performance results. The goal is to use such business and culture metrics together, to meet the needs of your people who have a direct impact on company finances and success. 

Creating a custom culture

Building a positive company culture can be challenging. HR departments need to consider all of the aspects that go into a thriving culture: learning and development, company benefits, and any other perk or “extra” that falls outside the realm of a salary or monetary gain. All of these cultural aspects cost money, but they’re also the key to keeping your people happy while building a brand reputation that stands out amongst competitors. 

CFOs and HR need to be aligned on both company and department budgets and decide what can be afforded or which ongoing services and perks could be made available to their people. Creating a long-term plan that allocates funds towards cultural aspects will increase the chances that your people are pleased with the culture they belong to, improving employer branding and public perception of your company along the way. A great company culture – that can be afforded – will meet the expectations of your people based on the stage of your startup and draw in potential hires who are interested in what that culture has to offer. 

Advocating for employee growth

It’s no secret that HR roots for their people, continuously advocating for their professional and personal growth. A healthy working relationship with your CFO can come in handy here because… CFOs can also advocate for employee development at the executive table. In doing so, CFOs and HR leaders can better retain their people using resources that keep employees learning and gaining new skillsets. 

A core function of your company’s HR team is professionally developing your people and establish a foundation for continual learning, but without the CFO’s guidance and support, approved and encouraged by the rest of the executive table, the effort falls flat. HR needs certain resources and the acquisition of tools to be approved by higher management, and CFO can speak for the return on investment these resources are capable of. Improving retention rates are the likely outcome of such efforts from the CFO and HR combined. Together, they can account for the promotion of knowledge and development for their people as a united force. 

HR and the CFO – as well as the rest of the finance department – have the opportunity to build their connection by sharing valuable insights, aligning on budgets, and paving a path for optimal employee growth. By teaming up and taking into consideration that money plays a part in all things culture and people, HR and CFOs everywhere can create a stress-free workplace filled with perks and confident decision making, all backed by higher management and approved of by their people.


From Stephanie Stevens

Stephanie is Content Marketer at Hibob. She has a background in Clinical Psychology and Crisis Management, and enjoys abstract painting and watching horror films in her spare time. She believes that people can connect with themselves, their peers, and the world around them through creative writing, helping them foster a deeper sense of self and their life goals in the process.