The Importance of a Healthcare Chief Financial Officer

A Healthcare Chief Financial Officer is one of the most important roles of an organization. They are responsible for the organization’s financial health, an aspect of the business that can and will affect every department, every employee, and every patient.

As such, it is imperative to place the right CFO the first time. Throughout our years working to assist healthcare organizations, be they for-profit, not-for-profit, academic, governmental, or faith-based, we have learned that it takes more than financial acuity to be an effective CFO. If you are looking to place the right talent into a vacant CFO position, these are some of the things you need to look into.

The Importance of Hiring the Right Healthcare Chief Financial Officer

The role of the CFO is only becoming more complex, there are new types of challenges financial leaders face every day. Oftentimes, CFOs are considered to be strategic operating partners to the CEO. Because of this change, CFOs need to have a full grasp of operations.

As part of their role to achieve financial solvency, healthcare CFOs must work with all other types of leadership from supply chain, facilities, to compliance in order to help them achieve their goals while keeping the budget in check. In order to bring about these results, the CFO must use modeling and analysis to come up with actionable items that are driven by and measurable by data.

Because the CFO is accountable for business growth and profits, he or she must be both a source of trusted advice while at the same time forecasting issues that could lead to negative effects on the bottom line. This means sometimes stepping out from behind his or her traditional role to affect changes in IT, service line, and other aspects of operations.

The Chief Financial Officer you choose for your organization must be able to devise a fully fleshed out plan that reduces costs and streamlines operations. This requires creativity and resourcefulness in creating outsourcing models or coming up with plans for shared service models.

Besides lowering costs, the CFO must work on the other side of the equation. A strong healthcare financial leader should be able to both reduce expenses while identifying and helping to put into place new revenue streams.

CFOs must consider the impact of the tax system, employee healthcare, and utility costs. Their role has become that of an overseer not only of the organization’s finances but also current and incoming talent. By working with leaders to reduce talent turnover through engagement, mentoring, and even financial assistance programs, the CFO can have a direct impact on the bottom line. By participating in this aspect of talent management, the CFO can make sure that leaders in all other departments are also keeping the organization’s financial health in mind.

Outside of the skills mentioned above, a strong healthcare CFO needs to think on his or her toes, needs to be strategic and shrewd. He or she needs to have strong communication skills in order to develop close-knit working relationships that will ease collaboration across disciplines. The goal should be to bring in CFO who can come in and enact change, and grow into an even stronger COO or CEO.

Today’s CFO must also consider cybersecurity as an important aspect of financial stability. He or she must collaborate with the CEO, CFO, and CIO as well as the healthcare organization’s information technology leadership to set up programs to achieve cybersecurity. In this scenario, the CFO needs to work to allocate the budget for the tools and personnel needed to assess technology risks, forecast potential issues, and include a plan for cybersecurity into the business strategy. This should also include a public relations and social media strategy should there be a cybersecurity breach.

In Conclusion

Finding the right Healthcare Chief Financial Officer for your hospital or healthcare organization may not be easy. The talent that is chosen to become your new CFO should have a solid reputation for success. He or she should be level-headed, smart, and innovative. He or she needs to be able to collaborate with and lead other members of the organization.

If you are looking to place the right talent into a vacant Healthcare Chief Financial Officer position, consider working with a healthcare executive search firm such as Summit Talent Group. Boutique executive recruiters work in a drastically different way than your standard healthcare recruiters.

For example, at Summit Talent Group, our focus is on building trust and long-term relationships with our clients. When we engage in a search, our team of healthcare executive recruiters begins by getting to know your organization inside and out.

Once we have a full grasp of your mission, your culture, your team, your strengths, and weaknesses, we begin to identify the right talent for the position. This means we go beyond certifications and CVs. Our team works to identify the people who are a match in talent, culture, and who are truly ready to commit to your mission.

If you would like to speak with a member of our team to learn about us and how we can assist with your placement needs, contact us.

We look forward to speaking with you.