Thursday, April 09, 2009

Advice For Senior Financial Officers

The economic downturn has been hard even for senior financial officers who've kept their jobs. Personnel decisions are often at the root of their concerns. Many of them have prescribed layoffs and other cost-cutting measures with direct impact on employees. In some cases, they've eliminated jobs of long-time colleagues and friends, says executive coach and career strategist Pam Hedges of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based Hedges & Associates. "They're biggest stress is making the numbers work," says Hedges, who also runs a networking group for women executives. "They're stressed out about how far down they are going to have to go to make these job cuts." Hedges says that dosing out bad news requires different skills than in down times and creative ways of approaching problems tied to the recession. Among her suggestions, she recommends a direct approach to communication. When telling someone that they're laid off, "the shorter the better," Hedges says. "She also urges financial executives to speak with CFOs and officers at other organizations who may be facing similar situations. Hedges' networking group, which costs $3000 to join for a year, has recently been focusing more on workforce management issues. Indeed, an upcoming meeting will feature a senior recruiter discussing job skills and hiring trends for senior executives.

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