Sleepless in the C-Suite

January 19, 2017

Survey: Poor Performance and Finding the Right Talent Keeping Canadian CFOs Up at Night

Toronto, ON — What issues are Canadian CFOs losing sleep over? New research from Robert Half Finance & Accounting shows the biggest work challenges for CFOs are anxieties around their own performance on the job and the pressure to find and hire good employees.

CFOs were asked: “Which single work challenge, if any, most often keeps you up at night?” Their responses*:

Poor performance on the job


Finding and hiring the right talent for open jobs


Conflict with coworkers or supervisors


An unhappy customer who threatens to take away business




Don’t know/no answer




*Total does not equal 100 per cent due to rounding.

“Being in charge of the financial well-being of a company is, on its own, a big responsibility,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “With expectations continuously mounting as the role of the CFO evolves, it can become increasingly difficult to leave work at the office.”

“The key to mitigating sleepless nights as a CFO is in having confidence that projects at work are taken care of, which starts with good business practices and establishing a strong support system of talented professionals,” added Scileppi. “With a carefully designed and strong team, executives can ensure that initiatives are running smoothly, freeing them up to focus on new opportunities for business growth and success.”

Robert Half Finance & Accounting offers five tips for CFOs to mitigate work challenges and rest easier: 

  1. Address issues as they arise. Workplace conflicts only get worse when ignored and avoided.
  2. Set goals and timelines. Make the results you need to see from your staff clear, with deadlines and expected outcomes.
  3. Recognize your team. Different people respond to varied motivational techniques, but everyone likes to hear when they’re doing a good job. Don’t hold back on genuine praise.
  4. Evaluate your hiring strategy. In addition to having the necessary skill sets and fitting in with the corporate culture, great employees share a few qualities, including a can-do attitude, right-sized ego and sense of humour. Periodically refresh your recruiting plan to ensure you’re attracting the right people.
  5. Drive employee acquisition and retention. Finding skilled professionals when you need them can be stressful. But if you nurture a talent pipeline year-round, you’ll be better equipped for the future.

About the Research

The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Robert Half Finance & Accounting

Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half, is the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. The company has more than 325 locations worldwide and offers job search and management tools at For career and management advice, follow our blog at Follow Robert Half on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.