20 May 2021
SOCAN Appoints Chief Financial Officer: “Exceeds Expectations” in Short Timeframe
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"We had a fully functioning, topnotch CFO in a few months” shared Mike King, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)’s Chief Administration Officer. “Our CFO search was absolutely successful. And I measure success in the fact that Odgers understood our needs”.
SOCAN had been seeking a CFO to help navigate expansion challenges and set a clear course for the future. As the number one intellectual property management company in Canada, it was seeking candidates who were well-versed in highly regulated environments, with mergers/ acquisitions experience and a CPA designation.
While SOCAN considered other search firms, they ultimately turned to Odgers Berndtson based on their confidence in our ability to recruit a diverse slate of candidates. In July 2020, our firm was contracted to conduct the CFO search and worked with the SOCAN team to develop a thorough understanding of the role.
The CFO reports directly to the CEO and oversees a large finance department with three directors, each with their own teams (accounting operations, financial reporting, and corporate finance). The workplace culture is high-performing and collaborative, so a CFO with an autocratic leadership style wouldn’t have been a good fit.
The Odgers Berndtson team — led by Anthony Batchelor and Ross Woledge — conducted a thorough search, leveraging our Six-point Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment Methodology to direct our outreach, ensuring a varied selection of candidates. From developing the right job posting to creating a well-balanced shortlist and making a final decision, the Six-point Methodology encourages an unbiased recruiting process for diverse hires and a welcoming reception in the workplace.
"Our CFO search was absolutely successful. And I measure success in the fact that Odgers Berndtson was very deliberate about understanding our needs and ultimately delivered a candidate that aligned." Mike King, Chief Administration Officer, SOCAN
Our process resulted in a list of 12 candidates, which we narrowed down to a shortlist of five to be interviewed by the client. SOCAN was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the candidates they met, as well as the concise, one-page candidate reports summarizing the pros, cons, and areas for further discussion.
In less than three months, the Search Committee had selected Rob Bennett as the new CFO of SOCAN. Rob stood out from shortlisted candidates; his banking background meant he was well-versed in operating in highly regulated environments. Astute and professional, Rob’s ability to articulate financial concepts created an instant connection with the SOCAN team.
Rob shared that the Odgers Berndtson team coached him through the recruiting process with empathy, respect, and professionalism. “After each stage of the interview process, there was a feedback touchpoint with Anthony and Ross, where they shared a really clear sense of what my prospective employer was looking for. I’d receive feedback like ‘Rob, you did a great job emphasizing that, and they’re going to want a bit more on this component.’ They knew I was making a big decision around my next career step, and I received outstanding coaching”.
When asked how to advise other executives on working with recruiters to progress their career, Rob shared the following advice: “At later stages in our careers, we can get set in our ways, but we are never too old for coaching. You have to have an open mind, a humble attitude, and kick up your own empathy factor. Try to understand where prospective employers are coming from and that the recruiter is coaching you to help address their needs”.
Ninety days after joining the organization, Mike King said that it feels like their new CFO has been at the organization for three years, not three months. Rob hit the ground running, managing the sale of one company, closing down another, and overseeing year-end financials.
Overall, SOCAN was impressed with the thoroughness and efficiency of the search, the quality of candidates, and the structured process run by Odgers Berndtson. As Mike shared, “the Odgers Berndtson team was speedy and responsive. We had a fully functioning top-notch CFO in a few months — a timeframe that exceeded our expectations”.
"Odgers Berndtson knew I was making a big decision around my next career step, and I received outstanding coaching." Rob Bennett, Chief Financial Officer, SOCAN
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