The increased demand for skilled financial professionals has resulted in a limited talent pool for many positions, including financial analysts. What should you consider when searching for an experienced financial analyst? Answer these three questions to help identify skilled candidates.

1. What skills does your organization require?

Financial analysts help boost profits and organizational efficiency, control costs, and maximize the value of information systems by first reviewing trends in past and current data, then making calculated recommendations on potential investments as well as other business considerations. A financial analyst must have the background and business acumen to recognize your firm's best interests, in addition to outstanding critical thinking skills, attention to detail and decision-making abilities.

2. Which skills and certifications sweeten the pot?

Any financial analyst must be able to use relevant data to anticipate your company's future. But what makes top performers stand out from the pack? A financial analyst today should be IT-savvy and able to confab with your tech team regarding issues such as financial systems. You’ll also want to find someone with knowledge about industry concerns such as globalization and compliance.

Advanced degrees and certifications are another plus. Companies commonly prefer candidates who have an MBA or a credential such as the certified public accountant (CPA) or chartered financial analyst (CFA).

In addition to great credentials, your top candidate should have superb soft skills. Strong verbal and written communication skills are a must: Financial analysts need to make clear and effective recommendations and easily collaborate with other organizational teams.

3. What does a competitive financial analyst salary look like?

Data from the Robert Half Salary Guide for Finance and Accounting Professionals indicates this is one of the most in-demand positions. Below are the projected 2015 national average starting salary ranges for financial analysts:

  • Large companies (more than $250 million in sales)
    Manager: $94,750-$129,750
    Senior: $77,750-$100,750

  • Midsize companies ($25 million to $250 million in sales)
    Manager: $83,500-$112,500
    Senior: $70,000-$91,750

  • Small companies (less than $25 million in sales)
    Manager: $73,500-$94,500
    Senior: $60,000-$79,500

Selecting a candidate with the talent and experience to identify opportunities for the organization’s growth is a benefit to everyone on your team. Recognizing and compensating an outstanding financial analyst will set up your organization for success.

Get the latest Salary Guide compensation data now.