A review of global recruitment and remuneration trends has revealed that, not only has the wage of the treasurer risen significantly, but the overall treasury recruitment market is finally showing signs of growth.
The results of the Robert Walters 2012 salary survey show pay increases in many roles, including that of the treasury professional. In the UK alone (the survey covers 23 countries), permanent salaries have risen 1.5% and contract pay has increased 3.7%. Lee Slimming, Treasury Consultant at Robert Walters believes that the notable increase, for contract positions in particular, is very telling. “Contract rates have increased dramatically and this reflects the emphasis employers are placing on bringing strong people in on a short-term basis. For these roles, organisations are looking for strong professionals to come in, deliver improvements and drive efficiencies,” she says. Such roles include that of the interim treasurer.
Whatever the requirements of the company – it may have a particular project in mind, such as a system upgrade or implementation – interim treasurers are being hunted, and well paid, to come in for the period it takes to resolve this project or problem. Despite the lucrative contract market though, Slimming warns that this type of role is not suitable for everyone. “If they are a career interim already, then it is a great arena to be in. But if they are in a permanent position and they are considering going on to the contract market, at the moment it is not something that we would recommend. The volume of business favours those who are already career interims,” she says.
Those with aspirations for a more permanent position are also in luck as employers are expanding their teams in order to provide a better support network for their treasury departments. Yet, the majority of vacancies are at junior to middle management level as that tier tends to have more ‘activity’ due to the team make up, according to Slimming. “There is a greater frequency with which these positions come up and less movement at the senior level. We are seeing a certain amount of recruitment replacements and deployment to explain this but what is most exciting is that we are also seeing a certain amount of expansion.”
So the treasury recruitment market is widening but does this mean treasury professionals searching for work will have a greater success rate? Not necessarily, says Slimming as, while there are a lot of people looking, they may not fulfil the criteria their prospective employers have outlined in the job specification. “An accounting background or AMCT (Diploma in Treasury) are very highly regarded – it would be really beneficial for a candidate to have the two. There is also slightly more emphasis on first time exam passers to make sure that the company focus on securing the best talent. That coupled with strong interpersonal and influencing skills can ensure employment success.”
Furthermore, the really exceptional candidates that have been retained by their own companies for years and may not have been looking to move previously are now starting to test the recruitment waters, believes Slimming. “People who may have sat for three years in a certain role without moving are now starting to think that they might need to move companies in order to progress their career. People are a little braver now,” she says.
Nevertheless, companies are beginning to realise that the recruitment process works both ways and that, in this slightly more difficult market, they are obliged to sell their job in terms of what they are offering to candidates. This may also explain the recent salary hike for treasurers – long may it continue!