From obtaining professional qualifications to considering a sideways step, what should treasury professionals be thinking about to progress their careers – and how should recruiters go about attracting the best talent in 2020?
In recent years, the treasurer’s role has become wider in scope and more closely integrated with the rest of the business. PwC’s 2019 survey, Digital Treasury – It takes two to tango, noted that treasurers are increasingly getting involved in areas which fall beyond the traditional scope of treasury, such as working capital management (84%) and M&A support (56%).
In addition, the survey found that the skills and competencies that are important for treasurers of the future include not only functional knowledge in treasury, but also strategic thinking (99%), business partnering capabilities (84%) and technological affinity (73%).
Against this backdrop, both recruiters and candidates need to consider how the evolving role of treasury professionals may impact treasury recruitment practices. Here are four trends that recruiters and candidates should bear in mind in the coming months:
For one thing, says Mike Richards, Chief Executive of The Treasury Recruitment Company, there’s increasing sensitivity when it comes to recruiting for top treasurer roles, with as much as 50% of such roles now being filled on a confidential basis.
“It’s common for companies to opt for a confidential campaign if the CFO decides to move, as this could affect the share price – but I never thought that could happen with the treasurer,” Richards observes. He attributes this trend to the increasing visibility of treasurers within the organisation, and the greater importance of the work they do.
At the deputy treasurer level, Richards says the market can be somewhat sluggish – meaning that challenges can arise for candidates who are looking to move their careers forward. As Richards points out, there are only 100 treasurer roles in the FTSE 100 – and turnover in such roles tends to be low. “There are lots of qualified deputy treasurers getting ready for the next move, but this can be frustrating if the treasurer isn’t going anywhere,” he says.
For treasury professionals who find themselves in this situation, Richards suggests it can be prudent to look further afield. “Don’t just think about getting the treasurer’s job – look at working in corporate finance, or taking a sideways move to deputy CFO role,” he advises. “That way you can get a wider range of experience, and from there move into a role like business development, country CFO – or, indeed, into a treasurer role.”
For candidates at an earlier point in their career, such as treasury analysts and dealers, Richards emphasises the importance of studying for professional qualifications. “You don’t have to study – but if you choose not to, don’t be surprised if you’re not on the shortlist,” he says. “The market has got a wealth of qualified and part-qualified treasury talent who are studying all the time, whether that’s for AMCT, CTP or an MBA.”
Last but not least, Richards says that for companies looking to recruit the best treasury talent, it’s increasingly important to take a candidate-focused mindset. When writing job adverts, he says companies should consider carefully why candidates would want to join the organisation, and what sort of career development they might be looking for.
“A lot of companies write adverts that are all about them,” Richards observes. “Candidates aren’t so interested these days in whether or not you’ve got a pool table – but they do want to know if they’ll be working until nine o’clock every night, or where their career is going to be in two or three years’ time.”