There is a great deal of talk about the Great Resignation which was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is more the great re-think or the great re-awakening! The lockdown was an opportunity for most to rethink and re-prioritise work-life balance. I was part of the great resignation, changing roles twice last year, including leaving a role I had for only a few weeks before moving to GXO. It was then and still is an employee-centred job market.
My first task at GXO was to set up a new treasury team based in Europe. I have filled most of the open positions and have two open roles left. One of the two open roles was filled last year, and the individual has since decided to move on. Testimony to a very active job market. While we speak to the impacts of the lockdown and the Great Resignation, treasury is fast evolving as a profession, and role requirements are changing.
As the treasury profession disentangles from pure operational treasury and transforms to a centre of excellence, we are looking beyond technical abilities in FX and cash management and expanding skills requirements to include data analysis and data science. I am looking for individuals that can think outside the box and help us use technology to elevate our treasury to world class. Individuals that are passionate about the application of AI, machine learning and robotics. To compound the recruitment challenges, fintechs are also in the same job market seeking these ‘tech-savvy’ talents.
So, the question is: how can we be attractive to the talents out there and retain them when hired?
Pre-pandemic recruitment process needs to be tweaked to attract the highly sought after ‘new wave talents’.
Organisations need to think creatively about pay packages that combine good market base rate and benefits, career growth opportunities and flexible working arrangements. ESG performance and reporting is also a recurring topic with applicants.
How do we achieve getting talents through the door? A close working partnership with good quality recruitment agencies that offer bespoke services is vital. This is no longer a one-size-fits-all-DIY-job advert job market. It is important to work together with reputable recruitment agencies in developing relevant job descriptions that will appeal to the modern-day applicants out there in the job market.
Talent secured, tick.
What next? Retain hired talent.
There is a list of considerations here – organisations need to adopt the human approach; it is foremost about people, mental health and wellbeing. Review work culture, train managers in how to maintain high team engagement and be aware of staff burnout; improve and promote a healthy work-life balance.
The lockdown has shown us that remote working is possible, and it is top of the list of applicants’ requests. At GXO, I recently interviewed a brilliant lady who demanded that full-time remote working be written into her contract. While we offer flexible working arrangements, I couldn’t commit the company to such a contract because circumstances change. Though the elements of the role appealed to the lady, and she was keen to join the team, 100% remote working was her top priority, so she gave up the offer. The lady accepted another role the next day at another organisation that offered her 100% remote working.
Managing a remote team comes with its challenges especially given the importance of retaining and keeping staff engaged. It is now more important than ever to ensure that managers are trained and equipped with the right tools to successfully manage remote teams.
At GXO, career development is very important to our executives; our Group Treasurer takes a keen interest in team members’ individual development plan. Once people know their employer is appreciative of enhanced knowledge, there is a high chance that they will stay motivated and engaged.
Recruitment is made more complicated with wage inflation, pay is all over the place. It’s challenging to benchmark talent and near impossible to assess upfront if the successful applicant has the right skills. Recruitment is expensive in fees and time, hence the importance of engaging good quality and experienced recruitment agencies in the field.
In my opinion, pay levels will eventually adjust but remote working is here to stay, and leaders need to embrace it.