Are you paying enough attention to treasury?
Recruiting in treasury is not just about getting the top of the class or people with great accounting skills. It is about making sure you get people who really fit the team and the (digital) tools you are working with. But if you take your time and really focus on the ins and outs of treasury, you can definitely hire the best and build a solid team that can help your organisation move forward. Francois Masquelier is Chair of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers and is happy to share his thoughts on the subject.
Why you should pay attention to treasurers
"Many treasurers continue to hire treasurers when they should be looking for other skills and more diversity in profile and culture," says Masquelier. The days when recruiters simply copied the profile of the current treasurer are definitely over. Like the rest of the world, treasury is being transformed by rapid changes in IT and compliance. "However, given the technical, IT, legal, regulatory and tax complexities, hiring better is a sure way to get the job done more efficiently and be less dependent on external resources".
But how do you get the right people in times like these, when it is harder than ever to find a treasurer? A focus on recruitment is necessary, says Masquelier, but there are different solutions that can help companies in the short and long term:
"The alternatives to recruitment are, of course, automation, which is always virtuous, the use of independent experts (more expensive but more timely) or outsourcing (which is coming back into fashion for certain tasks). The solution may lie in moderate and proportionate use of all three. Depending on the size of the treasury department, the teams may include lawyers, IT specialists or programmers. Treasury sometimes has its own internalised IT department, as it remains the largest consumer of IT solutions within finance. This has become best practice in treasury.”
Treasury is at the heart of your business processes and strategies. Failing to keep up with all the big changes and not recruiting the right people can mean stagnation in your business growth. So it’s definitely not a luxury to put your focus on treasury.
Working from home is a must, but there's more and develop your own
Getting the right people to work for you also means facilitating their needs as much as possible. And this is not just important for recruitment; it can also contribute to the 'social' pillar of your ESG strategy.
One of the most important conditions treasurers are looking for these days is remote working, according to Masquellier: "Working from home is becoming such a requirement that no one can successfully recruit in treasury without offering at least some time to work from home." Hiring organisations need to be prepared to offer the option of working from home, and make sure their IT and other facilities are up-to-date to allow this.
But working from home is not the only way to attract the best people to the treasury profession. It also requires a lot of communication about what the job actually involves. According to Masquellier, hiring companies need to share more information about the incredible evolution of the profession: “Its scope, diversity, importance and the areas involved, such as cryptocurrencies, M&A transactions, are often underrated.”
But also the different skills that are needed to deal with matters like private equity, IT coding, IPOs, rating agencies and the search for initial ratings. And companies shouldn't forget about the ESG aspect. This has become an unavoidable element for young people who want to work for ‘more responsible’ and, above all, ‘more virtuous’ companies.”
Gone are the days when treasury was only for people who liked to spend all day looking at Excel spreadsheets. So show what the job has to offer and how you are enabling your treasurers to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
CFO Sponsorship for a high-quality digital transformation
There is one more important topic that really attracts young treasury candidates, according to Masquelier: high-quality digital transformation. “They must know that they can use and develop the latest technology.”
According to recent treasury surveys, automation is increasingly playing a key role in digital transformation plans across all organisations. These plans have accelerated as leaders plan treasury roadmaps for post-pandemic recovery. However, preparing for digital transformation is not an easy journey. There are many factors to consider when contemplating a large-scale digital transformation of the treasury function to ensure business continuity and resilience.
“Success comes from strong CFO sponsorship, mindset, ability to move beyond silos and a culture of efficiency, and stronger internal controls.,” says Masquelier. “Digital transformation of finance has become a priority for every CFO. They see a high potential to free the finance department from outdated and historical manual processes. In particular, it can allow finance and treasury to have more time and control, two crucial elements. As the person in charge, the CFO has to combine several areas of expertise, such as, of course, finance, strategy, analytics, compliance, governance and automation. CFOs need to be ready and prepare their teams for change. These modernisation activities and projects must be carried out with the aim of being able to scale while at the same time ensuring repeatable, reliable, dependable and accurate processes.”
As we know, treasury is the most important department in this huge transformation of the financial organisation. So CFOs must focus on treasury to offer the best chances for young talents, and at the same time, help their companies to grow in often challenging circumstances.
More in-depth insights into Treasury career development?
Would you like to know everything about the career developments for treasurers? We have interviewed more experts in the field next to talented Treasury professionals. You can read all about their opinions and insights into the current market and the future of Treasury in the report 'Hidden Gems, The Subtle Art of Finding Your Next Treasurer."