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There are still new treasury jobs, even in pandemic times, but inactivity doesn’t work

Need for corporate treasury is stronger, even in lockdowns. But to prosper corporate treasury departments must be smarter at catching the gems, and corporate treasury professionals at being caught. We spoke with the team at The Treasury Recruitment Company and others to get their thoughts.

The key question

The key question everyone is asking – TTRC say they are being asked daily: “Are there any treasury roles out there at the moment?”

The answer coming back from the market, in many ways, is: “Yes, but……..” The explanations vary, but there are some common themes emerging.

LockDown timing

The lockdown, in various forms worldwide, has come at a time when, historically the market would be at its peak, post-summer, with a candidate-led movement rather than coming from companies. But not now, as the market has changed dramatically.

Mike Richards at TTRC explains how LockDown is affecting recruitment:

  • “Usually over the summer, candidates reflect when they are on the beach or by the pool and decide that they finally need to make a move. This is often after they have spent a certain number of years in a role or with a company, or they do it simply for their own self-development
  • As we go into it this time, we have seen a downward spiral of vacancies and this has only been enhanced by the recent lockdowns in several countries around the world where recruitment now takes a lesser priority than perhaps it did before, so any recruitment processes and decisions have been significantly slowed down.”

Progress in LockDowns

Reports from TTRC and other recruitment agencies show a struggling market which thankfully is starting to recover. Important analysis and recommendations from TTRC are:

Simon Adams – Head of UK Practice, TTRC:

  • “In Lockdown 1, we continued to successfully recruit clients. However, found they needed to adapt to remote inductions of new starters
  • In Lockdown 2, whilst the market remains relatively buoyant it has clearly slowed down. Roles, processes and decisions are being paused until the new year and individuals are now remaining in their roles until this ‘Unwanted Sequel’ passes
  • Going into Lockdown 2, we have seen more interim roles coming to market as opposed to permanent, which we predicted during this challenging climate
  • The UK market remains a candidate-driven one due to several industries being hit hard by COVID-19
  • Our advice for you is to sit tight whilst we ride through this lockdown; it’s important to ensure your social media presence is strong and your CV and profile are up to date.”

Katie Hardie – Head of European Practice TTRC, explained:

  • “In lockdown 1, we saw roles continuing through the process and new roles coming through. We concluded that this could be due to the virus spreading at different rates across the continent, with different countries being locked down at different times.

  • Lockdown 2, we continue to recruit across Europe however the process is a lot slower, as companies are placing recruitment of roles a lot lower on the priorities and are looking at whether they can spread the responsibilities across the teams for a couple of months.”

Mike Richards, TTRC’s Founder & CEO, on the USA and Rest of the World, commented:

  • “The US has taken a different approach to the pandemic by letting individual states to decide their approach, although there has been a distinct shift to Working from Home

  • We have seen a far more rapid recovery of the US treasury market BUT there has been increased pressure to use internal resources i.e. HR teams / internal recruiters to recruit positions

  • Whilst this surge of specialist treasury LinkedIn advertised vacancies is welcomed by many in what has been a quiet market, the danger of this ‘let us see who is looking’ approach means clients are only targeting a very small portion of the candidate pool*”

  • Everyone else has carried on as normal! OK well not quite but we have carried on recruiting for one of our key clients, SABIC recruiting for them in both Saudi Arabia and in Europe

  • Other clients are now reviewing activity with a renewed push to recruit as soon as 2021 kicks off.

  • Treasury market in 2021 and beyond

Amongst all the doom and gloom predictions, TTRC is more optimistic predicting that:

  • As we come out of Lockdown 2, many recruitment plans will be paused, often until January 2021
  • treasury professionals will be in high demand, especially relative to other finance professionals, as CFOs are increasingly reliant on corporate treasurers.

Corporate treasury job dynamics have not changed

TTRC believe that the dynamics of the corporate treasury job market have not changed. They are still:

  1. For the corporate treasury professional to get a good job, they need to:
    1. Assess their current skillsets
    2. Define their career aims, goals and target compensation packages
    3. Improve your CVs / resumés
    4. Develop their social media profiles – specifically LinkedIn
    5. Brush up on your interview skills and create their own job search strategies.
  2. To find the right staff, corporate treasury departments need:
    1. Define their value proposition
    2. Define the critical job skills
    3. Identify their target audience
    4. Write an engaging job description
    5. Always pre-screen the candidates
    6. Structure is key
    7. Be flexible
    8. Communicate with clarity
    9. Engagement is key
    10. Measure results.

Preparing for the re-opening of the treasury recruitment market

Several recruitment companies have been helping to prepare their clients for the re-opening of the market. For example, TTRC:

  • in summer 2020 TTRC launched:
    • their successful “Bounce back” Programme, which was a six weeks course on how best to self-market themselves to drive their career forward
    • a variety of video advice tutorials targeting their clients explaining how they should be recruiting in 2020
  • on 10 December 2020 at 5 p.m. UK time, Mike Richards and Ernie Humphrey from Treasury Webinars are co-hosting a free webinar, “Building & Leveraging Your Professional Brand to Own Your Career”. Registration link:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5577579906546039310?source=TreasuryRecruitment

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CTMfile take: Life goes on (for most of us), even in a pandemic, and corporate treasury has become even more vital. But to survive and thrive in the new corporate treasury market, corporate treasury professionals need to actively look after themselves and their corporate treasury department recruitment. Not being pro-active is not useful. Following this advice and signing up for this webinar would be a good place to start.

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