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  • General Mills
  • MultiChoice group
  • Treasury talent

Tomorrow’s Treasurers today: finding, retaining and retraining staff

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As the role of the treasurer continues to evolve and develop in its complexity, finding and retaining the right people with the right competencies becomes an even bigger challenge.

by Anmol Karwal

Published: April 18th 2023

Employee retention and development are essential to sustain businesses. Treasury departments are not unique to the challenges of retaining staff, but what is unique is that most people who work outside of treasury have no idea of the scope of what happens in a treasury department, and as a result may not have any appreciation for the skill sets of treasury personnel.

In such a scenario, companies are not only missing out on a great pool of talent but treasury personnel are missing out on an opportunity to educate their fellow colleagues. Speaking at the 2022 EuroFinance International Treasury Management, treasurers at processed foods manufacturer: General Mills, global employment platform, Remote and the South Africa based broadcasting company: MultiChoice group discussed their treasury recruiting and retaining strategies. 

Finding your next treasurer: Talent and skills 

It is difficult to find the right talent. Tasks and their scope are fast-changing in a corporate treasury and therefore, resilience to change is one the key factors treasurers assess before hiring a candidate.

“It’s not only about technical skills, which you can learn, but also about soft skills. They are necessary to ensure change resilience.” said Kirsty Craig, European Treasury Lead at General Mills. 

Jan Beukes, group treasurer at MultiChoice group, told delegates that organisational fit and good communication skills are key aspects he looks for in prospective treasury candidates. “For me, the number one rule for hiring is organisational fit and soft skills…I’m always happy to develop other skills gaps if the candidates fulfil these criterions.” Beukes further explained. 

Retaining talent: variety and autonomy 

However, successful recruitment is not where the story ends. In order to retain top performers—and thereby compete in the global market—companies must engage in professional development, such as leadership training as well as providing young talent with the necessary exposure to the world of treasury. 

Treasury executives are increasingly concerned with identifying their top performers, and working to engage, develop and retain them. As a part of MultiChoice group’s retention strategy, it has implemented a rotational structure within its treasury, wherein the senior treasury analysts rotate within functional areas every year while the junior staff rotate every two to three years. 

“Rotational programmes keep treasury staff engaged…If you keep things interesting for people, they tend to stick around for much longer.” Beukes further said. 

Meanwhile, the treasury leadership at the global employment platform, Remote focuses on providing autonomy and independence to treasury staff in order to not only make the task exciting for them but also to scale operations quickly and efficiently. 

“I think it’s important for us to keep it exciting and give folks as much ownership as possible… We don’t want them to only bring solutions, but also grow and train  themselves and further find new and exciting challenges that benefit both the treasury staff and the organisation.” said Pedro Barros, SVP and GM, Contractors, at Remote. 

Recognition 

Treasury employees are exposed to a broad spectrum of responsibilities, in order to further their careers in ways that they probably never expected. Nevertheless, that extra experience is often what keeps them moving forward.

By focusing on skill sets and offering employees a chance to use these skills across divisions and geographical locations, an organisation can retain much more than an employee – it retains their expertise, influence on the organisation, intellectual capital and contribution as a satisfied and hopefully long-term employee. However, adequate recognition is equally important. 

However, treasures believe that while money is a motivator, it rarely is a primary push factor for individuals leaving their employers. “Usually there is a point where the employee stops going for more money but rather towards the excitement and autonomy provided by the organisation.” Barros further said. 

Remote’s treasury department has a unique approach for retaining employees by providing them with stock options as a part of their compensation plan. “They [treasury staff] are building and growing the company that they are part of and that’s a critical piece of I believe, for retention and excitement; for you building something for yourself as well.” Barros continued. 

Meanwhile, larger corporations  usually don’t tend to offer any stock option plans to employees at a junior level but focus on providing flexibility in working from home as well as formal recognitions like “contributor of the month and year” which tends to provide motivation for treasury staff. 

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The world’s largest and most influential treasury event will return this September in Barcelona. Join more than 2000 senior-level professionals representing over from more than 50 countries to exchange experiences, learn best practices and meet best-in-class financial and technological partners. This year we will explore the theme “Navigating a new world,” empowering treasurers to manage today’s new and complex challenges and optimise treasury for the new economic cycle. Find out more.