The UK treasury recruitment market is going through some challenging times!
There has been the long-term effects of coping with the changes BREXIT landed on the laps of treasury professionals, the medium-term effects of recovering from the pandemic and a whole new world of working in a blended age of hybrid work and as if that wasn’t enough there’s an increasingly unstable political environment as an election looms.
The economy does not know where to go next!
I do feel Europe and the US markets feel some of the similar problems but with a lack of BREXIT and some political change but the UK as a far smaller economy does seem to be languishing leading to a slower treasury recruitment market overall.
Often, we have been asked to simply “recruit-to-replace” staff in the same positions when staff have moved on rather than clients wanting to expand their treasury teams or seeking to develop their treasury functions.
They have retreated into their shells and only sought to recruit when they are forced to i.e. if a member of staff leaves, they try and spread the workload and cover internally before recruiting.
It is only when a second member of staff moves on and say they were a team of five people initially then they can cope with 4 BUT at 3 they struggle and then recruitment is often conducted in haste rather than fully planned.
If your team dropped by 20% and you were having to still do the same amount of work, you may be able to cover but if that becomes a 33% drop it becomes urgent in a matter of weeks not months!
Salaries in the UK treasury market have shown some moderate and steady increases in compensation, and whilst that does indicate a stable market, it does not make for a particularly buoyant market.
We have seen salaries keep pace with inflation but in in real terms, keeping pace is not any sort of increase!
When you examine the numbers more deeply and I do not think many employers have been looking too deeply and dare I say that has been deliberate in many cases rather than through ignorance. Then many treasury professionals have faced some tough times.
I would add that there has been consistency across the different levels of seniority in terms of salary rises. Unlike some European regions and the US, the UK has given a more consistent growth pattern across all levels of treasury roles and there has been a more balanced demand within the market itself for treasury staff.
Whereas in other regions, say in the US, there have been higher demand at the mid and semi-senior level, i.e. International Treasurer & Deputy Treasurer. In Europe, there has been higher demand at the operational levels and the more junior levels that has driven salary growth.
In the UK, we have seen a strong increase in terms of salary for Deputy and Group Treasurers, highlighting the importance of leadership within financial strategy, which is one of the key factors people have said when they are recruiting. But again, there has still been a ‘recruit-to-replace’ mentality rather than increasing the levels within treasury teams.
There also have NOT been an influx of NEW Group Treasurer roles as some of our rivals have spouted rubbish about!
If they have recruited all these brand-new Treasurer roles, then why aren’t they boasting all about it through lots of amazing testimonials from these brand-new Treasurers?
Why? Because its BS that is why!
They have been saying there has been high demand for Group Treasurers this year, and it has been busy please send us your CV’s / resumes. That is just them CV gathering. There has not been high demand.
Yes, there have been promotions. That has been the default. But when people are going to the external market i.e. trying to find new Treasury talent from other companies, it has been limited.
It has been a tough year in 2023. It is improving in 2024, but it is not a boom market by any means at the senior levels.
There has been a more moderate increase in salaries as people move from the Analyst level and then an increase in salary level for early to mid-managerial positions such as Treasury Manager.
Meaning that they are looking for treasury professionals who can take on leadership, who can supervise, who can lead, coach and train. But one of the things I would mention there is, how many organizations are providing that to their Treasury Managers?
How many organizations are saying, great. We would like you to train up the Junior Treasury Operational team, manage and train the Treasury Dealer, manage the Treasury Analyst, manage the Treasury Assistant.
Fantastic but what training are you giving them to be effective leaders of the future?
For many years, right the way across the treasury function, I see a lack of treasury training, and it’s something we have addressed, and we have partnered with a couple of organizations that when treasury professionals need more training about how to be trainers, how to be managers, that’s one of the key things that we’ve identified. So, we are going to be offering that more extensively in 2024.
Overall, within the UK market and within our survey, we have fantastic knowledge.
We have been operating in the treasury recruitment market for over 25 years. We have stable participant numbers in the salary surveys year-on-year.
There is a good mature market with established career paths within treasury, but the best thing for us as the treasury recruitment company is we know the market. We have the power of knowing exactly where salary stands.
We know intuitively, but also factually what the right salary is for and when you are recruiting a new Treasury Analyst, a Manager, Deputy Treasurer, or Group or Global Treasurer, and we know the difference between them because we have done it for twenty-five plus years.
This is what we do and what we continue to do. So, call us if you need help.
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