Why Don’t Clients Always Advertise Senior Treasury Roles When They Want To Recruit?

Reasons include;

Internal Sensitivity

They may be replacing the current Treasurer who may not have announced their move to their team and the company as whole and they want to do it in the right manner before they move into a more senior role

External Sensitivity

There may be factors whereby the Finance Director wants the new Head of Treasury agreed in advance so they can introduce them to their banking and financing partners in advance so they are comfortable with the change

A Planned Change

The incumbent may not be aware of an impending change and the CFO wants to ensure they have an effective and immediate changeover in place when required

They don’t want you to know!

Some clients simply want to have a direct switch that is agreed between the outgoing and incoming Treasurer and they want it to be under their terms

The “Hassle Factor”

Clients trust us to find their next Treasurer and they don’t want to face a barrage of calls and questions from recruiters who want to recruit the role when they already have us as a preferred recruitment partner, they don’t have either the time or patience to tell other parties to leave them alone

Would I Like To Advertise All The Senior Treasury Positions We Recruit?

ARE YOU MAD?

Of course I would!

I have recruited some of these Senior Treasury roles;

  • Group Treasurer for AMS, FTSE100 plc

  • Treasurer for Blackstone Real Estate

  • Director of Treasury and Corporate Finance of Clarion Housing Group (twice!)

  • Head of Treasury for Ontic Engineering

  • Group Treasurer for Pentland Brands

  • Group Treasurer at The Shanks Group now called Renewi Plc originally a confidential search

  • Global Treasurer for SABIC

  • Global Treasurer for Senior Plc

  • Treasurer for Streamland Media

  • Group Treasurer for Techtronic Industries

  • Group Treasurer for V Group

Amongst others!

Of these positions, EIGHT were confidential searches that I was desperate to publish on our website and I wanted to shout from the rooftops about!!!

But when a CLIENT says Mike it’s a confidential search I respect that!

So Mike if I want insightful yet constructive career advice and to register a CONFIDENTIAL interest in you as either a client or as a candidate where do I go?

I thought you would never ask…I thought that was just the voices in my head whispering once again…..

But this time I listened and they said Mike GO HERE!

Here you will find all your answers… www.TreasuryRecruitment.com

Oh whatever YES it’s a shameless plug but I have kids that need shoes you know and they don’t stop growing….

Anyway eBook, videos, flower displays, Airfix kits can all be found via that link…mmmmm…

OK don’t blame the messenger I couldn’t help it, I need treatment for “shameless self-promotion on LinkedIn” – there must be a cure somewhere hang on I just look in my Hotmail junk folder…

Yep found it…along with…sorry must go…I have Nigerian Lottery claim to sort out….

Top 5 Tips for Treasury Recruitment Success

  1. Define Your Value Proposition

This is ‘Your sell’, your ‘Why us?’. This is how you differentiate yourself from your competition.

Practice your ‘elevator pitch’ for candidates – this is a 30-second speech summarizing who you are as a company, what you do, and why the candidate should want to work for you.

This will be key to winning those perfect candidates. They should be left in no doubt as to why joining you will be an amazing career move!

  1. Write an Engaging Job Description

Ask yourself “Would you apply for the role?” A great job description should be a mix of the practical requirements of the role and engaging content that encourages top candidates to apply and commit to the process. At this stage, you may be communicating with passive candidates, so you really need to create an engaging job brief to stand any chance of tempting them to apply.

Writing an effective job description is sometimes considered an art form, and the importance of it should never be underestimated.

  1. Pre-Screen Your Candidates

This would usually be an initial telephone call to gather top-line information about the candidate and assess their immediate suitability for the role. This will help you save time meeting candidates that are not right and will also be your first chance to really sell you and your company to the potential candidate.

Even if the candidate is not what you are looking for, leave them feeling they had a positive experience. You never know when your paths may cross again or perhaps they may know the perfect candidate they can recommend to you!

  1. Be Flexible

Throughout the whole process, you need to be able to adapt. What if a candidate is not a perfect match to your previously defined requirements? They only have four years of treasury experience, and you said you wanted six years’ minimum? Well, maybe they are a fast learner and have the gravitas to step up to that role? If you are bound by strict rules and restrictive processes, you won’t be able to adapt to what is a rapidly changing, “talent-short” recruitment environment.

  1. Engage Your Team

Involve your employees in the process. Companies who fail to do this neglect their most important asset. Teams who participate in the process want to help the new employee succeed.

If a candidate sees an engaged and supportive team that wants them to join, they will be beating down your door to join your company.

You can’t get better than that in terms of candidate engagement!

It’s Not About You Anymore, It’s About Them!

Remember what it was like when you were looking for your last role? It’s time to think about that experience and put your candidates first.

A lot of my clients don’t have that thought process. They operate with a ‘me’ mindset, thinking, “Why wouldn’t someone want to come and join us? We’re amazing.”

I agree, some of our clients are amazing.

But some of the job descriptions and adverts you provide seem to expect people to flock to your door without any effort on your part. That’s just not the case.

You need to sell the role.

Imagine you’re a Treasury Analyst or Manager looking for your next opportunity. You need to sell the dream and really attract someone to join your team.

What makes you special? What’s going to be career-enhancing for someone?

Here’s a practical example:

One of our consultancy-based clients, who advises Treasury Departments, wanted their consultants to write a case study right at the beginning of the recruitment process, detailing how they would approach a tricky problem.

Blah blah blah.

That was completely the wrong way round.

As a client, you need to entice someone to want to join you first, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND! Frustrating!

We changed the process and it proved to be very successful.

We said, “We will find some good people for you, people we feel would be good in consultancy. We will explain the role to them. That way, they will be bought into the process.”

Still nervous? What do you do next?

You do the really tough thing of saying, “Would you like to come and get to know us over a coffee?”

Amazing!

You have a coffee. They think they like you; you think you like them. It’s an equal sharing all round.

Or the other way around, you go for the coffee and think, “This person wouldn’t work in consultancy, but they might be a future client.”

Nobody’s lost out. You’ve not wasted your time or theirs.

During that coffee, you’re assessing culture fit. You can start to assess the person.

Then, you can hire for fit and look at competency. Are they going to be a good person? By then, the person wants the job and they’re happy to demonstrate their skills.

When you read through this article, remember: think about their fit first, not yours. Yours comes secondary.

The candidate comes first. It’s not about you anymore; it’s about them!

How Much Does It Cost to Recruit through The Treasury Recruitment Company?

So, you want to understand our fees and how we structure them?

No problem read on…

How Much Does It Cost to Recruit through The Treasury Recruitment Company?

Well, it depends…let me explain. We do a great job at recruiting Treasury professionals. We work in a niche industry that means lower volumes of activity, so we don’t benefit from the repeat assignments and volume of positions that many generalist recruiters have access to. That makes it harder to work at lower fee levels we must target candidates and clients and costing us time, effort and money when researching to find talented treasury professionals. That must be paid for us to give a great service and this is what we want to do!

We are often asked to agree to 18%, 15% maybe 12% fees….

“Mike our other guys on our PSL have agreed to work at cheap rates. You are at 30% for the senior roles and 25% for the junior roles”

Yes, I am, as that is what it costs us to recruit people for you! Why don’t you give the role to the guys on your PSL at 15% and see how they get on? There’s a reason they are cheap…they will look for the next couple of months or so and they may get lucky and find one or two candidates. Good luck to them, they will need it. After 6 to 8 weeks they have not produced a successful result! I get the call:

“Mike I want you to do a search for us”

“OOOOKAYYYY” I say with trepidation knowing what’s coming next….

“Mike, we would love to give you a crack at the search!”

“Greatttttt”

“BUT we want you to match the fees of those guys who have produced no results for the past 8 weeks….”

RIGHT….

“Yep, we still want you to work on a contingent basis where all the risk lies with you”

RIGHT….

“Mike, I want you to invest your time and money in doing the search with no guarantee of revenue in the process but don’t worry zero cost and zero commitment from us”

Yep 100% risk to you and 0% to us to use your services.

Oh, and by the way you should know you will be going into a “scorched earth” Treasury Recruitment market where a series of generalist recruiters have blanketed the market, mis-sold the role, some of them can barely spell the word treasury let alone recruit for it. If there was someone nearly suitable they have probably decided that as you are using a terrible agency to recruit you’re not serious about treasury anyway and they have been turned off to the role by the recruiter.

Mike, good luck with the role because you are going to need it!

Okay, this sounds like one of my RANTS. Well, it’s not as we can offer at least THREE, YES, THREE SOLUTIONS!

Our fees depend upon what method you want to use with us – it may be one of the following;

SOLUTION 1 – CONTINGENT SEARCH

“No-Win, No-Fee” / “No Cure, No Fee” – Full Fee If I Am Successful!

A Client will pay us say “25% or 30%” fee for a full search if we are instructed on it but it is a “NO-WIN, NO FEE contingent basis”.

If we find them the right treasury person, then we want a full fee. If we don’t find them you don’t pay us. We will do the work, but we take 100% of the risk for a full fee!

If we recruit a Treasurer at £200,000 or $300,000 they should be worth their fee if they can’t save their fee by:

  • bank refinancing or savings through a new Treasury management system
  • motivating the team and getting much more out of them in the first maybe three, six or at least within the first twelve months

Then probably you won’t want to recruit that person anyway!

SOLUTION 2 – RETAINED SEARCH

Retainer, Shortlist Fee, Completion

Client;

“Mike, let’s de-risk this process for both sides and I will retain you to find me a Treasury person, but I would appreciate some flexibility on the fee as I am committing exclusively to you.
What can we do? Can we work together on this?”

I am often able to show flexibility on the fee as you are trusting in me by retaining me and I will be able to dedicate time and paid research resource to the search as simply speaking you are paying for MY TIME.

I believe I can recruit the role and I want to work on it with you.

Usually, I will charge you one third of what the estimated fee will be at the beginning. You will be paying for my time.

Will I make loads of profit from the Retainer fee? No.

In most cases, we will not break even / make a profit until a Shortlist fee is paid. The profit for us as a recruitment business is in the COMPLETION fee.

We agree that I will charge you your Shortlist fee when I give you a shortlist that you love. When the person starts I charge you the COMPLETION FEE.

If my shortlist fails I don’t charge you, I find you a more suitable treasury professional.

If the person doesn’t start I don’t charge you I go back to a shortlist stage and find you more great candidates.

So, RETAINED SEARCH – Mike what’s your record?

I have a 100% RECORD OF RETAINED SEARCHES over the past 20 years.

That’s some record!

Yep, 100%…

Sorry, what does that mean to me as a client?

That means I know you will work and work and work to find you the right person?

Have I lost money working on retained searches in the past?

Yes – I have!

Why?

Because I have never failed over the past 20 years and I don’t intend to start NOW!

I will charge;

  • 1/3rd at the beginning as a Retainer
  • 1/3rd upon presentation of Shortlist
  • 1/3rd upon Completion i.e. when the person starts with you

Maybe you have been burnt by recruiters who charged but they did not deliver results!

 

How about we combine both approaches and meet in the middle?

SOLUTION THREE – STAGED SEARCH

Retainer, Completion Fee

As before I charge you a retainer, this will pay for some of my time.

  • 1/3rd at the beginning as a Retainer
  • 2/3rd’s upon Completion i.e. when the person starts with you

The overall fee will be lower than the CONTINGENT APPROACH where I took all the risk, but it will be higher than my RETAINED SEARCH fee as the risk is higher.

We meet in the middle.

I only charge you the final 2/3rd’s of the fee upon completion of the assignment – remember as I haven’t recruited the role I am going to lose money.

I am betting on the fact that I can find you that right person.

You will have paid for some of my time and not been burnt in the process.

I have tried to create what I believe is a “win-win situation” for you as a client and me as a recruiter.

Believe me, I am incentivized to recruit the role – I’m not in business to lose money.

 

I hope this explanation gave you a deeper insight into what we do for our clients.

If you are a candidate you gained an insight into the world we live in and recruit within.

Maybe next time you are recruiting we can have a sensible open chat about what approach suits you best? I want to recruit your next Treasury professional. That is why I am here. If you are a potential client or candidate – please call me, we would love to help!

More resources for employers

Insights From Our Q1 2024 Treasury Salary Survey

So, salaries are rising, no surprises there but where are they going up most? This where our global treasury salary survey really offers the most invaluable insights for clients.

In the UK we have seen very moderate salary rises, in Europe there have much higher increases and in the USA in extremely high growth cities and expensive cities such as New York, and up and down the East Coast, the West Coast in California, we are seeing some exceptional increases in salary levels to acquire the right talent.

Overall, there are rising levels of compensation driven by geography not that surprising, but I think the pay rises demonstrate the value of treasury, and its people recognizing that if they want to get the best treasury staff, they must pay them often a premium to secure the brightest talent too!

Treasury is really being recognized as a specialized discipline and the value treasury professionals offer. When treasury was recognized as a specialist discipline 20 years ago, I saw treasury professionals earning a premium salary. People were saying treasury, which is special, we need to pay more for those people, great news they said, it also happened in areas such as tax. It offered far higher salaries than professionals who worked in general finance.

But a serious downside emerged, many treasurers became ‘separated’ from the business. They were seen as specialist providers who were often seen as being slightly outside of the mainstream of the business itself, they were money managers / risk mitigators in the corner office.

Treasury has spent, the past 10 to 15 years trying to get back into the business mainstream and it is finally doing it. Not always, but they are finally ‘re-integrating’ into for the most part!

I think that’s key, and our surveys highlight the fact that the strategic treasury positions do demand a higher salary if you want the right specialists in place. But the same can be said for others in the finance team. You want a strong CFO; you are going to pay more for them, if you want a great treasury person, the same, if you want a great tax person, the same again.

So, I think, again, that is one of the things you notice here. Our surveys span the globe, but we are always here to give individual advice about a country or region within a specific territory.

If I’m a client or candidate, can you offer me individual advice?

We are often asked by clients and candidates; can you advise us about salaries in our local area?

Yes. We can do that. That’s why we are here!

We can help if you want to know;

  • How does my salary compare to Central London?
  • How does it compare to Brussels, Amsterdam, the Netherlands? Benelux?
  • How does a different part of the country across Europe compare?
  • What are salaries doing in the Middle East?
  • What are salaries doing in the USA whether that’s West Coast, Midwest, or the East Coast?

It all varies widely. But that is why we are here because we talk to Treasury professionals across the globe.

Our survey shows the growth rates across each of the salary levels, each of the levels, and the different local and global economic conditions all impact treasury compensation.

To illustrate this if I take one example of the most senior level position in our survey, Global Treasurer / Treasury Director. It is interesting as in certain regions one might look at the figures and say the salary level has dropped. For instance, in the 2024 survey the average salary of a Global Treasurer / Treasury Director in the UK was around £320,000 but then in the survey it dropped to £300,000.

But it didn’t drop. What happened was that as our pool of participants at the senior level expanded, in this case the survey sample grew from 18 to 25, it gave us more distinct average of what a Global Treasurer in the UK earns.

When you compare it to our US sample, the average salary with 35 participants in 2023 was circa $390,000 and it stayed the same even as the sample size increased to 61participants, the average salary was $392,000. Showing that we have the right median.

That is one of the key things that we possess this knowledge as we grow and expand, and we continue to survey the market. We have these different levels and at the other end of the scale at the most junior level there are Treasury Analysts / Dealers.

Depending on the levels, again, in the US, our survey showed that the median shifted, from $91,000 to $88,000. But the actual survey sample size nearly doubled. So, what we are showing is we have incredible insights into the state of salaries throughout all levels of treasury – if anyone needs individual advice, we are here to give that as well as that is one of the things we do.

So it’s just about my salary then?

Salary is one factor, and the numbers say one thing. However, it is not all about the numbers. That is what we have always said. Salary does not actually determine whether someone stays with your company or leaves.

We survey the market. There are several factors.

Yes salary is part of the decision-making process behind someone moving on but equally soare the non-monetary factors. Treasury professionals want roles that not just come with reasonable levels of reward, but also a supportive boss, supportive management and team, a clear progression path.

We get this by, once again, finding out that the top reason people leave is not because of salary. It is because they are not being satisfied in the work that they do.

It is often at a later stage, when they are not being rewarded enough that becomes the tipping point to someone decided to move on. Before that, our salary surveys show time after time, it is about having a good boss, having work that they enjoy. Salary, depending on the groupings is fourth or fifth, in terms of why people are looking for a new role.

“I BELIEVE REMOTE WORKING IN TREASURY WILL DIE OUT!”

As well as job satisfaction per se, I have talked and been interviewed about my thoughts about the new world of hybrid. And I have said before and I will again, that the world of remote work in treasury will die out.

It is dead. 100% remote working within treasury, I do not think is going to last in the future. I think it will die out because treasury by its very nature is a collaborative discipline.

There are some more specialized disciplines within finance, which I think do lend themselves more readily to remote working. However, I do not think that is the case with treasury.

Treasury professionals want to collaborate and work with each other for anywhere between 2 to 4 days a week. But the 4-day week will be infrequent rather than an ‘all-the-time’ arrangement – the general average is 2 to 3 days in office.

This means that people are working as a team. They are growing as a team. They are training as a team, and they are very collaborative in the way that they work.

It is a blend of both on-site whilst adapting to couple of days a week being more task focused, and that’s where treasury is adaptable. As employers you need to embrace the idea that they have set ups that allow for a blended office work experience with teamwork and on-site not being mandatory, but rather encouraged and embraced when necessary.

Our treasury salary survey gives amazing insights into salary levels. We often disagree with some of the thing’s economists say about percentage increases between this quarter and the next.

One example is that I recently saw a survey that said in general, base salary levels are rising on a quarterly basis by 5%. I have not seen those rises.

Pay rises are more granular, and it is more complicated than just broad-brush strokes saying, oh, there has been a 5% rise in overall salaries everywhere.

There might be at certain levels. There might be a 10% rise at certain levels within certain specialist treasury positions, but treasury is a specialist discipline.

To conclude, our survey gives amazing insights into not only salaries, but also the treasury profession.

It highlights why Senior Finance professionals, whether they are Treasury Managers, managing mostly junior members of the team through to Global Treasurers or indeed CFOs need to embrace new work models, technologies, and think about how to help the finance professionals within their organizations function and stay effective within what is a still fluctuating economic backdrop.

Both individuals and organizations alike, particularly within the treasury arena, need to adapt to these emerging changing emerging trends.

Flexibility, technical technology integration, and a renewed focus on job satisfaction are going to be key in attracting and retaining treasury talent within the corporate treasury sector, not just for this year, but for years to come.

Final words

Thank you to all those who take part in our Salary Surveys. It is only with your input that we can offer the insights into the state of the Global Treasury Recruitment market.

We are aware that competitors create surveys simply to have something to talk about on LinkedIn with your support our 100% real survey, offers unique value; “we use real data from treasury professionals, to give a one-of-a-kind treasury salary survey for treasury professionals globally”.

Please share our survey within your treasury network – colleagues, team members, superiors. The few minutes they give to the survey make it the powerhouse it is to this day!

Any suggestions on its content or areas to be explored are welcome. With your help, every day we improve the survey, thanks for your support.
Many thanks from me, Mike Richards, CEO of The Treasury Recruitment Company, I appreciate it!

Please Take Part In Our Ongoing Treasury Salary Survey!

This comprehensive survey is the foremost benchmarking tool for Treasury sector salaries. It gathers data from Treasury professionals worldwide, ranging from Treasury Analysts to Group Treasurers. By participating, you’ll gain exclusive access to the full results at no cost.

We are gearing up for the 1st set of results for 2024, we invite you to join them. Upon confirming your status as a Treasury Professional, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the latest set of results and you are then included from then on!

All we ask is that you update your salary information whenever you get a well deserved pay rise 😉

Take the Salary Survey   Find out more

Salaries & Recruitment Insights into the US Treasury Recruitment Market

I have been thrilled with the growth of our participant numbers in the US. A 50% improvement between 2023 and 2024. Once again, this gives us a greater insight I to the different salary levels, and it helps us offer more concrete advice to our clients.

When we say to them, we know the average salary of a Treasury Analyst / Dealer is from 35 in our sample. Whereas when we have 57 in our sample, it means the advice we give is more powerful because we have a greater sample size. And that continues across all levels.

At our Global Treasurer / Treasury Director level, our sample size has risen from 35 to 61. And once again, with a total compensation package of $390,000. And its barely shifted, but the fact is, we know that is the typical average salary for a Corporate Treasurer in the US.

There has been strong growth across the whole spectrum of treasury roles from entry level Analysts through Managerial levels up to Senior Directors showing robust demand for treasury. But in the US market, the competition for us in terms of recruitment is still the lack of knowledge of the specialist service we provide.

The Default Setting for HR Teams Is LinkedIn

The default setting for many HR and talent teams in the US for recruiting treasury staff is LinkedIn.

We have often seen clients sift on LinkedIn for 3 to 6 months, unsuccessfully, come to us having had a 100 to 200 responses often. And yet we have been able to fill the position by knowing the best 12 people in the market, putting them forward.

And then next thing we know, we make a placement.

The US’s diverse economic landscape is mirrored in the compensation growth across a range of different treasury positions. But geography is not the only factor. It is a key factor. But at the end of the day, the number of roles, once again, we have seen some roles average out, if you like, in our survey. Not showing a huge increase in salary, for instance, at the Deputy Treasurer level, because several Deputy Treasurers have remained on similar salaries.

However, what I have been seeing is that a few Deputy Treasurers have been promoted, and they have taken on the next level of role going from Deputy Treasurer to Group or Global Treasurer. You have also seen other Assistant Treasurers moving from the Assistant Treasurer roles.

They are paying at the sort of $190,000 range up to around $200,000 to 220,000 range. But I have seen quite static salary levels right across from the upper managerial levels, i.e. Assistant Treasurer and right the way through to Global Treasurer.

So, salary levels have not increased hugely. What I have seen, as I have said in the overall summary, is that roles

themselves have changed drastically from a 100% in the office to number of Treasurer positions, 100% remote.

Do I think this will last? No.

I think Treasurer roles will become 2 to 3 days a week in the office to help guide, manage and most importantly mentor their teams.

Do I think that is the right balance? I do.

I think if someone is demanding that people are back in the office 5 days a week, it is a disadvantage to any employer to have that as it is a negative statement to say to potential applicants, you must be in the office 5 days a week.

You might have a long list of say 100 people before if you insist on 100% in-office this list drops to 10 to 15 if you are lucky! It is not a practical way to think about it.

One needs to review and think, how am I going to recruit this role? Again, that is where we can give realistic advice.

Base salaries for all levels of roles within the US have increased across the board. However, packages themselves have consistently remained consistent, i.e. value-added packages have not really increased. What I have seen is several clients have been saying, I am not going to make a move this year simply because this will be the first time, I am collecting a decent bonus or a bonus in many cases post COVID.

They got zero bonus during COVID or an exceptionally low bonus. They were being told they are lucky to have a role. Then the year after COVID it started to get back to normal. The year on from that, which is this year, they are now starting to go, okay.

Now I would like to get some more bonus, please, or I would like a decent increase in my package. Well, no. You are not going to get it. Okay.

We are getting an absolute influx of resumes from senior treasury professionals desperate for their next move. So once again, if you are looking for people, looking for senior candidates, just give us a call. We would love to help.

We are aware that competitors create surveys simply to have something to talk about on LinkedIn unlike competitors’ surveys, our 100% real data approach ensures unique and reliable results.

Our Treasury Salary Surveys are 100% Real!

With your support our authentic survey, offers unique value – “we use real data from treasury professionals, to give a one-of-a-kind treasury salary survey for treasury professionals globally.”

Please share our survey within your treasury network – colleagues, team members, superiors. The few minutes they give to the survey make it the powerhouse it is to this day!

Any suggestions on its content or areas to be explored are welcome. With your help, every day we improve the survey, thanks for your support.

Thank you to all those who take part in our Salary Surveys. It is only with your input that we can offer the insights into the state of the Global Treasury Recruitment market.

Please Take Part In Our Ongoing Treasury Salary Survey!

This comprehensive survey is the foremost benchmarking tool for Treasury sector salaries. It gathers data from Treasury professionals worldwide, ranging from Treasury Analysts to Group Treasurers. By participating, you’ll gain exclusive access to the full results at no cost.

We are gearing up for the 1st set of results for 2024, we invite you to join them. Upon confirming your status as a Treasury Professional, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the latest set of results and you are then included from then on!

All we ask is that you update your salary information whenever you get a well deserved pay rise 😉

Take the Salary Survey   Find out more

An Interviewers Guide to Effective Interviewing

After carving your career in Treasury you’ve successfully reached your first career goal of becoming a Treasury Manager. You have everything in hand, correct? BUT then, a vacancy comes up on your team and you now have to start the hiring process. Well that’s all fine, but what about the interviews?

You’ve never led an interview before. You’ve only ever been on the receiving end, never the one asking the questions. Where do you even start? What questions do you ask? What structure do you follow? Even if you are a seasoned professional and carried out numerous interviews in the past, are you confident your interviewing technique is up to scratch?

Well you are not alone. In most cases, when professionals reach management level or are in a position where they take responsibility for managing and hiring their teams, there is no training on how to deliver an effective interview.

This business-critical skill falls into the management training wasteland whilst other seemingly more important topics get the limelight, but what can be more important for a company than ensuring maximum return on investment from their employees? Clearly one of the key ways to do this is to fill the business with high level performers and identifying high level performers, all starts with the INTERVIEW.

In this blog you’ll be given vital tools to help you understand how to deliver an effective interview. This will include understanding different questioning techniques and the 7 Stages of a Structured Interview.

The Funnel Technique

The art of delivering a successful interview all lies in the power of the questions; so, developing your questioning skills is absolutely critical to becoming a successful interviewer. One of the best questioning techniques is the Funnel Technique.

It works as you would imagine; the shape of a funnel with a wide mouth at the top, gradually narrowing at the bottom. You start by gathering broad amounts of information and then filtering down to more specific details.

The first step is to ask lots of open questions to get the applicant talking. These are questions that can’t be answered with a single word and require some thought. They generally allow the applicant to express their opinions or feelings and allow you to gain valuable insights into their behaviours and personality.

When asking Open Questions, try using the T.E.D Technique – “Tell me about…” / “Explain to me…” / “Describe for me…” For example; “Tell me how you produced that report…” or “Explain your involvement in the system implementation project…” or “Describe how you handled that problem and what the outcome was.”

The danger with open question’s is that it is very easy for the applicant to go off topic and focus on areas that are perhaps less relevant. This is then down to the skill of the Interviewer to bring them back on track and a great way to do this is through asking Probing Questions – which brings us to the next part of our Funnel.

Probing Questions are still open in style as they require more than a one-word answer, however they require the applicant to delve a bit deeper into their answer. Using the 5 W’s and the H can be great here so…Who, What, Why, Where, When and How.
For example; “Who else was involved in the project?” or “What exactly was your role in the project?” or “What did you learn from the project?”

The final part of the Funnel encourages the applicant to reach a final point or to clarify a certain situation. Here, Closed Questions work brilliantly, so questions require a short and focused answer. This may be a ‘YES’ or a ‘NO’. For example; “Were you satisfied with the results of the project?” You can only answer yes or no here. It could be asking the applicant to choose from a list of possible options. For example; “Do you work in front, middle or back office?” Or it could be to Identify a certain piece of information. For example; “What system do you use?” or “where are you based?”

Closed Questions are also useful simply to summarise the applicant’s responses. For example, “So you lead this project with a team of 5 others. You feel you have learnt a huge amount from the experience and are satisfied with the results. Is that right?”

Structured Interview vs Unstructured

Many interviewers are happiest getting a sense of a candidate through an ‘Unstructured’ interview. Allowing them to explore details of that individual that they think are interesting, picking these questions at random, steering the interview down whichever path feels right at the time. Unfortunately, there is compelling evidence to suggest that Unstructured Interviews are among the worst predictors of actual on-the-job performance. So, although the importance of bringing in high performers to a business is understood, many companies are inadvertently putting this goal at risk simply by being too relaxed about the Interview structure when assessing candidates.

What is a Structured Interview?

There are extremes here; a truly structured interview ensures a standardised process is adopted amongst all candidates in order to eliminate any subjectivity. Each candidate would be asked the same set of questions, with the same wording, in the exact same order and would be assessed based on a standardised scoring system.

For many, this interview style will be a little too rigid and there will be a need for the interviewer to be flexible in their style and questioning depending on the person they’re interviewing and the way the interview evolves. However there are stages and elements to a Structured Interview which are key and should be adopted every time.

7 Stages of a Structured Interview

Stage 1. Introduction

This is key both from a perspective of setting the standards of the interview and what you want to get out of it, but also for putting the candidate at ease. It’s a known fact that a job interview is often considered to be one of the most stressful things in life. This can be of course bad for the candidate, but just as problematic for the Interviewer. By creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere you will be able to see the candidate’s best qualities helping you to spot some real talent.

Think about how you greet them and where they will be sitting whilst waiting for the interview to commence. Ensure the interview environment is suitable, how does the room look and feel? Offer them a refreshment, think about your body language, how you introduce yourselves, what distractions are around you that may interrupt the interview.

Stage 2. Career History and Experience

This is where the bulk of the interview should be focused. This is your opportunity to establish as much information as you can about the suitability of the candidate for your role. If you are following a truly Structured Interview, with your pre-defined list of questions, this is where you would start.

The Funnel Technique will be critical here. Nice open questions to start with, followed by your probing questions and then your closed questions to gather more specific information.

A great opener question is; “Describe to me your career history to date starting from when you first moved into Treasury…” or from whichever starting point you feel is most appropriate.

This is a very clear question and allows the candidate to begin describing their career journey with you. You can then steer them down different paths depending on the relevant or not so relevant information they are providing you. Key things you should be looking out for here include – What are their key strengths/weaknesses? What have been their main achievements? What aspects of their roles have they enjoyed/disliked? What have been their reasons for leaving previous roles? Are there any gaps or anomalies on their CV? How well do they communicate / present themselves?

Stage 3. Aspirations and Goals

This is a stage in the interview which many interviewers skip over. It is assumed based on the very fact that the applicant is there at the interview, that the role is what they’re looking for. But by making that assumption, many bad hiring decisions can be made. By focusing on this and asking the right questions, you will be able to identify the applicant’s ‘true’ aspirations and goals, and whether these will be achievable within your business or in fact realistic ambitions altogether.
Yes of course the candidate will likely steer their answers to reflect the role on offer, but as a skilled interviewer, asking the right Probing Questions will enable you to see if there are any shortfalls here or how genuinely suitable the candidate is for the role. Any areas of concerns for you with this, need to be addressed at this stage as it will become harder further down the line.

Some great questions here might include; “What does your ideal next role look like?” or “What are your career goals over the next 5 years?”

Stage 4. Search Status

The next stage which flows logically from discussing career aspirations and goals, is information gathering around the applicant’s search so far. Again, this is often a section which is missed by interviewers, but its’ importance should not be underestimated.

Imagine a scenario where you have completed your interview stages, identified the individual you wish to make an offer to, only to discover they have just been offered another role which they’ve decided to accept. Or where an offer is made, the individual resigns and are then counter-offered by their existing business and decide to stay. Very frustrating!

Here are some great example questions;

“How long have you been looking?” – This tells the interviewer how active the applicant is in their job search. If they have been looking for a while, why have they not secured a role yet? Does this raise any concerns?

“What positions have you applied for?” – This is a great question to help reaffirm the type of role the applicant is looking for. Do the roles they are applying for and companies applying to, reflect what you have on offer?

“Have you attended any interviews?” – If they have been looking for a while but not had any interviews, does this ring alarm bells? Or if they have attended lots of interviews but no job offers, what does this tell you?

“What stage are you at with your interviews?” – If they have been interviewing elsewhere, it is vital to understand what stage they have reached with other businesses. Are they at final interview stage and therefore if you are interested in this candidate, do you need to move quickly in order not to lose them?

“If we were to offer you the role, what do you think your current employer would say?”– This can reveal quite a lot of information about the risk of a counter offer situation. Are they really committed to leaving their current company or are they simply looking for a reason to push their current company for a pay rise?

Stage 5. Personal Details

This section focuses on the specific details around current salaries, benefits packages and notice periods. As well as additional information which may impact hiring decisions or process. This information is vital and can have a detrimental impact on the process if the correct details are not ascertained.
Be sure to discuss these details early on as if you’re not on the same page, things are not going to go much further.

Stage 6. Job Brief & Sell

In many cases, interviewers opt to start the interview by giving the applicant an overview of the role they’re recruiting and what they’re looking for in the quest to put the applicant at ease and relax them into the interview.

The debate here though is, how can you sell the specific aspects of the role that are relevant to that applicant, before you know what they are looking for? Not only that, but by describing the features, advantages and benefits of the role at the end of the interview, the candidate will be left feeling excited and engaged by the opportunity.

The goal should be that every applicant you meet, leaves you wanting the job. This does not mean that you adapt the nature of the role to suit the individual if they really don’t have the right skill set. But they should have had such a positive experience with you, that they desire to be a part of your team or business. You must think like a salesperson here; this goes beyond just about the job they’re interviewing for. It is about perception and reputation.

Stage 7. Next Steps

The final stage of the process is what you do when the applicant leaves the building. It is very easy, to focus your follow-up efforts only on those candidates that you’re interested in, forgetting about those that are not successful. Again, this is about perception and reputation. You never know when your paths may cross again. You don’t know who that person knows. Treat them how you would expect to be treated yourself. Always provide feedback from the interview and follow up when you say you will.

So there you have it – a step-by-step guide to delivering an effective interview. Please let us know your comments or any other useful tips that you may have.

Managing Remote Employees: Tips for Virtual Management

Here are 16 tips and best practices for managing remote employees:

1. Maintain an open calendar

Remote employees may feel isolated from the team environment. It’s important to maintain an open calendar so the remote workers can arrange a time to discuss projects with you, as well as any concerns or questions they may have. Your availability will show employees, remote or otherwise, that you care about anything they’d like to discuss and want to be there for them.

2. Set clear expectations

Remote employees are operating within a different office environment, yet expectations for work output shouldn’t be any different. Set the clear expectation that although they are working elsewhere, they are still responsible for the same level of work. With a remote employee, you may want to set the expectation of daily status updates, so you have the same level of insight into their work as you do if they were in the office.

3. Provide the tools

Consider providing your remote employees with the same equipment as they would have if they were in the office rather than making them use their own. You need to ensure your remote employees have all the resources they may need to be as productive as possible.

4. Have regular meetings

It’s important that your remote employees feel like a part of the team and not forgotten even though they are not present in the office. An effective way to do that is by hosting regular meetings to discuss projects and assign tasks, but also to just chat as a team.

You should also have regular one-to-one meetings which shows that even at a distance, you are hands-on with them and invested in their progress.

5. Keep them involved

As a valuable member of the team, it’s also crucial to keep all remote employees involved in processes, projects and important conversations. Make sure they are as privy to company information and new procedures as an in-office employee, and if they should attend a meeting that you’re holding in the office, invite them to attend virtually.

If you involve remote employees in the daily operations of the business, they are more likely to feel like a valued member of the team and contribute just the same.

6. Show trust

Working in a remote position requires a certain level of discipline and time management ability to achieve goals, meet expectations and work on pace with co-workers. If you’re hiring a remote employee, make sure they feel that you trust them from day one of their employment.

By showing trust in your team, they will be more likely to experience high job satisfaction.

7. Encourage collaboration

Just as remote employees may feel distant from you as their manager, they can feel separate from their teammates. Encourage collaboration among all members of the group, remote and otherwise, to increase camaraderie and develop a sense of teamwork.

8. Encourage a work-life balance

It’s common for remote employees to struggle with maintaining a work-life balance because when you work from home, it may not be as easy to walk away from your office setup to settle into your personal routine. Encourage your remote employees to treat their day as if they were in the office.

9. Recognition

“During periods of disruption, employees’ desire for recognition of their contribution increases by about 30%,” says Kropp.

Effective recognition motivates the recipient and serves as a strong signal to other employees of behaviours they should emulate. It doesn’t need to be monetary; consider public acknowledgment, tokens of appreciation, development opportunities and low-cost perks. Take this opportunity to provide development opportunities to employees who normally do not have capacity.

10. Provide coaching

Provide regular coaching to remote employees so they can feel included and so they know if they are on the right track with their work. Coaching also allows you to clarify or adjust your expectations and discuss any changes with your employees. Coaching can be positive or include ways for the employee to improve their work.

11. Individualize employees

It’s important to treat employees as a collective whole, but also to individualize them as everyone has unique goals, hobbies, aspirations and work styles. Remote employees are no different. Chat with them to understand how they approach their work and what their workday looks like so you can know how you can help and the style of coaching your employees may appreciate most.

12. Communicate often

Because remote employees work separately from their co-workers, they are more likely to feel separated from everyone. A way to prevent this is to communicate often with your remote employees.

Communicate regularly and combine video meetings with talks over the phone.

13. Build rapport

Build rapport with your remote employees by taking the time to get to know them on a personal level. Ask them about their hobbies, interests and how their workday is going. Rapport will naturally develop the more you meet with your remote employees, build trust and work closely on projects they are taking lead on.

14. Form team goals

Team goals can help all employees work together toward a shared objective and establish a strong sense of teamwork. Having team goals naturally promotes collaboration among co-workers, including remote employees who may not be used to working closely with the group outside of specific projects.

15. Ask them about their career goals

It’s important to speak with your remote employees about their career goals so you can involve them in projects or with groups that will help them get closer to their main objective. Having an open conversation about their goals lets them know that you support their path in the organization, and it will help you establish developmental goals for them that make sense.

16. Meet in-person

If possible, schedule in-person meetings with your remote employees. Face-to-face interaction can be a powerful way of communicating because there is less opportunity for miscommunication, more ability to ask questions and your gestures and expressions can reinforce your message. It also allows employees to get to know you a little more and vice versa, which further builds rapport and can help establish employee loyalty.

You can also arrange team gatherings where every employee gathers together for a work trip or a day-long office meeting that covers the state of the business and incorporates team-building activities to reinforce collaboration and the company culture.

Understand common work from home challenges:

Typically, there are four main challenges leaders encounter when managing a remote workforce.

1. Lack of face time with co-workers and supervisors

Face-to-face interaction is vital to company culture and workplace encounters. The absence of in-person communication can be strongly felt by virtual teams.

2. Video fatigue

On the flip side of the previous bullet, using Zoom all the time to aid connection can have worse consequences. Empower employees to decide as a team and when meeting internally if they want to be on camera or not. Requiring all cameras all the time – unless client facing – can erode morale and is just another way to senselessly control and micromanage what employees are doing.

3. Communication breakdowns and bottlenecks

When working remotely, we can’t peek over the cubicle or slip down the hall to see if a colleague or supervisor is around to answer a quick question. Plus, for all their convenience, slack messages and emails can go unnoticed.

4. Surrounding distractions

Whether it’s another coffee shop customer accidentally spilling sugar on a remote worker or a cheerful toddler giving a mighty shout from the living room during a zoom call, distractions seem to come with the remote work territory.

Assuming such incidents don’t become routine, patience is helpful – especially when remote work is a temporary solution to a short-term event, situation or crisis.

Remote Employees – Checklist

Tips for working remotely

How is AI transforming financial and treasury management?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a significant impact on not only the treasury sector, but the financial world.

Everyone from banks and building societies to insurance companies and pension providers are using AI to improve efficiency and in turn, boost productivity.

In fact, a recent study by Citigroup showed that the financial services industry is the second biggest spender on AI services, behind only technology.

And that investment is showing no signs of slowing down.

Put simply, AI is transforming the world of treasury management by identifying flaws in processes and resolving them – not only saving time, but money too.

But more importantly, it has also sped up processes.

Specially designed AI algorithms can analyse huge volumes of data at speed, often detecting unusual patterns and helping treasurers make more informed decisions.

It’s no secret jobs such as managing risk and implementing controls can be labour intensive.

They require staff to spend a great deal of time manually performing predictable and/or routine processes.

Using AI can reduce the margin for error and the time taken to complete these tasks.

That’s why many treasury management employees have shifted these to machines and freed up their time to concentrate on higher-value analytical work instead.

In addition, AI technology such as advanced process automation (APA) can be used to help reduce exposure to threats and increase the amount of protection for assets.

Machine learning in treasury

Coding and machine learning is certainly a useful skill to have to be a treasurer, but you don’t have to be an expert.

You don’t even need to be able to code – simply understanding IT and being able to apply it will suffice.

For example, if you understand the ins and outs of a treasury management system, that’s going to be reflected in your balance sheet.

Recently we saw a junior treasury professional who studied Python bring it into the company he was working for.

He was able to use this training and knowledge to drastically simplify their cash management and cash forecasting, which is a huge benefit to any company.

How will AI impact the future of treasury management?

Quite simply, AI is the future of treasury management.

Many companies have already made the shift to AI working and those who are yet to do so are expected to follow suit soon.

AI will help treasurers to stay ahead of the competition by helping identify and monitor risk as well as managing it effectively.

Elements of AI like machine learning and data mining can also be used for predictive analysis, which treasurers can then use to inform decisions and forecasting.

The ability of AI to predict future financial results based on trends and market data will also fundamentally change our industry.

It allows treasury professionals to look at current inefficiencies and try to establish both their direct and indirect costs.

From that analysis, we can then determine where AI technology can enhance or improve them.

So, there you have it. AI isn’t something to be afraid of. It is something we need to embrace.

It will never replace humans completely, but instead, save treasury professionals time and make processes more efficient and reduce the margin for error.

And that, I think we will all agree, can only be a good thing.

“Treasurers will not be replaced by robots”

Related interview: Our CEO and founder, Mike Richards has sat down with Arturo from Kantox, to discuss how treasury jobs are changing, whether automation will replace treasurers and more…

Check it out

Or watch the video here:

Key Q&As from the Corporate Treasury 101 podcast – (Episode 2)

I was interviewed by the brilliant Hussam Ali and Guillaume Jouvencel from Corporate Treasury 101 Podcast as part of their 4-episode feature series where we explore the different levels of Treasury.

Below, you can read a few featured snippets from episode 2 of the series where we discuss the front, middle and back office functions, and what it takes to be a great Treasury Manager.

Want to listen to the full episode? Head to our Treasury Podcast, The Treasury Career Corner and hit the play button!


On the subject of front, middle and back office. If my understanding is correct, front office roles are more in contact with the external world, such as the banks and executing the deals.

Middle office is about making sure the risks are taken care of, and back office is more the background work, right?

Mike Richards:

And in the middle office, you’ll have more bank relationship management. Some of that will come to front office as well.

But in fact, when you are doing treasury management systems, for instance, that might be more of a middle office type thing, because you’re looking at efficiency, processing, what you require to implement a new treasury management system etc.

Often a treasury team may not have the bandwidth to manage all tasks across front, middle, and back office, so you may need a Treasury Analyst or Treasury Dealer or Treasury Systems Consultant, and they will be a good conduit between those things and a good link between front, back and middle office.

Do you have any examples from your recent interviews on your podcast of people that have had front, middle and back-office roles?

Mike Richards:

We placed Chris McConnachie with National Grid and he has a really interesting career history, moving from the UK over to the US. He’s been with National Grid for a number of years, and he’s now the CFO for them in New York.

Chris is a great guy. He was at Northern Rock in Newcastle, close to the Scottish borders on their Treasury Graduate Programme. He was then a Consultant at PWC for a period of time.

He then moved to National Grid and was Assistant Manager, Treasury – Money Markets doing their front FX. Then he became Treasury Manager – Capital Markets/Corporate Banking, then Treasury Manager doing the TMS implementation. He was then made VP overseeing US Treasury with a wider remit before taking on other VP roles and eventually becoming CFO in May 2021.

So, you can see how treasury became a springboard for him.

He has an MSc in Economics from the University of Edinburgh and then went on to complete his ACT studies between 2008 – 2010 whilst working at National Grid.

So, Chris went through a number of different areas, more front office and middle office focussed but he did both. He did asset management at PWC as well, so he’s a notable example of someone that has worked across multiple disciplines and been highly successful.

You touched upon how to enable the company strategy, but how do you influence it as a manager?

Mike Richards:

Manage up and down.

If you are a manager, ask the people below you how you are performing as a manager.

And ask them what they want. All the best managers achieve success with and through their staff. If you try and do it all yourself, you never really get there. But if you can support what they’re doing, and how they are progressing, then you’ll achieve success.

By the very same token, if you don’t share the same mindset as your boss or you’re not getting the support you deserve, then you should probably give us a call at The Treasury Recruitment Company.

I’ve said it previously. People don’t leave jobs because of money necessarily. It’s usually more about other career factors such as having a good boss or manager, decent work life balance, a friendly team, and whether your achievements are being recognised.

Those are the key things, but actually you’ve got to share that vision with your boss too.

There are some roles, especially management roles in most corporations where you have to have done the Analyst job and the legwork first to be able to then manage people.

Is that how it works for a Treasury Manager? Do you have to have been an Analyst or an Assistant first or do you see Treasury Managers coming in through accounting, finance, and other parts of the business?

Mike Richards:

I do see them coming in from accounting and slotting in quite well. Where some of them struggle is if they don’t have any management expertise.

In that case, they are suddenly thrust in there to manage a team of 2, 3, 4 Accountants, plus someone in the back office and asked to mentor them as well.

And they’re like, “oh, I’ve never managed anyone before.”

So, give them some training…

It’s also really good if you understand what a Treasury Analyst actually does because you’ve done that job previously. That really does help you because you know the pressures that they can be faced with, and you’ve been there and done it.

The key thing is that the job keeps evolving. Having done it previously is a pro but having not done it could also mean that you can come in with fresh ideas.

You can ask the questions like, “Why have you guys always done it like this, it losing you money, or it’s broken? “

You can say, “By the way, if we implement this system or treasury technology, this is how much it will save you”.

9th Sep 22
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#223: Feature Series: What I have seen in Great Treasury Managers

with Mike Richards
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