A challenge for the future treasurers
How to attract and then retain talented young people to careers as treasurers?
Treasury, the discipline with no training courses
We find that the profession of treasurer has never really been properly or fully covered by business or financial management courses in universities. If it is covered, it is as add-ons to Masters Degrees, or as a sprinkling of courses that only partially cover the subject. This is not a complaint, but a fact that we need to accept. Over the last few years, courses have started to be offered in some countries and treasurer associations are playing the role of training providers to more young people. So, in fact, we already have specialist training opportunities, even though they may still be few and far between. In the final analysis, treasury and risk management can be learnt only at the coalface. This automatically means that students, trainees and budding future treasurers might well not know much about this fascinating world of corporate treasury. As treasurer associations, it is our duty to provide specialist training courses to disseminate our knowledge and the mysteries of our trade. But a Head of Treasury Department now faces two challenges: 1) attracting talented people (and training them, obviously), 2) then retaining them over the medium term. This will be no easy challenge, I fear.
"We have to demystify the role of treasurer, but also we have to sell it properly to attract the best people to it."
So how could we attract talented people?
Talented persons do not come to you on their own initiative. To attract them you have to try to recruit them directly from the universities. And here it is perhaps up to the Associations to do the work that the poor, short-staffed treasurer is unable to do. Surely this is just the sort of role for which Associations were intended? I certainly think so. We have to demystify the role of treasurer, but also we have to sell it properly to attract the best people to it. We can go to student fairs and exhibitions, taking treasurers with us, to promote our great profession. Sometimes treasurer are asked to give specialist talks as part university courses or a lecture. By promoting the work of EACT1 and its members, we contribute to raising the profile of the profession and increasing its attractiveness. Offering free subscriptions to young students or recent graduates looking for their first job could give them a chance to find out about our special and mysterious world, surely? We should always make a point of inviting students in their final Masters year to our conferences, to tell them about what we do.