Interim Treasury in a tightening labour market

This weekend Matthijs Bouman of Het Financieele Dagblad wrote about the increasing number of robots deployed in industry. He mentioned briefly the protest of the Labour Unions and left wing political parties, being afraid about loss of jobs. I share his opinion that this is, to say the least, short sighted. China buys most robots in order to tackle the huge demographic shift resulting in an increasing shortage of labour. And that is not a Chinese development, in our local labour market we are also facing problems finding staff.

Something that is not easily visible, is that Treasurer Search always manages a portfolio of interim treasurers. Experts work, through our matching services, on projects or bring temporary qualified capacity. As projects are always closed relatively quickly, we only briefly communicate or do not publicly mention the search at all. In almost all cases we know the interim treasurer before we find his or her assignment.

Now why mention these separate messages? Because I think part of the solution to a tightening labour market can be found in deploying interim treasurers. Old style interim management, working with contractor (ZZP) or pay-roll contracts will remain but will, I expect, become more expensive. As the traditional interim managers are becoming more scarce and inflation rises, prices per hour for clients will go up for that type of service.

In my perception room lies in labour markets that, until recently, was not tapped into. There are three obvious ones. First we see a continuous flow of very experienced, knowledgeable and energetic treasurers retire because company rules dictate so. Often they are ready to slow down but totally happy to work part-time and flexible. Of course retired does not mean dumb or burned out! We completed projects with semi-retired people, also in cooperation with treasuryXL through the Rent a Treasurer concept.

Second, there is an increasing number of people who make more conscious choices in life events that fifty years ago: children or not? Work, part-time work, entrepreneurship? Taking care of sick or elderly. Not too long ago, choosing something over work meant not working at all. These days are over. By now people can increasingly choose for part-time, entrepreneurship and all variations. Of course working remotely and during not-business-hours has further facilitated this. Currently a young mother with a coaching activity is working on interim basis for a bank through our services.

Third and finally I of course want to mention migration. The EU facilitates people moving for jobs who make a conscious choice. We, for example, brought a candidate from Portugal into the Dutch labour market. Furthermore we see people coming via educational programs and also as a refugee, bringing expertise and a lot of ambition. Our experiences in this are very positive. In these cases permanent employment makes more sense but sometimes interim can also be the right solution.

The ”never waste a good crisis” statement has been, regretfully, used to often over the last years. But I think it applies here very well: ambitions about an inclusive society and labour market are getting realized. Not from an ethical starting point but more from a practical. Is that such a bad thing?


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