Treasury Recruitment in Germany – Lessons Learned in Mannheim

This year Treasurer Search was present with a stand at the FinanzSymposium of SLG in Mannheim for the first time. We found candidates for clients in Germany before and could now announce our local presence. We were also there to learn in what aspects the German labour market is different from others. Our visit was a big success, we met many, learned a lot, and could already discuss assignments.

FinanzSymposium

First about the event. SLG did an impeccable job in all aspects: a beautiful venue, well-serviced treasury product & service providers, high-calibre presentations, and good catering. Highlight was the gala with a great band, something similar events do not offer as far as we know. We consider it our task to know about the corporate treasury ecosystem and there is no better place. We met many other treasuryXL partners and learned about the latest developments.

Treasury Recruitment in Germany

When asking potential German employers about what they like in good treasury recruitment the first answer is: “candidates, period”. This is the same as our clients in other countries currently say. With the current tight labour market, process speed, quality of the process, cost, and even quality of candidate become secondary for many. A non-perfect employee is often better than no employee.

We learned that German hiring managers, more than in other countries, rely on their colleagues in HR and internal recruitment and do not step forward themselves too often. In finding solutions for bottlenecks, the text of an advertisement is often mentioned, as well as the communication channels used: Xing, LinkedIn, Stepstone, et cetera. This reminded us about a development we recently wrote about: Where did all the treasury applicants go? 90% of our successes are through approaching candidates (the ones we know and new ones) directly and we understand that is not always easy for corporates to do. Both identification and communication style require skills.

I worked in Germany until 15 years ago and what pleasantly surprised me is, with many employers, the willingness to recruit a non-German speaker. This could be a sign that the younger generation has a lower threshold for speaking English, company cultures are changing but perhaps also the previously mentioned aspect: better an English speaker than none.

Furthermore where many German treasury teams set themselves apart is their size. Teams in similar industries in other countries, working for a company with similar revenue, are often smaller. Perhaps we can go into detail about the how and what of this in a future blog.

The last aspect I want to mention is how hard it can be to find good treasury staff for a headquarter in a non-densely populated area. The industry in Germany is spread out over the country and a substantial number of HQs are based in locations that are not easily accessible. Remote working is accepted, but fully remote is often not. Company cars are not a standard anymore and even if so, youngsters do not always have a license or the willingness to commute. Hiring managers here have to use all the tricks in the book: adjusting profiles, remuneration, fully remote, a second HQ elsewhere, et cetera.

I left Mannheim Friday afternoon feeling that I learned a lot and confidence we can bring value both to clients as well as candidates. We’ll further inform you about developments and hope to see you soon somewhere in Germany.

Pieter de Kiewit
Geschäftsführer

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