A deeper dive into the Treasurer Test Technical Knowledge part

| 19-07-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

Different from the multiple choice questions in the Big5 Personality Profile assessment, a number of treasury technical questions require you to make calculations. Furthermore, there is a time pressure component: there are more questions than you will be able to answer within the limited time. You will have to balance between answering questions right and answering as many as possible. It is not possible to skip questions.

In previous blogs and in the Treasurer Test example report  we mention the four corporate treasury sub disciplines we work with. For each discipline you will have a limited time of 10 minutes to answer the questions.

In below summary you can see what topics you can expect:

  1. Risk Management: future contracts, FX, interest, inflation, hedging, ALM, derivatives
  2. Corporate Finance: various bond types, valuation, equity, dividend calculations, rating agencies, bank loans
  3. Cash Management: zero balancing, liquidity management, bank account management, notional pooling, netting
  4. Treasury Miscellaneous: transfer pricing, withholding taxes, capitalization rules, investments, treasury organization, reporting & analysis, accounting & accounting principles, treasury technology and tender processes.

Together with industry and university experts we continuously work on updates of the questions catalogue. A challenge is to balance what is always relevant in corporate treasury, what is new and what will remain relevant.

It is possible to send your input for the further design of the questions catalogue. We are currently discussing topics like tax reforms, trade finance, treasury technology, alternative funding sources.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Partner Manager

 

 

6 reasons why we use Big5 for the personality profile test

| 12-07-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

Since the start of the development of the Treasurer Test we were convinced that including a personality assessment would bring added value. In a previous blog we describe why there are many well-known and documented typologies and standards for personality testing in the market. Without describing others in detail, this is what we like about the Big5 model.

  1. Big5 consists of a set of traits that describe the personality of the candidate that consistently define behaviour. A number of other assessments measure a wide variety of other aspects in a person that do not necessarily predict behaviour

 

  1. The Treasurer Test questionnaire based on theBig5 typology is designed with a working and professional perspective in mind. The questionnaire is not derived from questionnaires that are used for clinical purposes. It is taken into consideration that candidates with various cultural backgrounds will make the test, although these will have an effect that cannot be erased completely

 

  1. As with many other assessments, Big5 is a self-assessment. Our test developers have chosen for accessible questionnaires and paid attention to wording that matches the audience (well-educated professionals). Repetition is unavoidable in order to measure consistency: there is no shortcut that delivers the same quality. The way questions are asked helps the candidate to avoid giving the answers he/she thinks are the socially acceptable

 

  1. Many scientific institutes work with Big5 creating a vast amount of data and thus solidifying the typology. There is no single, commercial institute that owns the concept and has to balance quality and sales. There is no monopoly in the training of experts using Big5

 

  1. Many typologies work with a binary mindset: “if you are red, you are not green” or “you are either introvert or extravert but not somewhere in between””. There are even models that put, for example, rational and emotional on one axis. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. This type of thinking is often quite convenient, but the reality is often not black and white. All this is taken into consideration with Big5: single aspects are measured on one continuum

 

  1. Statistics have proven their value in science and modern life. The fundament of Big5 lies in solid numbers, Gauss curves and related concepts. Results are robust and can be reproduced. Scientists from independent institutes, who focus on methods and techniques helped building Big5.

There is a vast amount of scientific literature on this topic. With your cooperation we will include links to relevant input.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Partner Manager

 

Why a personality assessment in the Treasurer Test?

| 05-07-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

The personality of the candidate you consider for your job opening consists of a set of traits that determine his/her behaviour. As behaviour is essential for success in the new position, we decided a personality assessment would be a huge asset in the Treasurer Test.

Instruments for candidate screening

There are many instruments you can deploy to predict the success an applicant will have upon hire. Best known are cv screening, (structured) interviews, reference checks, diplomas and on-line or other assessments. Research shows that, depending on the position, skills tests are the best predictors of how good a candidate will do, followed by personality assessments. Combining various instruments increases certainty about the expected success. In the Treasurer Test we combine skill/knowledge testing with a Big5 personality assessment thus aiming high. There are other reasons for including Big5.

Personality Assessments

Many of the instruments mentioned to predict the success of an applicant are not stable. They will give different results with the same candidate if done for the second time and are subjective. Especially interviews and reference checks are proven unstable and interpreted differently. Most organisations did not invest in the training of interview skills of staff members: meetings are often improvised. Personality assessments are proven consistent. All involved in the recruitment process will have the same report, decisions will be better.

With on-line technology getting easier accessible and more cost effective, creating this assessment in 2019 is doable, though still not easy. Five years ago it would have been much harder and potential users would have a harder time to accept the concept.

Research of ‘the treasurer’ personality

No well-known research has been done into the personality and skills of treasurers. The population is not compared among each other and to general population. Neither research has been done into the success variables of treasury professionals. The dataset resulting from the Treasurer Test will, taking GDPR into consideration, be used to do quantitative research into the personality of “the treasurer” and other aspects.

Treasurer Test as matching tool

Let’s not forget that in order to reach the full potential of a new employee and related to this the Treasurer Test, the new working environment of the employee should be analysed in order to find out what personality would match best. The Treasurer Test serves as a matching tool, so two sides should be taken into consideration: the position and organisation on one hand, the candidate on the other.

Although user friendly, it cannot be denied that making the Treasurer Test is an investment in time and money.

However, let’s think about the following question: can you quantify the investment lost if you hire the wrong candidate?

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Partner Manager

 

Treasurer Test: The advantages of using the Big 5 model

| 20-06-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

In the upcoming weeks we will take a deeper dive into the Big 5 model. What are the advantages? Why did we select this model for the Treasurer Test?

Treasurer Test & Big 5: Introduction

The roots of the Treasurer Test lie in the desire to improve selection. A proper recruitment decision is based upon many variables. Often these variables are not objectively measurable: very often apples and oranges are compared. Research shows that knowledge, skills and personality are sound predictors of job success, can be measured objectively and compared to peer groups. This is to inform you about the Big 5 typology that measures personality.

OCEAN

A personality can be defined as a relatively stable set of traits resulting in consistent behavior in various situations and different from behavior of others in the same situation. In the typology there are five clusters of traits defined. Very often the acronym OCEAN (or CANOE) is used to remember the names of each cluster. Below we will describe them and include an example of a trait, projected on potential tasks of a treasurer:

  1. Openness for new experiences. Being innovative, having original ideas can be relevant for treasurers in a build-up situation.
  2. Conscientiousness: goal oriented, organized. A treasurer who is methodical plans, creates a structure and shows predictable behavior.
  3. Extraversion: energy focused externally or internally. A convincing treasurer will focus on influencing others, making sure they will align with the goals of the CFO and/or the treasury team.
  4. Agreeableness: focus on others (also altruism). A treasury manager who scores high on empathy will easily sense the emotions and feelings of his team.
  5. Neuroticism: emotional stability. If a treasury interim director is unfazed, he will not be affected by the crisis situation he might have to act in.

Self-assessment

As this is an introduction, we will not create a comprehensive overview but do want to stress the following; Big 5 does not put people in blue or red boxes but makes sound comparisons with peer groups according to statistically sound gauss curves. This is also the reason academic institutes like to use the model. The traits and scores are without value. High or low scores are only relevant if a specific behavior is desired. Big 5 works with a self-assessment, which is the best method to measure but will never result in an absolute truth.

Next

In following articles we will elaborate on relevant Big 5 questions like “why Big 5 and not another typology?”, “what are the traits measured and why are these relevant” and “what do we see in the Big 5 results of the peer group?”. We are open for questions and input and will continue to provide further information.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

Treasurer Test: The first results analysis and observations

| 14-06-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

Do people with many years of treasury experience have more relevant knowledge than those with less experience?

Are treasurers introvert people?

Are detail-oriented treasurers more knowledgeable?

Recently 100 test candidates completed the Treasurer Test, 75 of them working as corporate treasurers, 25 are working in positions related to the corporate treasury field. We asked all of them to take the test in order to build a strong and focused assessment tool. As an added result, we now have an extremely interesting dataset. It is our intention to share our analysis and observations about this dataset with you. Currently we are communicating with data and other scientist in order to present sound research.

Analysis & Observations

What do we have?

We have demographic information, the results on Treasury Technical Questions and Personality Profiles (Big5 theory). Therefore, let’s elaborate on the combination peer group – knowledge a bit to give you an idea about where we are working on.

The technical questions are divided in four groups:

  1. Corporate Finance
  2. Risk Management
  3. Cash Management
  4. Treasury Miscellaneous.

The testees are divided in four different experienced peer groups:

  1. 0 years experience
  2. 0-2 years experience
  3. 3-8 years experience
  4. 9 + years experience

The first quick analysis shows that there is a direct correlation between experience and knowledge in Risk Management: more experience equals more knowledge. Interesting enough, this correlation completely lacks in Corporate Finance, even testees without treasury experience do not score significantly less in this category. Furthermore, there is an indication that the knowledge level in the categories Cash Management and Treasury Miscellaneous is more or less the same for all groups. There is only a significantly difference between the corporate treasury experienced people compared to the people with no treasury experience.

Based upon these observations, we will ask the scientists and industry experts to work on the following hypothesizes (and on others of course):

  • Cash Management and Treasury Miscellaneous tasks are relatively easy to learn and/or a substantial part of the tasks of a young treasurer
  • The complexity of Risk Management is not easy to understand quickly and takes time to comprehend
  • Corporate Treasury is such a small part of the tasks of a treasurer that knowledge is not part of his/her working knowledge.

Given that we just started, we are very much open for your questions and suggestions. What questions do you want to get answered based upon the dataset? Thanks in advance for your input.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

 

Treasurer Test: We achieved an important milestone!

| 29-05-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

This is a shout out to all peer group members of the Treasurer Test: We Are There! Thanks to all of you.

We have to admit it has taken much more time than we expected. We learned a lot during this process. All peer group members will be informed about how to download the report shortly and we made all preparations possible. With the data set complete we will now focus on the completion followed by an active market introduction. What have we learned more specifically, also with your input and what is most urgent?

    • The technical questions are too complex. As we work with peer group comparison, the results still hold the value we were looking for. As we do not want to demotivate treasury people, we will sit together with data scientists to work on a statistically sound method to introduce less complex questions.
    • We will sit together with the experts of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Hogeschool Utrecht and others to gradually redesign the content of the question catalogue.
    • The report shows results in (relative) comparison with peer groups, also in absolutes. For example, you could have completed 30 questions, you answered 15 and 10 of these are correct. This deserves a proper reading instruction so readers can find value in the results and prevent misinterpretation.
    • We will keep on enhancing the result report in order to better show the number of questions that has been answered versus the number of questions answered correct. Both compared with the peer group. It is relevant to know if a candidate focuses on a high score and/or on a correct score.
    • The time to complete the Treasurer Test, both the technical part as well as the personality part, is considered long. We will work on expectation management and enhance the user instructions to preserve the quality.
    • Last but certainly not least, we will digest the valuable input of the peer group, in order to improve the Treasurer Test in many aspects.

We are thrilled that we reached a very important milestone in this exciting project. We will keep you informed and appreciate all input.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Partner Manager

 

Treasurer Test development: huge investment, great result!

| 03-10-2018 |

It all started a few years ago. The desire to better assess corporate treasurers led to a group of us wanting to build a test that did not exist yet. Together with various experts we invested time, money and expertise.

First, a project team was put together and Merel van Geel was appointed project leader. Other team members have a background in education, science, corporate treasury, assessment psychology, IT and treasury recruitment. Quite a diverse group! The goal of this project group was to investigate whether the concept could lead to a feasible business plan.

We quickly found that the cost of the software and its customization plays a vital role in this plan. The software should be able to test both personality as well as treasury knowledge, be able to work with various peer groups, include sound statistical research methods and generate reports. It should have a client friendly interface. In a few months, many systems were tested and demos have been viewed. After long consideration and negotiations, a software manufacturer was chosen that already developed tests and could be integrated into our existing software. This manufacturer has many universities and other research institutes as their client.

In parallel various personality models were considered. As the Big Five model is widely accepted, well known and, different from many others, accepted in academic circles, that is the model we chose. The Big Five assessment that is integrated in the Treasurer Test is offered by other parties separately and integrated in our solution. In other blogs we will elaborate on the model.

A team of experts from the Hogeschool Utrecht and the Vrije Universiteit took it upon them to develop a library of questions in various treasury sub categories and complexity level. The Test holds a lot more questions than the average candidate will answer.

Integration of various components was led by Merel and the results were screened by an advisory board that, together with a group of close friends were the first ones to do the Test for the first time. In parallel, we started to expand the treasuryXL website so that the test could be integrated and you can place and pay your order. Components such as a logo and a GDPR privacy statement were developed. Finally, the report of the Treasurer Test was designed, developed from the various above described components..

At this moment we are further testing the results. A selection of testee candidates has been made to fill the peer groups which are essential in the concept of the Treasurer Test. After the test has been made by these persons and feedback has been processed, the test will become available. We are very excited about this and will keep you up-to-date!

Greetings,

Team Treasurer Test

What is this Treasurer Test that we will launch shortly?

| 20-09-2018 |

The Treasurer Test is mainly created to give treasurers, their current and future employers and recruiters insight into the skills and personality of the treasurer. To achieve the foregoing, the test consists of two main parts.

Treasury technical knowledge

In this section the treasury knowledge level of the testee is tested. The questions in this section are developed by De Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and The University of Applied Sciences of Utrecht in cooperation with industry experts. The four categories tested are Cash Management, Corporate Finance, Risk Management and Treasury Miscellaneous. There is limited time available for each category. The questions get increasingly more complex: the first question is easier than the last one. Harder questions are rewarded higher than easy ones. The results are reported in absolutes (like a GPA), but will also be compared with a peer group that has about the same experience. As a hiring manager you can compare your potential employee with other candidates in the labour market.

Personality Profile

Twelve personality traits are tested in the personality part of the test. We have chosen for the Big5 model, in a later blog we will explain why. The outcome is compared with the general population and with the treasury population. We do this under the assumption that the personality of an average treasurer is different from a member of the general population. For example, the treasury testee might not be good at making contact in comparison with the general population, but at the same time be better at this than other treasurers.

As mentioned earlier, the test gives an insight into the skills and personality of the treasurer testee which can be used to decide whether he or she fits the position. The test can also give an indication whether the testee fits the company culture and if there are areas where the treasurer needs training or development.

We are currently testing the product, fill the benchmark and keep you posted about the progress of the test in the next weeks.

Team Treasurer Test