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A deeper dive into the Treasurer Test Technical Knowledge part

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 the 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,

 

Wout van Wijlick
Marketing Coordinator, treasuryXL

 

 

6 reasons why we use Big5 for the personality profile test

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,

 

Wout van Wijlick

Marketing Coordinator, treasuryXL

 

Why a personality assessment in the Treasurer Test?

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 online 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 online 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 accepting 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 a 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,

Wout van Wijlick

Marketing Coordinator, treasuryXL

 

Treasurer Test: The advantages of using the Big 5 model

In the upcoming blog, 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 inconsistent 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 absolute truth.

Next

In the 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,

 

Wout van Wijlick

Marketing Coordinator, treasuryXL

 

For what audience is the Treasurer Test developed?

The Treasurer Test has been developed with three different audiences in mind:

  1. Treasurers; those who are already active treasurers
  2. Education; those who have the ambition to become a treasurer or want to asses their treasury skills
  3. Recruitment; those who will deal with the function.

Their goals might overlap but there are differences. In this blog we will elaborate.

Treasurers
Taking the test, already being a treasurer, can be useful in many situations. First, wanting to show your hiring manager you are fully capable and have the right personality for the position you want to step into. This is an obvious one. Second, planning your career. The result report will show the candidates treasury knowledge gaps and personality, helping in education and coaching plans. Third and last, as a treasury team you want to be ready for the future of your organisation and prepare. In order to achieve this, you want to know your current status in order to build a development plan with a focus both on skills as well as on personalities.

Education
Aspiring treasurers might have the aforementioned goals and some extra. They might not have done the job, but know a lot and want to prove this. Automatically, the Test will show where development might be started best and if the potential is enough to pick up the position. Taking the Test will also lead to insight what the job is about. It is not intended, but might lead to a candidate treasurer steering his career in another direction. Finally, we are talking with educators to deploy the test at the start and at the end of a program in order to objectively measure progress of students.

Recruitment
In finding staff or helping them in development, HR, recruiters and educators will play an important role. It is not to be expected that these specialists benefit from taking the Test. They should know about the Big5 typology and understand how the Test measurers skills.
On the other hand, CFOs, CFO team members, auditors, bankers and other financial specialist and their organisations will benefit from them taking the Test. Many of them consider themselves (unjust) knowledgeable in corporate treasury. Insight in their actual knowledge level is a good starting point. If the non-treasurer knows a lot and can prove this with the Test results, treasury specialists will better accept input. If not, the non-treasurer will better appreciate the expertise of the specialist and put treasury higher on the priority list.

Are you interested how the Treasurer Test can help you? Contact us by sending a message, or feel free to order directly.

 

How to prepare for the Treasurer Test

We recommend to make the test in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed. There are more questions than you can answer in the time that’s available. If you don’t know the answer on a question, move on to the next. The Treasurer Test measures knowledge, speed, productivity and accuracy.

Technical Treasury Knowledge part
Complex calculations have to be made. We advise to use a scientific calculator and a pen and paper to take notes.

Personality Profile part
There is no right or wrong. This section consists of statements in which you must indicate whether or not this applies to you.

Here is a short summary of preparation advice that will help you in advance of making the Treasurer Test:

  • Take the test in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed
  • Make sure you have a scientific calculator, pen and paper at hand
  • You need to finish the Technical Treasury Knowledge part in one time. Same counts for the Personality Profile part. However, you can take a rest between these two different test parts.
  • Move on to the next question when you don’t know the answer. You have limited time (this only count for the Technical Knowledge part).
  • The test is intensive, take this into account

Greetings,

Team Treasurer Test

 

Wout van Wijlick

Marketing Coordinator, treasuryXL

 

 

What is this Treasurer Test that we will launch shortly?

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