General Counsel & Company Secretary - FTSE 250
A recent article written by our Director, David Press where he addresses shortage of goveance professionals at the Assistant level has me considering the state of the goveance employment market and how we can avoid repeating the same shortage again and again.
Naturally, for a recruiter a busy market is an enticing prospect. However, due to the significant lack of candidates at the assistant level, our team has been operating in a different capacity when tasked with these difficult searches. In years gone by, there has been a healthy mix of supply and demand however, that is not the case at present. There simply aren’t enough professionals to meet the demand.
Over the past 12 months, DMJ have been instructed on a total of 60 Assistant Company Secretary roles. In comparison, the number of Trainee Company Secretary positions and entry Level Company Secretarial Assistant positions total only 12 - a worrying deficit.
These numbers are not sustainable.
We need to replenish the ranks below the assistant level to cultivate a market that allows for growth and progression of current assistants. Similar to how goveance teams are now being tasked with corporate sustainability, we need to be mindful of creating a long term and sustainable marketplace for the goveance profession less we find ourselves in a very similar position in 3 to 5 years’ time when individuals are needed at this level again.
As David alluded to, organisations are currently combating their search issues at the Assistant level by widening their parameters and hiring outside of the assistant level however, as a collective, we need to consider what can we as an industry do to further promote the goveance profession and allow access for more graduates to enter the market. The UK is the world leader in goveance and it’s our responsibility as recruiters, industry professionals and organisations to nurture this competitive advantage and ensure it is as strong as possible.
We have worked for over five years through DMJ Recruitment Insight Days to attract new talent to the goveance industry. Supported by the The Chartered Goveance Institute of UK & Ireland, we have, in our own humble way, worked to increase interest and headcount at these junior levels. Initiatives like these are vital to ensuring this vital sector continues to flourish and avoids staffing shortages.
It’s also the responsibility of senior goveance professionals to take the industry as a whole into account when considering their hiring processes. Hiring at the graduate level should be a serious consideration for those interested in maintaining the long-term sustainability of the profession so we can avoid these shortages repeating themselves down the line.
The UK goveance industry is a well-oiled machine, but like all machines, it takes care and maintenance to ensure it’s running and continues to run efficiently. Let’s make the rest of the jouey as fruitful as the miles we’ve already ticked off the odometer.