News Article

Outsourcing & Recruitment

UK Businesses need to do more to improve their credit departments' succession planning if they want to attract new talent

By CreditMan Wednesday, March 7, 2012

London, 7 March 2012: New research from commercial credit reference agency Graydon UK indicates UK businesses need to do more to improve their credit departments’ succession planning processes and training systems if they want to attract and retain new talent.

According to the report, which polled over 300 credit professionals across the UK, the proportion of credit professionals over the age of 40 has increased by 16 per cent in the last 7 years (from 55 per cent of respondents in 2005 to 71 per cent in 2012). The number of people over the age of 60 who remain in the profession, compared to a similar poll in 2005, has increased by 5 per cent. This suggests that the proportion of young and new talent within the industry is on the decline.

Over half (51 per cent) of people polled in 2012 compared with in 2005 have been in their current role for more than five years (including 27 per cent who have been working in their role for a decade or more) indicating that many credit professionals are stable in their jobs.

The survey also shows that credit professionals typically work in small teams, with two thirds of companies (63 per cent) employing up to five people in the credit function. Working in small teams when combined with people staying in jobs can inhibit career progression. In a market where almost a quarter (23 per cent) of credit professionals report that they have never attended a professional training course to support an advance their skills, it is not surprising that almost half (48 per cent) of professionals polled have an appetite for further education.

Gordon Skaljak, external spokesperson, Graydon UK, commented: “It is important that senior members of the credit industry pass down their knowledge and expertise to the next generation of credit professionals in order to ensure that a knowledge gap does not surface.

In a market where many credit professionals operate in small teams where progression may be limited, it is crucial that companies offer training and development. Staff should be encouraged to seek professional accreditations wherever possible. This will also help to attract new recruits to the credit management industry.”

The survey also reveals the most popular pastimes among the credit management community are reading (59 per cent) and visiting the cinema (43 per cent). Sport loving credit managers are most likely to enjoy football (29 per cent) and swimming (27 per cent). But the surge in interest in recent years in programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing has failed to inspire any more of them, with figures remaining at 18 per cent.