Common Talent Challenges Facing the Financial Sector

Common Talent Challenges Facing the Financial Sector

The quest to find the best talent is real in every sector.

You should expect recruitment challenges along the way while trying to find exceptional candidates especially if your are looking for very unique or vertical specific skills.

The Financial Services sector is no different, especially with Fintech talent being hard to find at the best of times. If you are looking to hire the best individuals, you will most likely use your internally routes firstly to see if any of your own team are applicable. However it stands to reason that in most cases you wouldn’t still have the need if you did.

Lets say your business decides to take on the challenge yourself. By the time you have gained signoff, written the role brief, a person specification and an advert requiring sign off from HR – the chances are that a week maybe longer has flown by. By the end of week 2 HR may have advertised your vacancy on say and Linkedin. They receive 23 applications over 2-3 weeks and forward for your perusal.

4-5 weeks have flown by, you then spend a considerable amount of time assessing each resume, providing a substantial amount of written and referenced feedback which in the most scores a five of six out of 10. In most parts the candidate may have some of the relevant skills but their work history is completely off. They may have worked in the right vertical historically but have not done the actual role you are looking for someone to do or transversely they have done the same role but in a different vertical where the sales cycle is different and they have no contacts to speak off in yours. Either Way the exercise has required a lot of time but you are no further forwards.

Naturally from your management feedback, HR or the resourcing team push you to see at least a few candidates to make sure. Which reluctantly you agree too. By this time its the end of the 4th to 5th week and you have scheduled 3 Zoom meetings with some of the candidates. You approach the calls pessimistically on the basis that you were not blown over in the first place.

At this point all candidate assessments are complete and you provide feedback to the internal teams that none are broadly suitable along with notes for the HR team to pass back to the candidates.

You schedule a call with the internal team and reiterate the brief and see what else can be done in order to find the right candidate.

One of two things typically happens, they either re-advertise the role (hoping that the right person may look at it and apply) or offer the role out to an external partner. We absolutely agree that if a business can full a vacancy internally either by promotion or someone that you know that you should explore this route first. However when the role is rare, uniquely skilled or has proven hard to find historically you should consider utilising the network, skills and proactive outreach that an Executive Search partner has to offer.

In these circumstances, be respectful of your own time. Save the working capital investment of time and costs through advertising, hoping that the right person will by chance be looking at that very moment and instead outsource to a Head-hunter who has a specific interest, case studies and proven success in your sector.

Not only will the Exec Search firm help you to shape the role, the brief and guide you on what level of remuneration and package will attract the right candidate – they will be very motivated to supply you with ample choice as their reputation and ongoing partnership with your company relies on it.

They will also gain a comprehensive understanding of the company culture and and proactively approach the market inclusive of alerting candidates that are not proactively searching for a role about a tactical position change which adds value to their career.

Let the recruiter exhaust their contacts, use their networks and assessment skills in order to present a number of candidates to you that are equally strong. In an ideal world, so strong that you struggle to choose between a number of great options. A tough position to be in I know.

Not only will you find the right candidate for the role, you will most likely find someone with the embedded knowledge and skills that you require to hit the ground running and as an added bonus will typically shake your competition in doing so, softening their grasp of your desired market share.

Here are some of the top 5 recruitment challenges facing firms planning to hire new staff.

  • Lack of candidates with specific vertical knowledge
  • Too many candidates apply for a advertisement but the majority are unsuitable
  • Most candidates are being assessed for multiple roles therefore odds are against you.
  • Requested pay scales are out of your range or the candidate disappears before you are able to hire.
  • A counter offer is accepted and you have to start the process again.

Historically you would find potentially 6 to 7 CVs for a specific post, but these days you will be lucky to find one or two good ones. What changed? The market today lacks a good pool of qualified and professional candidates, even more so when recruiting within a niche.
We all agree that every business has its fair share of challenges and hopes that things will even out in the long term.

As companies look further to securing the best individuals, they reconsider their working schedules to offer a flexible working environment to harness the best talent.

Counter Offers:

The financial sector recruitment faces challenges are just like any other, more so when the current employer decides to give a counter offer just when you think you found the right candidate. Many employers persuade their employees that more money is not the solution, many candidates tend to look for greener pastures regardless. We find that in the vast majority of cases where a candidate has accepted a counter offer its typically with the promise of a team, promotion, new role, flexibility etc.. however based on the fact that a large number of the same candidates are back on the job market within 3-6 months suggests that in the majority of cases nothing changed or the promises were never realised.

Engaging internal promotions, respect & creative freedom, allowing room to grow and a dynamic, flexible, grown up culture are the things that companies really need to foster and equally how to portray the brand to prospective staff members.

Make it clear how someone new can benefit the business and allow them the room to show you what they can do.

Resolving some of the issues that might push prospective candidates away will give you a better change of securing the best individuals.

For unique, hard to fill or niche roles its often better to partner with a financial services / fintech executive head-hunter, who will apply the time and utilise their network to solve your resource challenges so that you can focus on running a productive business.

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