The qualifications and experience that professionals possess, in the finance sector particularly, are often key determining factors for whether or not a professional will be given the opportunity to interview for a role. When hiring, many employers are quite inflexible with skill sets that they have identified as mandatory in the job description. This is because they are often looking to hire a ready-made solution to replace an existing employee and want the new head to be an immediate fix. In addition to this, recruitment bias often influences hiring decisions. Where unconscious bias occurs in the recruitment process, a hiring manager is looking for people that mirror the experience and skills that they possess, and don’t want to risk the profile of their team.
However, this can cause huge delays in the recruitment process and restricts businesses from accessing a wider pool of exceptional talent.
Key hiring challenges in the finance sector
In a competitive market in which top talent is in high demand, employers are often surprised by the number of challenges that they encounter when going through a hiring process.
There are a number of misconceptions around the availability of talent (or lack thereof) in the marketplace. Attracting - and securing - top talent in the finance sector is difficult, but in many instances, employers’ perceptions of what the market is like are based around their own experience when they were last actively seeking employment and secured their own role. The trouble with this is that market dynamics are constantly evolving, and the experience is likely to be very different.
Another challenge that employers are facing when recruiting, is the restriction of managing internal salary brackets against the rising external market rates. The salary expectations of top talent are much higher than many businesses are offering or willing to offer. As a result, these professionals are then hired by competitors.
Broadening your candidate search
In the current market, we would highly encourage all businesses to broaden their search when recruiting. One way to do this is to ensure that you have a very clear and compelling employee value proposition. It is also key that you adopt an effective method of communicating this to your target audience. The target group should include both active and passive candidates.
Once interest has been piqued, being able to offer high levels of flexibility in the workplace can significantly increase the level of buy-in from talent. If possible, as the ability to work remotely is highly sought by professionals, a remote working policy is a favourable benefit to promote during your candidate search and will significantly increase the pool of talent available to you.
Considering these points, and depending on the role that you are advertising, it is also beneficial to open your search to other sectors. Although there are some short-term challenges of hiring professionals with experience from outside your industry, this has led to very positive outcomes for a number of our clients. For example, hiring people from different sectors brings new knowledge and a fresh perspective to challenge conventional ways of working.
Hiring from the more junior talent pool
Another way to expand your search is to open your process to more junior candidates. The chief reason for reluctance in doing this is that most employers need their new hire to have sufficient experience to hit the ground running. Often employers don’t have the time or the resource to train new employees and want someone who can boost productivity in the business shortly after commencing the role. This then significantly reduces the breadth of suitable candidates that can be considered and causes lengthy delays in hiring, and the worst-case scenario may also mean that the role doesn’t get filled at all.
Building a more flexible recruitment process
There are three key areas in which employers can increase the flexibility of their recruitment processes. Those that run processes with inflexible requirements for skills and experience, or aren’t willing to offer the benefits that professionals are looking for, are missing out on exceptional talent.
Offer a competitive salary. Do your research and work closely with a specialist recruitment consultant for market trends and insight into the current salary expectations of top talent. Use our Salary Benchmarking Tool to compare by sector and region.
2. Working hours
If your company already offer a flexible/dynamic working policy then be sure that you are highlighting this from the outset of your process. If not, then it would be highly beneficial to explore whether this might be something that can be introduced in your business.
Think longer-term when hiring. Junior candidates can be upskilled and developed within your business while professionals from other sectors can bring a wealth of additional knowledge to your team. Don’t discount this talent.
At Michael Page Finance, our consultants are specialists in the sector and local area they operate within. This means that our teams are uniquely positioned to offer advice on market trends, the availability of talent, and offer solutions to your recruitment challenges.
If you would like more information, or to explore how we can help source the right talent for your business, get in touch with your local Michael Page office today.
Operating Director, Michael Page
T: +44 2380 206440