Money is Not Enough in Search for new Financial Services Talent
A worrying trend within financial institutions indicates that bright young people are less and less inclined to enter the financial services market – with new blood tending to opt for other types of workplaces and industries. Recent statistics suggest that 65% of people would not consider working in the financial services market. There are a number of factors in play, but one of the overriding issues appears to be with the image of the sector - with almost half of young people under the impression that working in financial services is “boring.”[i]
The percentage of 22 to 29-year olds with administrative jobs in financial services has dropped from 3.1% in 2011 to 2.7% in 2017. [ii]
In addition, it would appear that of the 16 to 24-year-olds who have seen fit to enter the world of financial services, a huge 55% have parents who have or do work in the industry. This indicates that having a parent in financial services either encourages young people to enter the sector or gives them an edge when it comes to accessing it.[iii]
This is a concerning realisation, with industry experts believing that the drop in new blood within the sector could have serious knock-on effects. The lack of interest from young people who currently have no link to financial services, means that the talent pool is becoming narrower and less diverse.
There are a number of ways that new talent can be attracted into the industry. It will require some strategy and effort on the part of financial services companies but will reap dividends in terms of the future of the financial services sector.
An interesting career
Traditionally, the financial service’s sector’s healthy pay cheques have been a huge motivating factor in attracting talent into the industry. It still has a hold over graduates, with 25% of young people stating that money is a very important consideration in selecting their future career. [iv]
However, far more valued other aspects of employment over and above the financial compensation that they could expect. A huge 71% stated that they wanted an interesting job.
Offering exciting training programs, with awe-inspiring company retreats or opportunities to work abroad could all help to pull in a talent pool that is not only interested in big financial incentives.
The survey also showed that an increasingly large proportion of young people are seeking to be employed by a company that shares their ethics and values. 26% say they want a job that helps others, while 20% want to contribute to society.[v]
More and more financial institutions are beginning to realise that social responsibility is vital to the future of their communities, as well as the future of their companies. https://www.astoncharles.co.uk/news/blog/three-ways-that-millennials-will-shape-financial-services-by-the-year-2030. With a rise in young people with an extensive social conscience, companies that are involved in work within their local community or offer work placements with charities and to developing countries may see an influx of talented new recruits that might otherwise be drawn to service or charitable sectors.
Today’s millennials are entering the workplace with a strong emphasis on work–life balance. They want to have time for friends, family and hobbies and do not want to be spending the majority of their waking hours in the workplace. 40% of young people stated that having time for family is a very important consideration when looking at their future career. [vi]
While the financial services sector has often seen long working hours, early starts and high stress jobs, in recent years companies have brought about the availability of flexible working, shared parental leave, and options for working from home. Unfortunately, sometimes these options can be difficult to access – or the reality of day-to-day work makes them hard to utilise. These new options need to be emphasised and promoted, both to existing employees and to prospective candidates, in the search for the best of new talent.
Think outside the box
When recruiting, it is not only new graduates that should be targeted. Many financial services companies are starting to see the value in transferable skills, with excellent candidates coming from all sorts of other sectors – such as sports and military. The “can-do” attitude, people skills, strategy and logical thinking that are developed in numerous other industries can be of great value within the financial services sector, allowing talent from other sectors to enjoy a high-flying second career within financial institutions.
Under half of people coming to the end of a career in sports had received careers advice as they looked to the future. However, 53% that were asked, said that they would think about working in financial services. [vii]
Aiming recruitment literature at other sectors could be a vital way of recruiting new talent that has a different but related background – diversifying the thought processes, innovations and strategies that the sector can hope to see moving forwards.
Work with agencies
Using a specialist recruitment agency can ensure that companies can recruit top talent, without spending thousands of personnel hours on the process. Aston Charles, specialist recruitment agency for financial services and insurance, benefits from applications from hundreds of potential job candidates from a wide variety of expertise and skill sets. This wide pool of candidates enables Aston Charles to identify the best-of-the-best for each individual job post, whilst identifying transferable skills.
Is there hope for the future?
While the recruitment of talented new people into the sector is presenting new challenges - that cannot simply be overcome with money – the good news is that financial services employees are happier and more satisfied in their jobs than the national average, with 87% saying they enjoy their job. [viii]
The industry is clearly getting something right – the important thing is to get this across to potential new recruits, allowing top candidates to see the benefits of working in this fulfilling and vital sector.
[i] Accountancy Age. 2019. UK financial services facing 'talent crisis' - Accountancy Age. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.accountancyage.com/2019/04/23/kpmg-study-reveals-scale-of-crisis-in-financial-services/. [Accessed 02 June 2019]. 41% of people not working in finance, say they have the impression it is “boring”.
[ii] Young people's career aspirations versus reality - Office for National Statistics. 2019. Young people's career aspirations versus reality - Office for National Statistics. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/youngpeoplescareeraspirationsversusreality/2018-09-27. [Accessed 02 June 2019].
[iii] The Guardian. 2019. Finance workers three times as likely to have parents in same sector | Business | The Guardian. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/apr/22/finance-workers-three-times-likely-parents-sector-diversity. [Accessed 02 June 2019].
[iv] Young people's career aspirations versus reality - Office for National Statistics. 2019. Young people's career aspirations versus reality - Office for National Statistics. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/youngpeoplescareeraspirationsversusreality/2018-09-27. [Accessed 02 June 2019].
[vii] Look to sports for adviser recruitment - FTAdviser.com. 2019. Look to sports for adviser recruitment - FTAdviser.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ftadviser.com/opinion/2019/05/15/look-to-sports-for-adviser-recruitment/. [Accessed 02 June 2019].
[viii] Accountancy Age. 2019. UK financial services facing 'talent crisis' - Accountancy Age. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.accountancyage.com/2019/04/23/kpmg-study-reveals-scale-of-crisis-in-financial-services/. [Accessed 02 June 2019].