Financial services is a tough, competitive industry full of motivated candidates and a large shortage of talent. Finance is expanding rapidly, and has a projected annual growth rate of around 9.6%. Despite the rapid growth, there is also an acute staff shortage and high competition for job openings, with 70% of finance CEOs citing talent shortages as a key concern. A recent report from Deloitte points out that around 82.4% of hiring managers in financial services state that finding talent is challenging, and that retaining workers will be a top priority in the coming year.
So, how can you succeed in recruiting for finance? How do you attract good candidates that will provide an excellent Quality of Hire? This article outlines our answer, which is based on developing your sourcing options, focusing on Employer Branding, Internal Recruitment, Diversity & Inclusion, and Candidate Experience.
One of the hardest challenges facing most financial recruiters is availability of talent. Talent is hard to come by, and expanding your total amount of candidates is the best way to increase your chances of landing the right candidate. Different sourcing options, like social media, dedicated job boards, or even online finance communities can help you find the right match.
71% of accounting and finance applicants say they regularly search for future employers on online job boards, so make sure you submit high-quality postings to websites like LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, and others. Posting vacancies on finance-specific websites like eFinancialCareers, FinancialJobBank, or the Association for Financial Professional’s Career Hub is also bound to attract high-quality candidates.
Opening up to remote work is another way of ensuring that geographic barriers don’t stand in the way of potentially valuable hires. The vast majority of both recruiters and candidates believe that remote work is here to stay, and will be the dominant form of working in future years.
Another source of great talent is referrals. According to a survey, 46% of finance and acccounting hiring managers cite referrals as a highly reliable source of high quality candidates, and 37% rely on their own personal networks to generate their own referrals.
Ultimately, increasing the total throughput of candidates into your process has to be managed with care. However, done properly, it can cause a large increase in the total amount of qualified candidates who are applying to your vacancies.
Employer Branding is another increasing concern for many candidates. Employers are increasingly aware of the many benefits that strong Employer Branding brings, with 86% citing it as a major priority. Presenting yourself as a strong employer with a strong EVP (Employer Value Proposition) is one of the most important ways of attracting valuable talent. Our analyses show that, among withdrawn candidates, EVP is one of the most important factors impacting their overall experience.
It’s also especially important in Financial Services as many are in dire need of high-quality talent that is often scarce, and can often find themselves in direct competition with Tech giants like Meta, Alphabet, or Amazon. Many companies in Finance can match benefits and bonuses with these giants, but often lack in Employer Branding for these highly competitive roles.
Candidates are leaning on Employer Branding to pick out potential employers. 86% of candidates check Glassdoor ratings before applying, and 75% say that Employer Branding is an important factor in their choice of employer. Focusing on improving your Employer Branding and engaging in recruitment marketing is a great way to prime candidates to the various benefits that working in your company includes.
Focusing on your Employer Brand will help differentiate your company from competitors, and make employment a more attractive prospect for candidates who are often choosing between multiple offers. A strong Employer Brand also has a host of benefits to both Candidate Experience and Employee Satisfaction, boosting acceptance and retention rates.
Internal mobility and recruitment is a particularly hot topic in 2023, and many hiring managers are increasingly looking inwards as a way of expanding their talent pools - and retaining employees who are interested in switching up their job responsibilities.
Chances are, you may already have an employee who is both a solid fit for a vacant position and open to moving around within the organization. Internal candidates carry their own unique set of benefits, and research shows that they often outperform external hires. They’re also beneficial to Employer Branding, Employee Engagement, and their retention rates are noticeably higher when compared to external candidates.
They’re already familiar with your company culture, and often know much more about the given departments than an external hire would. However, higher reward also means higher risk, and a negative Candidate Experience can be catastrophic when it happens to existing employees of your company.
Attracting diverse talent and focusing on D&I is also a great way to expand your pool of candidates. Finance is notably behind other industries when it comes to D&I, and prioritizing it can be a great way to boost your Employer Branding and make you truly memorable in applicants’ minds.
The jury is out: candidates really like it when a company is inclusive and truly diverse. Similarly, they really dislike it when D&I comes across as inauthentic. In fact, our own data backs this up. We see that D&I is heavily correlated with a positive Candidate Experience and cNPS ratings for both rejected and withdrawn candidates. Having a truly diverse and inclusive company contributes to an excellent Candidate Experience, and makes your company stand out from the competition.
If Diversity & Inclusion is a core belief and principle of your company, and if you actively prioritize it, then make sure you mention it in your recruitment process. A majority of candidates report having withdrawn from or turned down a job offer because of a perceived lack of Diversity & Inclusion.
Drawing on new sources of diverse talent is also beneficial to expanding your total number of potential candidates. Consider using boards and sourcing websites that are specifically dedicated to finding diverse talent that might be underrepresented in more traditional methods.
Many Financial Services firms are looking for other ways to make themselves increasingly competitive on the job market. Besides a competitive compensation package, which is often already provided in Finance, it’s often everything else that can nudge a qualified candidate to one company over another.
One of the most crucial ways that competing employers can stand out is by treating candidates better than their competitors. A positive Candidate Experience makes candidates 38% more likely to accept a job offer, which cuts down your withdrawal rate and leads to much less wasted time in the long run. Besides that, 77% of candidates will share their positive experiences with their networks, making you look great to all of their high-qualified friends and ex-colleagues.
An excellent Candidate Experience also makes candidates 66% more likely to refer others, which is particularly impactful in Finance, where referrals are relied on more than in other industries. It’s entirely possible for a candidate to be unsure about picking between two offers, and opting to go for the one that treated them better during the recruitment process.
Many finance companies often find themselves competing with the likes of Meta and Google for highly technical talent, and have turned to a creating an excellent Candidate Experience as part of their arsenal. For example, one of our customers, a well-known Neobank, has turned to creating an optimal Candidate Experience to remain competitive in the labor market.
The results have been convincing, and measuring Candidate Experience in a granular way let them understand exactly what pain points rejected, withdrawn and hired candidates had. This allowed them to adjust their process according to what candidates pointed out, remaining dynamic and responsive to their candidates. Through their efforts, their Candidate Experience has increased well above all benchmarks, and has resulted in lower amounts of withdrawals and an increase in their offer acceptance rates.
External data confirms this phenomenon. 86% of candidates say that Candidate Experience is a solid predictor of how they will be treated as employees. If a candidate experiences first-class treatment, then they’ll be much more likely to accept an offer.
Every recruiter aiming to capture the best financial services talent can succeed by leaning on the 5 tips we shared in this article. Recruiting success is brought about by having a diversified amount of sources for potentail candidates, strong Employer Branding, high Internal Mobility, a focus on Diversity & Inclusion, and a first-class Candidate Experience. All of these factors will contribute to making your company stand out from the crowd, and attract valuable talent in a highly competitive market.