What are the recruitment challenges for financial services professionals?

Danielle Evans our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 17 February 2022

The financial services sector has been going through a transformation. With changes in regulation and technology, as well as the challenges of hiring for cultural fit, companies have had to constantly adapt. It’s important that companies recruit people from different backgrounds to contribute to the innovation of the business, and create a tailored onboarding process to reflect the employer brand. Right now, many firms in the financial services industry are facing some of the most difficult conditions in recent memory. The sector is becoming increasingly competitive as companies of all sizes race to recruit the best talent to ensure long-term growth. Hiring the right talent and improving the recruitment process is essential for the financial services sector. So, what are the key challenges and how can firms overcome them?


Assessing and attracting the right candidates


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roles in finance and business are expected to grow by 5% until 2029, which is faster than the average of all occupations, adding around 476,000 new jobs. This means it’s all the more important that leaders of financial organizations understand how to recruit enough skilled employees to fill the increasing open positions. Therefore, a rigorous assessment of candidates has become crucial. Too often, banks and other financial institutions rely on informal hiring processes instead of using a more accurate, data-driven process with a clearly defined recruitment strategy. The problem with informal hiring is the lack of accuracy and consistency when compared to a data-driven approach to hiring. It’s important for companies to recognize that a more structured and purposeful recruitment process can improve the quality of the hire, and improve the candidate experience. As such, a data-driven approach can allow companies to compare candidates and embed diversity into the process. With so much competition in the market, financial leaders must identify the key performance indicators, characteristics and objectives for each role – which can make the hiring process much more efficient.


Recruiting young professionals


While the assessment process and aligning the business strategy with recruitment is hugely important, the ability to attract graduates and younger professionals will be key for the sustainability of firms in the future. Attracting and retaining young professionals has been recognized as one of the biggest challenges for senior professionals. And 40% of CEOs in the industry believe that it will be even harder to recruit talented people in the future due to limited supply, making it all the more important to focus on millennials, especially as older generations retire. 


The younger generations are making up a large proportion of the workforce and many of their characteristics, such as the desire for a varied career and to progress quickly, mean that businesses today must change their recruitment and retention strategies to attract this talent pool. Millennials often look for a job with purpose and meaning, with a positive work-life balance being a high priority. The ability of financial employers to create a meaningful workplace that engages with society will be critical for attracting young professionals. Adapting processes and understanding the concerns of recent graduates, using metrics and benchmarking, is key to assisting with their growth and development.


Diverse and inclusive hiring


Today, diversity and inclusion is a key area of focus for all businesses. It has become clear that diverse hiring is not only crucial for fostering a fair and inclusive environment but recruiting across all genders and ethnicities, has been shown to increase business. According to PWC’s Millennial financial report, 85% of respondents revealed that when deciding whether or not work for a company, they took the employer’s policy on diversity and equality into consideration. That’s why it’s important that financial services firms implement a diverse hiring strategy. Effective diversity recruiting requires a dedicated approach with documented support, which can prove a challenge for many companies. However, according to research and insights conducted by Forbes, 65% of surveyed executives have programs specifically designed to recruit diverse employees. There’s no doubt that the success of diverse hiring depends on the commitment of senior management. Without the support of senior leaders, diversity is difficult to achieve – and by embracing inclusiveness, financial institutions can build strong cultures that reflect modern society and its communities.


How Hanover can help your recruitment


Hanover has years of experience in the financial services market, working across bankingasset managementprivate equity and fintech. We have an outstanding in-house team of executive search specialists who are able to build great relationships with clients and candidates. Our team are able to advise on how to have a strategic approach to your recruitment, to match your business needs with available talent in the wider market. Contact Danielle Evans, Senior Associate for more information about financial services recruitment, or get in touch with our wider team to start a conversation.


Get to know our team
by selecting your area of interest: