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Turning the corner on recruitment

Turning the corner on recruitment

Over the last few years the term “recruitment crisis” has been as prevalent as “regulation” and “another new housing minister”. Every corner of financial services, it seems, has been experiencing something of a drought when it comes to fresh new talent.

There are of course many reasons for this.

It may have been 10 years ago now but one can’t discount the impact of the credit crunch on the market when it comes to talent. As a result of the financial crash the industry bade farewell to numerous talented individuals. Yes, this included some industry heavyweights but also countless junior and senior staff who were either left with no choice but to find an alternative career or opted to do so to avoid the problems impacting the industry.

And it wasn’t just the people already in the industry that we lost either – our future talent pool was also affected. When the front pages of the national press are lamenting the collapse of financial services for months on end you can kind of forgive those graduates and students who may have decided a career away from finance might have been a safer option.

Then of course there’s Brexit. While none of us really know what the impact is going to be when we leave the European Union (including, it seems, David Davis and Theresa May) there are rumbling concerns that employment and indeed, talent, will be affected. Several institutions have hinted they may move part of their operations out of the UK but even more worryingly are the predictions that huge numbers of talented individuals could move with them. Indeed, according to one European lobbying group Paris could lure 20,000 workers from the UK’s financial services industry as we prepare to make our exit. That means we’ll be losing a huge pool of potential employees at a time when we need them most.

But despite this glum picture, it seems that many people who left the sector are now keen to get back in.

Since Christmas we’ve made several new hires and I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by the calibre of applications we’ve received. We’ve been able to recruit new team members who have not just a passion for the industry but a decent amount of experience in it too.

This may in part be due to the fact other areas of the industry are winding down. Look at the claims industry for example. Like it or loathe it it must be said that a lot of the people working within that sector have worked in brokerages, banks or building societies prior to the crunch but have retained retained knowledge and skills we want as well as a passion for sales and a desire to achieve results.

It’s not just this sector that is producing great potential though. We’ve also seen candidates with recent banking backgrounds who have developed an excellent knowledge of finance and are now looking for a new challenge. Many banks are outsourcing abroad or rely on a large pool of temporary staff, all of whom have been thoroughly vetted and trained, but are now looking for permanent positions.

Some of these have already completed CeMAP qualifications or at least part completed them and they’re ready and willing to learn more. Other have the groundwork sorted – the basic industry knowledge of products, regulation and compliance.

And this I think might be the crux of the issue. The fact is, if you’re looking for the complete package, the finished product then yes you may well find yourself facing a recruitment crisis – unless you’re willing to tempt them away from their current employer and engage in a bidding war.

But if you’re willing to train and develop someone, to take someone with the raw materials and turn them into a success then there are plenty of bright, smart and potentially brilliant candidates out there.

As we all know finance is something that is in your blood. Once you’ve been in it a little while you start enjoying the buzz. You get a thrill from solving problems and making things that seem impossible work. These are the qualities we need. Indeed, specialist finance is primarily all about problem solving and making square pegs fit in rounds holes. So if you’re willing to take a chance on someone who has that drive but doesn’t necessarily know the benefits of term loans over bridging or can’t name the lending criteria of x, y, and z, invest in them. Work with them because knowledge can be learnt, a drive and a passion for finance cannot.

There’s an awful lot of people out there looking for an opportunity and there’s plenty of talent you don’t want to miss out on.

All levels?

01902 585052

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