How to attract the right talent in the finance industry?
Volatile global economic environment raises a red flag to corporate finance functions while creating demand for highly skilled accounting and finance employees. According to 2015 Talent Shortage Survey of the ManpowerGroup, employers have difficulty in recruiting accounting and finance staff, especially book keepers, certified accountants and financial analysts, who rank seventh in the global top-10 most difficult positions to fill. At the same time, in the U.S., in spite of the continuous downsizing in the financial services industry, accounting and finance jobs rank fifth among the most in-demand job positions, and the more the U.S. economy is strengthening, the higher the demand for these positions will be.
Then and Now
Financial services have always been a top career choice. Especially, in the 1990s, graduates from well-established schools in North America and Europe were considering such a career path. Today, only 46% of the London School of Economics MBA graduates are pursuing the accounting and finance route, whereas, in 2013, only 23% landed a financial position. This is perhaps explained by the fact that people have lost confidence in banks and financial services, as the Edelman Trust Barometer reports. So, given the current volatile environment and declining confidence in the financial institutions, what is the best way to attract the right talent in the finance industry?
Seeking Out New Recruitment Pools
Capitalizing on the skills and adequacies of existing staff is a strategy many financial services firms are implementing before seeking to recruit new talent. The industry is challenging and the requirements are strict. Of course, by moving one employee to a different position, often paves the way for attracting a new one. After having exhausted own resources, financial firms look for new recruitment and labor pools to address potential talent shortages in their workforce. According to 2015 Talent Shortage Survey of ManpowerGroup 10% of employers are seeking to discover unexploited talent pools, including young people, while 8% of employers are selecting employees with the potential to acquire new knowledge.
Jumping On the Bitcoin Bandwagon
The introduction of the bitcoin in the financial services has altered the way transactions are conducted and is expected to bring about many more changes in the field. So far, leading financial services firms have invested in bitcoin and blockchain startups, as they are becoming aware of the advantages of the blockchain technology. On the other hand, a relatively small number of bitcoin startups are in the picture. BitFlyer, Coinbase, Chain, Digital Currency Group, and Ripple have captured the interest of major strategic investments by financial services firms, including American Express, Goldman Sachs, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, NYSE, Nasdaq, USAA, Visa, MasterCard, Capital One, and Santander InnoVenture, among others. All these strategic investors are playing a key role in keeping the financial market healthy and growing and in creating long-standing positions for accounting and finance talent. Although the deal activity declined both in Q2 and Q3 2015, dropping from $234.9 million in Q1 to $87.4 million in Q3, all leading financing deals to bitcoin and blockchain startups YTD include a corporate strategic investor.
Innovating, innovating, innovating
Since 2012, the financial services industry has been challenged by innovation in technology, services, and platforms. The ability to innovate has been perceived as the extent to which a financial firm can adequately respond and capitalize to challenge by setting an effective strategy. One of the steps taken in order to strategically anticipate innovation was the introduction of electronic and mobile payment systems in the financial services sector. The move has been widely well-received as the industry has shown quicker responsiveness to customer requests, but it has also provided customers with a higher security in regards to liability on card fraud, thus leading to raised consumer trust from 54% to 69%. In addition, it has created the need for talented employees who would possess the skills and the abilities to capitalize on a huge opportunity to become part of a changing era.
On a global level, hiring managers are posting ads on colleges, well-established schools and department websites. They thoroughly describe the job position and the highlight the skills and knowledge that the perfect candidate should possess. Typically, top MBA graduates would send out a resume seeking for more information with the aim to land an interview, especially if the financial firm is globally known and has a good reputation.
In conclusion, financial services are the center of a dynamic, challenging field that aims to attract young professionals with integrity and responsibility. Creative talent is recruited by financial institutions with a changing organizational culture ready to promote the economic and social role of the accounting and financial fields.
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