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How To Find Top Talent in Financial Services Recruiting: 8 Key Steps

Kristin Bachman
5 min read

Struggling to recruit new financial services talent? You're not alone.

One report finds that a staggering 80% of financial institutions are worried about adequate, highly-qualified staffing. Whether you're in the business of corporate finance, investment management, hedge funds, or anything in between, being able to find (and retain) the best talent can be more challenging than ever.

With a better understanding of the current recruiting environment and how to overcome key challenges, you can find innovative ways to improve hiring initiatives and thrive — even in a struggling market.

Discover how Hunt Club helps connect you with uniquely qualified candidates who can shape the future of your financial services company. 

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Understanding the Recruiting Environment in Financial Services

The financial services industry is growing rapidly, with a projected growth of 7% between 2021 and 2031 alone. Meanwhile, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics data projects the addition of more than 715,000 new jobs in the sector by 2031. This includes jobs in such common roles as:

  • Accountants and auditors
  • Budget/financial analysts
  • Loan and compliance officers
  • Financial advisors
  • Wealth management advisors
  • Purchasing agents and managers
  • Asset management professionals
  • Investment banking professionals

Despite this projected growth, however, many top financial services businesses are struggling to fill open roles. 


Well, the problem is multi-faceted. 

There's a shortage of qualified candidates throughout the industry — especially as more positions require niche skill sets and specialized experience. As a result, there's greater competition among employers to attract talent.


Key Challenges in Financial Services Recruiting

If your financial services business is having a hard time filling open roles, it may be because of one (or several) culprits, including:

Limited Talent Pool

Simply put, the industry's talent pool isn't growing at the same rate as the sector itself. This stagnant talent pool is compounded by the fact that many finance professionals are approaching retirement age. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report finds that the average financial advisor is around 55 years old, with about 20% of all financial advisors being over 65.

As more of these workers retire (and are expected to retire), this will continue to leave more openings that a limited talent pool may be unable to fill.


High Competition for Top Talent

With fewer candidates to choose from, competition for qualified talent can be fierce. You may have already witnessed this in your own recruiting if you had job offers declined by ideal candidates.

Furthermore, it's not enough for financial services businesses to simply offer a candidate a great salary, health insurance plan, and retirement plan. More than ever, workers are seeking benefits that improve their work-life balance — and 47% of employees are now likely to prioritize their personal lives and families over work.

All this is to say that candidates are more selective than ever about the companies they work for, and competition is fierce as a result.

The financial services sector is no exception here, with competition among companies being even more intense due to an already-limited talent pool.


Rapid Digital Revolution

Finally, with seemingly constant innovations and developments in the financial services industry, executive recruiters face several new hiring challenges. As the industry innovates and new financial technology is released, the need for candidates with more precise and niche skills also increases, making it harder to find the right people to fill open roles.


8 Steps for Success in Financial Services Recruiting

While it's true that some finance recruiting challenges (such as a limited talent pool) are out of your company's control, you can still take some proactive steps to improve your talent acquisition.

1. Craft a Strong Employer Brand

It all begins with building your brand and diversifying your workplace from others. This will help you compete with other financial services firms (as well as fintech and even tech businesses) to bring in new talent.

This means not just focusing on your benefits packages (though those are important, too), but making sure that your business is an enjoyable place to work.

Take some time to research and assess your company's perception by surveying and interviewing current employees. From there, you can work toward improving your employer brand and making your workplace more fun, engaging, and enticing for potential talent.


2. Use a Trusted Recruiting Agency

With so many challenges to overcome when it comes to finding qualified financial professionals, working with a trusted recruiting agency can make all the difference.

By working with the right recruiter, you can free up more time to focus on other important aspects of growing your business while leaving the recruiting to a team of experienced professionals.

Of course, not all recruiting agencies are created equal. Hunt Club understands the unique challenges that businesses in the financial services sector are facing — and we have the resources and innovative tools to overcome them.

The result? With our full-cycle recruiting processes, we're able to find and hire talent, even in a limited pool.


3. Employ Competency-Based Assessments and Interviews

Another great way to improve your recruiting strategy is to move towards competency-based assessments and interviews early on in the process.

These assessments and interviews allow you to hone in on a candidate's potential strengths and weaknesses based on their answers to specific questions. These questions are standardized, meaning they are asked of each candidate at the same stage of the hiring process.

Using this strategy is a great way to gauge a candidate's potential performance, especially when responding to high-stress situations on the job. 


4. Include a Graduate Recruiting Strategy in Your Hiring Efforts

With a limited talent pool and growing competition, financial service businesses may consider having a graduate recruiting strategy in place. For example, your business could work with local schools and universities to start recruiting before candidates have officially entered the workforce. 

This may mean attending campus job fairs, providing work-based learning opportunities, internships, etc.

It may even benefit your company to develop direct relationships with program staff (including faculty and advisors). All of this is especially important if your business needs to fill entry-level or junior roles.


5. Offer Career Development Opportunities

Many of today’s professionals aren't just looking for a paycheck; they want to truly enjoy the work that they're doing.

Part of that is having plenty of opportunities to grow and develop their skills. 

Because there's always something new to learn in the financial services sector, it's extremely important for employers to offer career development opportunities as part of their benefits. Whether it's paid training to learn a new skill or tuition reimbursement for a relevant degree or certificate program, providing employees with these opportunities will make your company a more lucrative place to work.

This, in turn, can make it easier to recruit new candidates in this competitive job market.


6. Broaden Your Sourcing Methods

Having a large range of sourcing methods will improve your recruiting process, especially when it comes to finding qualified talent for open roles at your company. Even if you're already posting job openings on a number of job boards, there are other potential sources of talent that you may not have considered.

Social media, for example, has become increasingly effective as a recruiting tool. In fact, it's reported that 92% of employers leverage social media in their search for talent.

Other sources to consider? Passive leads, networking events, job fairs, and even referrals (more on that in a minute).


7. Network at Industry Events

If you're not already, it's time to start networking at industry events to improve your recruiting reach. Conferences, summits, and similar events are excellent ways to meet potential talent while spreading the word about your business.

Whether it's a small event in your town or a larger industry event, your presence can make all the difference in your recruiting success.


8. Establish an Employee Referral Program

Last but not least, look into setting up an employee referral program to attract new talent. These programs are a great way to bring in qualified talent while rewarding your existing employees. 

Research has shown that these programs are extremely effective at bringing in quality talent. In fact, it's reported that

  • Employee referrals can reduce hiring costs by approximately $3,000 per hire.
  • Referrals are said to be 55% faster to hire than traditional candidates.
  • Referred employees have longer retention rates (with 46% staying for longer than a year).

Meanwhile, employee referral programs can reduce hiring costs by cutting out more time-consuming aspects of the recruiting process. Instead, you receive a direct referral for a job opening from an employee you already know and trust.


Fine-Tune Your Financial Services Recruiting With Hunt Club

With so much competition for candidates in a limited talent pool, businesses need to be more conscious of their recruiting practices than ever before. Taking proactive steps, such as networking at industry events and developing graduate recruiting strategies, can make all the difference in your company's financial services recruitment.

One of the best things you can do is begin working with a recruiting firm that specializes in the financial services industry.

At Hunt Club, we understand your business's unique challenges and use our innovative Search Platform to tap into a network of more than 8 million leaders — helping you secure the best talent for the job. 

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