Recruiting for Attitude in Financial Services
14 July 2017
Recruitment can be a fickle business, on either side of the experience. It’s not an exact science, and more often than not it relies on ‘gut instinct’ rather than analysis or data. Recently in the Financial Services industry, there has been a marked change in the way many businesses conduct their hiring process. What’s more is, it’s an entirely positive move.
In the past, it was almost impossible to get a ‘foot in the door’ at the bigger banking and financial firms without matching their job descriptions point by point. However, now a lot of firms are recognising the value of a candidate’s transferable skills. This is particularly crucial for times when there are skills shortages in the market. The fact that companies are now willing to cast their net a little further means keen and passionate candidates will get an opportunity that wouldn’t previously have been afforded to them.
For example, a candidate coming from a non-client services role and hoping to break in to the financial services industry might not have all the specific skills that are required for a role. But if you are personable, present yourself well and demonstrate you are keen to really take the business forward at interview, this is where soft skills can improve your chances. Especially if the role is customer facing – exceptional personal communication would be an absolute must.
Employers are increasingly looking to add candidates to their firm not purely based on the added value they bring through their skills set, but by considering how well they will blend in to their existing team. The bottom line is this – you can’t teach a positive attitude, but you can upgrade someone’s skills set.
Certainly, a basic skills standard has to be met, but passion and personal values that are in keeping with that of the company in question can really impress a hiring manager. More so in the case where an individual is applying for a role that would have a bigger impact on their colleagues, productivity and general atmosphere.
This change in attitude is particularly advantageous to graduates who may not have industry relevant experience but have a solid foundation of transferable skills. As recruiters, we are able to help candidates identify the appropriate experience that they have gained and apply it to the interview process at hand.
Financial Services and banking firms are looking for company-orientated, commercial thinking individuals who are keen to make their mark and drive the business forward. They are no longer simply hiring ‘like for like’ candidates – they are bringing in someone fresh.
Whilst companies are not getting rid of technical requirements altogether, if one candidate had a flawless skills set but wasn’t quite the right cultural fit whilst the other had a much more positive and progressive attitude than the other and was keen to secure new business … Companies are seriously going to consider hiring the second candidate.
If you would like to speak to me about opportunities for within the Financial Services and banking industry, I would be happy to help you take the next step in your career. Click here to see my details.
Written By Gemma O'Brien