Where are the problems for finance employers in the hiring process?

Empty 29 September 2021

Like many industries, finance is facing unprecedented challenges in the recruitment process at the moment. We look at where they lie, and how you can overcome them.

Recent research shows that the industry is recovering from setbacks with vacancies for financial specialists at their highest since January 2019 – there are over 3,000 vacancies in London alone as of June 2021. It also notes that around 14,000 people entered the job market during 2020. 

Competition for candidates, therefore, is fierce and attracting a wide pool of candidates to choose from can be problematic. How do you solve this issue?

Find the right candidates 

The first and most important thing to do is to be absolutely clear in what you want. A job specification should outline precisely the job requirements – what the candidate will be required to do – as well as what qualifications you expect them to have. An assistant management accountant might be expected to be part qualified in AAT/ACCA, for example, or a trainee accountant may be studying for an accountancy qualification such as ACCA or CIMA. In this way you’ll be eliminating candidates who don’t have the qualifications you require, and speed up the process, saving yourself time and money.

Many employers also choose to operate skill-based assessments to ensure that a candidate is suitable for the role. These can be in the form of basic maths and English, but can also focus on proficiency in specialist software programmes that are required for the job.

Another avenue to consider is to widen your net from local candidates to country-wide if you’re failing to attract the right talent from within a commutable distance. This, naturally, brings its own set of challenges and you may have to consider a relocation package, an increased salary or flexible working to accommodate the needs of potential talent. 

Speed up the recruitment process

The recruitment process can be lengthy and delays can be costly and damaging to both a business’s reputation and its profits. In addition, if the recruitment process takes too long the best candidate might simply walk away to take up another position, leaving you back at square one.

To avoid this, make sure that all the stages you plan to go through during the recruitment process are absolutely necessary. Rapid communication between departments as well as with candidates, quick candidate evaluation and effective time management are all essential to ensure that the vacant position is filled with speed and efficiency.

Build your employer brand

If you don’t already have an employer brand, it’s time you kickstarted one. Put simply, an employer brand is the way in which you differentiate yourself from rival organisations, and when it’s done well, it helps you recruit and retain the best people for your business. It’s an expression of your values as an employer and gives potential employees an insight into your approach to people management – when talent are doing their research about your company it’s what they will check out. Research has shown if you invest in employer branding you’re three times more likely to attract the best candidate for the role.

Enhance the candidate experience

Think about how you treat your candidates during the hiring process – it will mirror how they will be treated during their employment. 

Make the application process simple and speedy – over half of financial talent today use mobile phones to apply for jobs so make your website is optimised for smartphones, both Apple and Android. Establish good communication with them and adhere to agreed timescales and schedules. Provide them with all the information they’ll need to shine in an interview and outline what they can expect from the process. A great candidate experience will help tip the balance in your favour if the candidate is in demand, and conversely a bad one will result in the vacancy remaining unfilled – over half of candidates said that a bad recruiting experience would result in them discouraging other people from applying for a job within an organisation. And finally, whatever the outcome of an interview, provide polite, constructive, timely feedback.

If you’re looking to improve your hiring process, get in touch with WSH Recruitment to see how we could help.

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