How can finance businesses improve the hiring process?

Empty 06 October 2021

The challenges facing finance businesses in the hiring process are not unique – many other sectors are also undergoing an upheaval – but finance businesses have their own very specific set of challenges which need to be faced head-on to maintain competitiveness and ensure future robustness We look at what those challenges are and how you can overcome them.

The state of the market

According to a Government report released in February of this year the finance sector contributed 6.9% of the UK’s total economic output in 2019 (the last date for which figures are available). That’s an astonishing £132 billion, which makes the UK’s financial services sector the ninth largest in the OECD by proportion of national economic output, and employing 1.1 million people – 3.2% of all jobs in the UK.

But finding the right people for your financial service sector job is becoming increasingly difficult for a variety of reasons – particularly as a result of the impacts of both Brexit and Covid-19 – so what can you do to improve your hiring process?

Let’s look at the hiring process, step-by-step to see if you can improve yours.

  1. Write a job description

This needs to be many things – accurate, enticing, realistic, honest and stand-out. Your advert is your opportunity to sell both the role and your company to the right potential candidates. It’s important to think long and hard about the role you’re hiring for and what the person’s responsibilities will be. Next will come the skills they require – what are they, specifically? Do you operate specialist software? What experience do they need? Is the role suitable for a graduate or do they need to have worked in the industry for longer? Also think about what personality traits you’d like them to have to fit into your existing team. Finally, state the location – many people will be put off by relocation or by too long a commute – and the salary offered. 

TIP: Use clear, inclusive language to attract the widest range of suitable candidates.

  1. Advertise 

Your recruitment partner will take care of this function for you. They’ll be using their experience and contacts to cast the widest possible net for your ideal candidate. Their company website will be their primary attraction but they’ll also use their skills to source candidates from social media and networking platforms, as well as exploring less conventional routes such as graduate fairs, professional organisations and previous candidates. 

TIP: If you don’t already have a recruitment partner, now is the time to consider getting one – their professionalism and expertise will save you time and money in the long run.

  1. Review the applications

When the deadline for applications has passed it’s time to see exactly who has applied for the role. If you’re taking on the hiring role yourself no doubt you’ll receive a great many applications from hopeful candidates, rather than suitable ones. However, if you’re working with an experienced recruiter, they’ll already have separated the wheat from the chaff and will be able to present you with a list of candidates that they have judged, in their professional opinion, to match the job description precisely. 

TIP: Deal with applications in a timely manner and don’t discount the applicants who don’t precisely match – other roles, for which they may be more suitable, may arise in the future.

  1. Interview the candidates

In these post-pandemic times more recruiters are turning to remote interviews conducted via video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype. These remote interviews are an ideal way to get to know your potential candidates, putting a face to a name, and can be useful in situations where you don’t require the candidate to travel a long distance for a first interview or where the job is of a remote nature.

TIP: second and even third interviews are more suitable face-to-face to enable both parties to assess each other’s suitability.

  1. Skills tests

Whatever a candidate claims on their CV it’s always reassuring to assess their abilities directly, especially in the case of any specialist finance software that your business depends on. Skills tests are an opportunity to either whittle unsuitable candidates out or to offer suitable ones training in your preferred software or methods of working.

TIP: Skills tests can be conducted remotely to minimise inconvenience and hasten the recruitment process.

  1. Check references

Checking an applicant’s references is a final reassurance to ensure that they are a) not exaggerating their own skills and experience and b) a good fit for your company. It’s not unknown for candidates to embellish the truth about their own situations and a short, written reference for a more junior role or a longer telephone call for more senior ones to their previous or current line manager will put your mind at rest, especially in sensitive finance-related positions.

TIP: Most candidates will prefer to wait until a firm offer before you contact their referees.

  1. Offer the job

Once your preferred candidate’s references have checked out and their skills have been verified, it’s time to make them an offer. With luck, you’ll also be their preferred employer, your offer will be accepted and the process of employment can begin. A lot is talked of the ‘candidate experience’ (see previous blogs) so make sure that you continue to offer them a seamless and enticing experience by acting promptly and with professionalism to ensure the process is completed swiftly. 

TIP: Contact the unsuccessful candidates quickly and politely to let them know the outcome of their interview. Not only will this demonstrate professionalism and courtesy on your part but they will be more inclined to apply for further jobs within your organisation as and when they arrive in the future. 

Streamlining and honing your hiring process will go a long way to ensuring that you end up with the candidate you need. By implementing these seven simple steps you’re on the right path to future-proofing your organisation and maintaining momentum. 

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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