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Applicant Tracking System Recruiting & Hiring Financial Services

7 Tips for Recruiting in the Financial Services Industry

May 9, 2024
9 min read
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The financial services industry is vast and fast-growing, encompassing businesses from the obvious, banks and credit unions, to insurance providers, investment companies, and mortgage lenders. With its strong outlook, myriad job opportunities, and the promise of high salaries, it’s no surprise that Gen Z chose this sector as their top career choice. Have you solidified your financial services recruiting strategies to attract the next generation?

Attracting qualified candidates isn’t easy, especially with a job-to-candidate ratio of about 2:1. According to one Florida banking executive, there are only 53 candidates for every 100 open roles. That means your company is likely facing tough competition for skilled employees. It’s unlikely that competition will let up anytime soon, either — the financial services industry has a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% over the next four years.

It’s essential to stand out as an excellent employer to attract and retain top talent, and you can do this by implementing a variety of financial recruiting tactics. Keep reading to learn some strategies your HR team can leverage for successful talent acquisition in the finance job market.

Did you know there are about 2 open jobs in the financial services sector for every 1 available candidate? 🚀 Optimize your recruiting strategy and stay ahead in the competitive talent market with these 7 tips:

Hiring Hurdles in Financial Services

It’s hard to name an industry that hasn’t experienced hiring ups and downs over the past few years, and in accounting and finance, recruitment is no different. Finance is experiencing the same skills gap we’re seeing across industries, threatening business growth. A majority of hiring managers in the sector — 66% — say they want to hire to fill new positions, but 95% say they’re having trouble finding candidates with the right skills.

Meanwhile, 41% of finance and accounting professionals are looking for a new job or plan to do so soon. So, as you’re looking to expand your team, you may be at risk of losing your current employees. In switching jobs, employees say they’re looking for:

  • Higher salaries (55%)
  • Better perks and benefits (37%)
  • Remote work options (34%)

Fortunately, there’s lots of good news to report, too. Accounting and finance careers are rising in popularity among the youngest generation of workers (18-25 year olds). One-quarter of recent college graduates see financial institutions as the most “desirable, stable” places to work, ranking the sector as their top choice in a recent report from the CFA Institute. That’s a significant jump from its fifth-place rating in 2021, edging out healthcare and medicine from first place.

Despite the challenges your team is navigating, the financial industry has a positive long-term outlook, between its projected growth and its reputation among Gen Z as a solid choice for a long-term career.

No matter how the labor market fluctuates, you can find, hire, and retain top-tier talent with the right recruiting strategies. Check out these tips for successful recruiting in your financial services business.

7 Recruiting Tips for the Financial Services Sector

Recruiting in the financial services industry is evolving to keep pace with talent scarcity, skills gaps, and interest from entry-level workers. Which recruitment strategies will your talent acquisition explore to attract and hire qualified candidates?

1. Develop a Strong Employer Brand

There’s a reason that careers in finance are more popular than ever among the youngest generation of workers. After several years of unpredictability — in the economy, the labor market, and on a global scale — they’re seeking the opposite. For Gen Z, the decades-long histories and well-established reputations of many financial services institutions are more appealing than a shiny new startup that just opened its doors.

But just because they’re interested in finance doesn’t mean you’ll attract top talent by default. Your company needs a well-defined, positive employer brand to appeal to job seekers, especially young professionals.

Whether your company is approaching a centennial anniversary or not, its employer brand helps establish trust and credibility with employees and potential employees. Brian Abraham, ClearCompany’s Director of People & Culture, explains, “Employer branding is a logical process of building the relationship between an employer and its current and future ideal employees. Your employer brand is the state of this relationship: good, bad, or indifferent.”

You can strengthen your company’s reputation and relationship with its workforce by:

  • Writing an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
  • Sharing how your company impacts its employees as well as the people in its community or industry
  • Ensuring company values are put into practice in the workplace
  • Investing in employee growth, e.g., professional development, continuing education, and internal recruitment
  • Defining a clear mission statement or purpose that unites every employee

You can appeal to young workers’ desire for stability and career longevity by highlighting your long-term top performers during recruiting. Share their journeys with applicants on your career site and social media channels to show applicants what they could achieve and demonstrate your level of commitment to your people.

Hiring talent in the competitive financial services industry? 🏦 💵 Learn how recruiters at banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and more can leverage technology and enhance the candidate experience for better recruitment outcomes. 🔍

2. Use Social Media

Social media is one of the most powerful tools we have for connecting with huge audiences quickly and with minimal effort. When it comes to growing talent pools and discovering new ones, social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Reddit are a treasure trove of opportunity. These platforms enable you to get your open roles in front of the right people thanks to highly targeted job post ads.

You can also join online communities specific to your niche of the financial sector where you can hear directly what the workforce wants and what they think about most recruitment strategies. With this insight, you can improve your processes accordingly.

3. Design Candidate Experience With Intention

Would you guess that most companies are failing to give candidates a positive experience? According to recent research, candidate contentment is falling and resentment is rising. That damages companies’ employer brands and makes candidates less likely to apply again or even patronize your business. They’re also more inclined to spread the word of a bad experience both online and off.

You can avoid these negative experiences when you design your candidate experience instead of just letting it happen. The same research we mentioned shows what companies with top-rated candidate experiences do differently. Here are a few ways they set themselves apart:

  • Candidates who aren’t hired receive feedback on how they did during their interviews and why they weren’t chosen.
  • They ask for feedback on their process from candidates.
  • They communicate with talent from pre-application to onboarding and let them know what to expect during the recruiting process.
  • Recruiters’ performance is aligned with candidate experience, incentivizing them to provide a great experience during the entire process.

4. Compensation Competition

It’s no surprise that a majority of financial services talent says compensation is their top priority in a job search. There are many high-paying roles in the industry, which has a median annual wage of $79,050 compared to $48,060 for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, financial institutions often have trouble competing with the high salaries and myriad compensation options offered by industries like tech. You’ll need to rely on other qualities to recruit qualified candidates.

One way to compete with higher compensation offers is with opportunities. Outline a clear career path at your organization to show top candidates how they can grow there for years to come. Stability and a solid plan for growth and development can often win over top candidates who are driven and motivated to progress professionally.

5. Emphasize DEIB

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are essential values for most job seekers today. They want to work for a company that feels the same way. The finance industry isn’t known for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, which is all the more reason to invest in yours. A diverse, inclusive workplace will attract top talent and foster a more positive, innovative work culture.

You can highlight your company’s commitment to DEIB throughout the hiring process by discussing the company’s diversity initiatives and programs and highlighting your inclusive policies and practices. You can also share important diversity metrics, such as the makeup of your organization by demographic (e.g., race, age, gender identity, etc.) or the percentage of women or underrepresented groups in leadership positions.

Another important part of DEIB that’s been in the news lately is pay transparency. Many U.S. states have new laws on the books requiring companies to include wage or salary information in their job descriptions. As a result, some companies are proactively starting to share that with candidates, both to promote pay equity and as a recruiting strategy.

However you do it, taking steps to show candidates that DEIB is an important value in your company tells them that their perspectives and experiences matter and will be respected at your organization.

6. Invest in Powerful Recruiting Software

In recent years, the need for recruiting software has grown faster than ever, and now, it’s all but a requirement for most teams. Technology is giving recruiters time back in their days that they can instead spend building relationships with candidates. The 2023 Candidate Experience Report is hard to refute — companies with a highly-rated candidate experience were more likely to use technology, including texting and artificial intelligence (AI) in recruiting.

Remember the list of actions performed by companies with great candidate experiences? With recruiting software, you can make those best practices part of your process while eliminating work for your recruiting team:

  • Use texting tools for fast, easy candidate communication
  • Automate important communications to speed up time-to-hire and increase transparency
  • Utilize AI and automation so recruiters can focus on engaging candidates and talent pools

Get recruiting software for the financial services industry to empower recruiters with technology and time. They’ll be able to grow talent pools and attract more candidates while maintaining regular communication and finding new sources of talent.

7. Nurture the Next Generation of Talent in Finance

As finance careers surge in popularity among the under-25 age group, companies in the industry are capitalizing on the spotlight. A-J Aronstein, assistant vice president of lifelong success at Barnard College, says financial services firms are putting themselves in front of soon-to-be graduates seeking their first entry-level positions.

“They’re investing more time and money on campuses, and showing a clear interest in widening their talent pipelines, when other companies have pulled back,” Aronstein explained to CNBC. The rise in graduates taking jobs in finance — from 10% in 2018 to 18% in 2022 and 17% in 2023 — indicates that their proactive efforts are paying off.

Many companies in the financial sector are hiring graduates thanks to their relationships with educational institutions. They host job fairs and attend those hosted on-campus, recruiting soon-to-be graduates and piquing other students’ interest in finance careers. These forward-thinking teams understand the importance of attracting fresh talent and are willing to invest time and resources into it.

Recruiters are also leveraging technology to connect with students and recent graduates with virtual job fairs, targeted job ads, and posts on job boards aimed at that demographic. Companies are also focused on creating the positive work environment that employees want, especially the youngest generation of the workforce. They’re supporting company cultures defined by inclusivity, fairness, and growth, offering flexibility, and prioritizing work-life balance to attract and retain the next generation of talent for years to come.

Technology for Recruiting in the Finance Industry

When you're equipped with the right tools for the job, your recruiting and hiring process can be successful even through the most challenging labor market conditions. ClearCompany’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) has the feature set you need to stay agile and hire quickly while supporting compliance and fair hiring practices. With the ClearCompany ATS, you get access to:

  • Customizable branded Career Sites where you can showcase your employer brand
  • An AI assistant that can help applicants find jobs that fit their skills, answer FAQs, and even screen candidates and schedule interviews
  • A suite of virtual interviewing tools including automated Interview Scheduling, Interview Guides and Scorecards, and seamless integration with your video conferencing platform
  • Built-in Background Checks by ClearCompany to screen candidates faster without any manual data entry
  • A suite of texting tools, including Text-to-Apply and ClearText, for easier, more efficient communication between candidates and recruiters
  • Options for expanding the ATS into a full-platform, cloud-based Talent Management System you can tailor to fit your needs for managing every stage of the employee lifecycle

See these powerful recruiting tools from ClearCompany, the recruiting and talent management software for financial services businesses, in action. Sign up for a demo now.

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