By: Debra Kabalkin on May 14th, 2024

Print/Save as PDF

Overcoming Recruitment Challenges in the Finance Industry

Recruitment outsourcing

It’s an exciting time for companies in the financial sector. Technology has made a quantum leap forward, allowing teams to work faster and smarter than ever before.

But finance leaders are also struggling with a new challenge: a lack of highly skilled talent.

Recent surveys show that recruitment is a serious problem for 76% of CFOs. One in eight finance leaders say that talent quality and availability is the biggest issue facing their organization right now—making recruiting the second-most urgent concern, after monetary policy.

The solution here is to build an effective recruitment process. Before that, we need to understand why finance talent is in such short supply.

Biggest recruitment challenges in finance

The financial sector is currently caught between two major historical waves, which creates a number of urgent challenges:

  • Talent aging out: In 2020, around 75% of CPAs had reached retirement age. An entire generation is leaving the workforce, creating an enormous talent gap.
  • Decline in finance graduates: Graduate numbers have been falling in finance-related subjects as students turn to more lucrative options like IT. In 2023, the number of accounting graduates fell by 7.5%.
  • Lack of IT skills: Finance roles increasingly require IT skills such as data analytics and AI. Established finance professionals might not have the skills required to succeed in the new, hi-tech world.
  • Competition between industries: Growing companies are eager to grow their in-house finance teams, which puts them in direct competition with financial companies.

And those are just the challenges when recruiting finance professionals. Financial companies also need people with other in-demand skills, including IT, cybersecurity, marketing, and compliance.

Building your dream team is hard work. But it’s much easier if you have the right recruitment strategy in place.

5 tips for recruiting finance professionals

Overcoming the talent gap requires a creative, multi-pronged approach. Here are 5 key strategies to help financial companies build their dream team in today's challenging environment:

1. Invest in employer branding

Your employer brand is key to attracting top talent, especially in a competitive market. You can promote your brand on social media and through a dedicated employment portal. Some ideas for employer branding include:

  • Celebrate your company’s values and mission
  • Highlight your company's community involvement and ESG commitments
  • Share employee stories and testimonials to give candidates an authentic look at what it's like to work for you
  • Showcase the incredible projects your teams are working on and the advanced technologies they get to use
  • Actively participate in conversations on social media

Remember, a strong employer brand doesn't just attract active job seekers. It can also inspire passive candidates to consider opportunities at your company. Someone who isn't actively looking for a new role might be tempted to apply if they're excited by your brand and culture.

2. Create an outstanding candidate experience

In a candidate-driven market, the recruitment process is a two-way street. Top-tier candidates will have multiple offers, and they’re more likely to choose a company that offers a positive candidate experience. Here are some ideas to improve your company’s experience:

  • Communicate clearly throughout the process so candidates always know what to expect
  • Be respectful of their time–for example, by giving them plenty of notice before interviews
  • Provide a warm welcome when they arrive for on-site interviews
  • Give them opportunities to meet team members and experience your company culture first-hand

Even if a candidate isn't successful, thank them for their time and provide constructive feedback if possible. They may be a good fit for a future role, or refer other talented professionals to your company. Every interaction is a chance to build goodwill and grow your talent network.

3. Invest in professional development

Professional development programs are a great way to attract quality candidates, as they will be looking for opportunities to progress along their career paths. It also allows you to cast a broader net, as you can hire people with strong potential and train them for a new role.

Some things to consider in your approach to professional development are:

  • Identify skills gaps within your current team and focus on developing those areas
  • Help people to future-proof their careers by providing IT-related training
  • Work with hiring managers to create development plans for new hires

This approach has other benefits beyond growing your talent pool. Employees are more likely to stay loyal to a company that invests in their professional development. You'll improve retention while building the cutting-edge skills your teams need to thrive.

4. Offer meaningful rewards and benefits

Salary isn’t the only thing that attracts top talent. People are also looking for meaningful rewards that improve their overall quality of life. Things like remote work, flexible hours, health benefits, performance bonuses, and professional development opportunities can all help you compete for the best candidates.

A few important rules to consider in your Total Rewards offering:

  • Try to offer personalized benefits that speak to the candidate’s needs
  • Provide a Total Rewards statement that outlines all available benefits
  • Get feedback from your team about your current Total Rewards offering and make adjustments if necessary
  • Remember that work-life balance can be as important as salary for many candidates

A great Total Rewards offering can help you to attract the best people without disrupting your salary structure.

5. Use technology to improve the candidate experience

The right technology can give you a major advantage in the battle for talent. Leverage AI-powered tools to streamline your hiring process and improve your hit rate.

Some ways technology can help are:

  • The right Applicant Tracking System can help streamline the entire hiring process
  • AI tools can help you communicate with candidates during the hiring cycle
  • Data analytics allow you to monitor the efficacy of your recruitment strategy

It’s important to work with your HR team to track hiring metrics. If there are any issues, you’ll need to review your hiring strategy and look for ways to improve the candidate experience.

Need help with recruiting finance talent?

Recruiting top finance talent in today's market is undeniably challenging. With a growing skills gap and intense competition, financial companies need to get creative. However, the strategies outlined here can give you an advantage.

By focusing on employer branding, candidate experience, skills investment, technology and data, you can build an efficient recruitment machine. You'll be able to source qualified talent faster and more effectively, while providing an outstanding experience that boosts acceptance rates.

Want to learn more? Book a call with a Helios HR expert today!

Contact Us CTA  (3)