The financial services industry has seen dramatic shifts in the last year due to the impact of COVID-19. We surveyed financial services recruiters last fall as well as job seekers this spring to get a sense of the changing priorities, stressors, and challenges they’re experiencing. We learned that recruiters are struggling to compete for top talent in a candidate market and facing pressure to retain key employees during tough times. Job seekers, on the other hand, have increased expectations for employers which makes competing that much harder.
Ashley Snider, Director of Talent Strategy at TMX Finance Companies recently joined our Senior Product Manager, Kurt Jones in a webinar as they discussed job seeking in the financial services industry. They dove into the current trends and concerns of financial services job seekers as well as ways that recruiters are adapting to the market. You can watch the full webinar here but if you are pressed for time, we pulled the top takeaways below.
What are Financial Services Candidates Looking for?
1. Candidates Need to See DE&I in Your Company
It shouldn’t be surprising that most financial services candidates expect a commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce in a company before they’ll consider an offer from them. 56% of job seekers said that they would turn down a job offer if a company lacked diversity in its workforce or had no clear goals for improving diversity in hiring. A strong DE&I program benefits both employer and employee in many ways including increased profitability and employee retention
“The days of DEI (being) a nice to have for a company is not what is going to keep companies moving forward in today’s society.” – Ashley Snider, TMX Finance Companies
2. Let’s Hear your Safety Plan
In the current workforce reality, many financial services job seekers have been skeptical about taking job offers for in-person (non-remote) work. Candidates expressed concern with employer safety measures including requirement of the vaccine. In fact, 57% of financial services job seekers believe that employers should require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. What’s more is that 65% of financial services job seekers stated that they would decline a job offer if an employer didn’t require employees to wear masks in the workplace.
With times changing (again) as the workforce begins to return to in-person jobs full or part time – it’s important for employers to hear the concerns of employees and candidates regarding safety. Your company can ease some of these concerns by establishing strict regulations like requiring masks, maintaining social distancing, and continuing regular cleaning and disinfecting.
3. Companies That Offer Remote Work Flexibility Will Win Talent Going Forward
Job seekers and employees in the financial services industry all have an opinion on where they would like to do their work – whether it be in the office, remotely, or a hybrid. While before the pandemic many companies didn’t offer remote work as an option, some have switched to offer completely remote or hybrid schedules.
While some workers are ready to head back into the office full time, many have seen the beneficial balance that remote and hybrid work brings. 50% of job seekers said that their preferred work setup is 100% remote, and 22% stated they would prefer a 50/50 hybrid schedule. While many companies, especially in financial services, wish to have all employees in the office full time, it’s important to remember that remote work is being offered at least part time by many employers. Offering a flexible schedule can draw in top talent who enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
4. Company Culture and Employer Brand Matters
Candidates have reinforced that company culture is crucial to the decision of accepting a role or not. A whopping 94% of candidates (up from 86% in 2020) said that culture is either somewhat or very important when deciding on a job offer. Your company’s culture is the experience that employees have every day working in your organization, which feeds into your employer brand. A healthy culture provides a safe space for employees to feel comfortable and productive in the workplace – and it’s up to you to make it happen.
When a company has a strong employer brand, they benefit in many ways. Candidates are researching your culture and brand sometimes before they even find a job opening. They look on your website, social media, review sites, and recruiter messages to research your brand. This makes it essential to create a strong employer brand and culture to recruit the top talent in the market.
5. The Key to Good Candidate Experience is Communication
It’s safe to say that we all improved our digital communication skills in 2020 (at least a little bit). And candidates are no different. With a portion of the workforce still working remotely or working remotely part time, it’s even more important now to clearly communicate with candidates through the whole recruiting process.
A strong candidate experience not only boosts your employer brand but also attracts top candidates who expect clear communication. Easy job application processes, clear communication from recruiters, and easy interview scheduling are all reasons that candidates shared they had a good experience with a company. Candidates who have a great experience with your company will remember it when they’re hired or the next time they apply for an open role with you.
Final Hiring Insights
In a candidate’s market the key to winning top talent is clear, honest communication. Candidates are savvier than ever and have high expectations for their future employer. They want to see that your company prioritizes safety, DE&I, flexibility, and communication.