How to find the best financial services talent

4 mins read

Long gone are the days when recruiting high quality finance staff simply involved slapping up a job ad on SEEK and waiting for the resumes to roll in. The war for financial services talent is real.

These days, putting an ad up on a few job boards when a vacancy comes up is not enough to attract the best and brightest finance talent. Recruitment needs to be an ongoing task, says Melanie Munro, Finance Banking Operations & Business Support Senior Manager at financial recruitment specialists Robert Walters.

“It's very competitive at the moment across financial services as a whole. Candidates have a bit more of a 'come and get me' attitude,” says Munro.

So how do you make your firm stand out?

Start networking early

Starting relationships with ideal candidates long in advance of actually needing them is key, says Munro.

“I'll get to know people who aren't ready to move jobs for six to 12 months,” she says.

“When they're ready to start looking, I'm their first point of contact. That's how you stay ahead of your competitors.”

Head hunt in the right areas

Munro networks through a number of different groups and organisations affiliated with the areas she recruits in. The key is to never stop looking for employees that could be a good fit for your business.

“Ask the people that you're meeting on a daily basis how they're going with their jobs,” she says.

For the more digitally-inclined, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool.

“LinkedIn plays a major part in both searching for candidates and keeping in touch with them,” she says.

“But don't just send out one message on LinkedIn or have one cup of coffee at some point – touch base once a month.”

Be clear on your branding

When in the process of recruiting, it's important to keep your brand at the forefront of your mind, says Munro.

“Ensure that your branding is right on Linkedin. Whether that's your personal brand, your company brand or, ideally, both,” she says.

And don't flood the market, Munro warns. After all, you don't want your business to seem desperate.

“Sometimes organisations feel they've got to use every agency, job board and speak to every person,” she says.

“A targeted approach is much more useful, especially for highly skilled roles.”

Job search websites

You may still want to use online job boards, such as SEEK, as they can provide a good volume of candidates, but not necessarily quality, Munro adds.

“Gone are the days when candidates would write a cover note explaining their skill set. That can be done with the click of the button, so the quality isn't always there,” she says.

So is the resume dead?

Not as such.

“People still want them and we still use CVs, but they're used in conjunction with multiple other avenues,” Munro explains.

For example, 45-second video CVs are becoming common.

“They give you a bit more of a feel for the candidate's communication skills, and whether they're a good cultural fit,” Munro says.

3 tips for recruiting financial services talent

The recruitment world might be racing full steam ahead into the digital era, but a personal touch has never been more important.

Here are Munro's final three tips for sourcing top finance employees:

1. Tailor your approach – “Everybody can mailshot nowadays. And while you can reach a wider audience. It doesn't really give people the impression that you're after their skillset,” says Munro.

2. Be in it for the long haul – “It's not a quick process, especially if you're after top talent. So keep those relationships ongoing.”

3. Don't give up after an initial rejection – “I've had people that have declined a role with me. But over the next three to six months I've checked in to see how they're doing in their new role and they've come back to me.”

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Important: This article has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial or taxation situation or needs of any particular individual. Before acting on the information, you should consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. Any information used in this article is for illustrative purposes only. Melanie Munro is external and not a member of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group of Companies (the Group) and the content or any view expressed by Melanie Munro does not represent an endorsement, recommendation, guarantee or advice in regard to any matter. CBA, nor members of the Group accept any liability for losses or damage arising from any reliance on external parties their products, services and material. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.