What you need to stand out as a Financial Services candidate – how Challenge can help – By Lauren Eardley

Having recruited for the Financial Services industry for several years, I understand how competitive this market can be for candidates and so I have a keen interest in what businesses can do to attract the best. This topic, amongst others, was discussed at a recent HR Forum Discussion I attended, hosted by AB&F (Asia-Pacific Banking & Finance) and attended by over 120 senior banking and financial services industry executives.

The discussion was led by Senior HR Executives from Australia’s leading Financial Institutions and Banks and first topic on the agenda: ‘Bringing Sexy Back’ to Financial Services. The panelists agreed that Financial Services IS sexy and always has been. The Financial Services Industry has weathered some challenging times through the GFC yet the industry has always been full of opportunity. The nature of roles is also changing to become more enriching, there is a shift from the transactional to more relationship management and the call to be smarter in the ways you attract and retain customers and talent.

If you are looking to develop a career in the Financial Services sector, there are a number key attributes that the panel agreed are vital to success:

• You must have the courage and confidence to deal with the increasing complexity of a financial services business

• You must be able to maintain engagement with internal and external stakeholders.

• Management will be required to make strong decisions during times of adversity and you need to remain resilient during these times; Resilience is an attribute all of our panelists agreed on.

• The panelists also called for humility and generosity of spirit in their leaders to manage and understand their people (clients, team, customers) openly and completely.

Recruiting for Financial Services for the past two years has given me valuable insight into the type of candidate that stands out to proceed to the next stages of the interview to those that don’t.

The search for a suitable Financial Services candidate now goes far beyond the ‘Selection Criteria’ on the Job Description. Experience and qualifications still remain important however there is a rare and elusive ‘attitude’ which the leading organisations are craving from their future employees.

This ‘attitude’ is made up of:

• a strong work ethic

• a high level of energy and confidence

• a strong dose of ambition.

Employers are using robust selection methods to assess candidates for these qualities, including: the use of specialist recruitment agencies and the use of psychometric testing. Both of these tools have proved invaluable to the clients of Challenge Consulting.

I love recruiting for Financial Services and discovering those Star candidates to place them in their ideal role.  If you work in Financial Services and need assistance or advice on your recruitment, please contact me on 02 9221 6422 or [email protected]