Few industries’ reputations are as widely known as the finance industry. Frequently portrayed (and often sensationalised) in TV and film, it has been a magnet for top graduate talent for years.
But the talent landscape is becoming more and more competitive. Big Tech is, well, Big Tech. Software engineering and data science skills are ever more important yet industry agnostic. More and more FinTech companies are unbundling every aspect of financial services and want the best and brightest to do so.
A smaller potential talent pool means within the industry the demand for top recruits is stronger than ever. Headhunting and job hopping is on the rise, making attracting talent only half the job.
Success in the war for talent involves aligning with the things that people care about. Namely, culture, wellbeing and flexibility.
Culture within the finance industry has been well documented in the media for years. In many cases, known for long hours and demanding work. The term “Junior Bankers” has almost become synonymous with extreme overworking.
Many positive changes have been made over the years, EDI practices within recruitment are now commonplace. However, the working culture is still hitting headlines as recently as March this year.
Every company will find a slightly different culture is best for them. But there are some things that are net positive among all.
- Be honest with yourself about working practices. Sometimes the nature of business demands longer hours, but do people feel the need to keep themselves busy even when they’re not?
- Create clear (judgement free) channels of communication. That second part is important. It shouldn’t take an anonymous employee presentation for staff to voice their concerns honestly. If you aren’t getting feedback but have clear channels set up, it’s more likely that people are afraid to speak up rather than your workplace being faultless.
Go beyond money
Finance jobs and money go together like Ant & Dec. That is, when we see or hear one, we expect the other to be present.
They’re so ingrained that within 5 months of the Goldman Sachs bankers releasing their presentation to the world, almost every major bank had raised salaries for all analyst and associate levels.
Well, take your pick of academic studies, whilst the specifics differ they all agree on one thing: incremental happiness tapers off once you increase wages beyond a certain level. Couple this with data showing that millennials and Gen Z are increasingly prioritising things other than salary and it’s easy to see why pay packets alone aren’t enough to keep people around.
It’s rare to see finance professionals complaining about being underpaid, instead most focus on the negative effects on their health. Herein lies the key, people want to feel cared for and supported, not just like some coin-operated machine.
Making sure everyone feels that their wellbeing (physical and mental) is being supported is critical. The best way to do this is with choice, and empowering people to find what works for them.
Be flexible (where you can)
Flexibility is the ultimate trend in the working world at the moment. Where, how and when people work are all getting attention.
Because of this, the spectrum of workplaces is wider than ever. From 4-day-week, flexi-hour, fully remote roles all the way up to traditional hours, office-only work. This increased choice has altered the talent landscape forever. How much do people value being able to work from home or take their kids to/from school? It may well be more than the extra salary offered in less flexible roles.
That being said, all industries are not created equal and some roles are more easily adapted to flexible working than others. For example, if someone is trading financial markets, their hours are dictated by the market and not internal forces. Similarly, the notorious “busy season” for accountants or investment bankers being staffed on deals create certain times where flexibility is less feasible. In these cases, the responsibility falls on people leaders to decide where flexibility can be given and when.
Bringing it all together
A really important thing to remember is that these things don’t operate in isolation. A good working culture operates with a level of flexibility (work/life balance). Similarly, you can have all the wellbeing benefits, initiatives, bells and whistles you want. But if people never have the time to use them, they’re as good as pointless.
BetterSpace is the employee wellbeing platform putting control where it belongs: in the hands of the individual employee. Our groundbreaking solution has been developed with medical and domain expertise and is aligned to our Six Pillars of Wellbeing. BetterSpace empowers your workforce to understand and fulfill their mental health needs.
This approach has achieved engagement rates of 94%, compared to the average usage rate of 2-18% for Employee Assistance Programmes and 10-40% for points solutions.
Want to know more? Schedule a product demonstration with us today.
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