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The financial services industry is on collision course, according to recent research. A 2019 report by Octopus Investments revealed that 58% of Financial Advisers plan to leave the profession in the next ten years. A 2020 Reuters’ piece also showed a growing skills gap in finance, with 44% of firms concerned about their ability to attract new blood, an issue made worse by recent Brexit uncertainties. So how does the industry deal with these issues?
“The biggest barrier to recruitment was cited as a difficulty in finding quality candidates, with more than two thirds of advice companies not having any advisers under the age of 30. ” – Octopus Investments Report, 2019
An ageing industry
The obvious answer is to bring in young talent who will be the next generation of the financial industry and replace outgoing workers. After all, two thirds of advice companies have no advisers under the age of 30. However, Octopus’ report shows that only 18% of the sector’s firms have a graduate or training scheme in place (!). With the impending exodus, the industry needs to replace over 50% of its workforce, but is only providing training for a fifth…we’re sure you can do the maths.
Looking to the future
But the future doesn’t have to be totally bleak. Profits in the sector are set to stabilise as the Brexit argument ends according to the Confederations of British Industry (CBI) and professional services firm, PwC. The report says that while there are still concerns, positivity in the industry is up, meaning companies have the opportunity to look to the future.
The industry needs ask itself what it’s doing wrong and what it can do to attract talent. At present, there are obvious issues in financial services: a lack of quality candidates, caused by lack of structured career pathway, an industry-wide image problem, and students and graduates have little to no awareness of the profession. This means that taking a leaf from the PR playbook can’t be a bad idea; throwing off the old-fashioned image, making younger people aware of the industry, and pushing the main benefits. (Like average earnings of £78,000…)
But that doesn’t deal with today’s talent issue. Which is why companies need to get the professionals involved. While Financial services talent is thin on the ground, it is available. But hunting candidates down, persuading them to talk to a different firm, and getting them to consider a new role can be difficult.
Which is where reputable recruitment firms come in. An empty role can cost businesses tens of thousands and with high success rates in getting the right candidates in, in record time, engaging with professional recruiters could be the one way this industry deals with its staffing shortage.