Solutions Driven

Fintech Recruitment: It’s Time to Focus on More than Perceptions for Diversity and Inclusion

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Nicki Paterson Global Head of Business Growth at Solutions Driven, recently wrote this piece on diversity and inclusion in Fintech Recruitment for Fintech Scotland.

Have a read…


I’ve just completed some (admittedly superficial) digging into a few of the top tech companies’ adverts. They’re pretty diverse. Over the last couple of years, Apple’s feature 64% BAME actors, by my calculations. Amazon’s have 78%. And Lenovo’s had a 50/50 split between the sexes.

By contrast, of Apple’s 11 board members, all are white and only two are woman. Last year, Amazon appointed the first ever person of colour to its 10-strong board. And Lenovo, well one of their board of 10 is female… 

Diversity and inclusion fintech recruitment

While big tech spends big money producing high-budget adverts with diverse optics, behind the scenes things are very different. There are problems with diversity and inclusion in tech and the industry knows it. A recent Girls Who Code report pointed out 50% of women leave tech by the age of 35. And the proportion of women working in tech is now smaller, at 32%, than it was in 1984, at 35%.

fintech recruitment

Tech companies are some of the most competitive and forward-thinking businesses out there. And various studies have shown that companies with above-average diversity perform better than their competitors. What’s the use in being so cutting edge if tech can’t capitalise on something that’s staring them in the face? 

So rather than focus on how diversity and inclusion in tech looks to the public, how can we make diversity in fintech recruitment a real tangible thing that can help businesses grow and thrive?

How Can Fintech Recruitment Get Better at Attracting Diversity

There are probably a hundred companies paying a similar salary to you. It’s your Value Proposition that sets your business apart from the crowd, particularly in tech. 

With many tech positions in high demand, companies compete through their added benefits: good work culture, progression or mobility opportunities, the ability to learn new skills, and work/life balance. 

Diversity and inclusion fintech recruitment

But for many, it’s how inclusive and diverse their workplace is. Not something that can be bluffed with a couple of pictures of BAME people on an advert and some nice words. Companies need to BE inclusive to attract inclusive and diverse candidates. As employees talk (and write things online), you need to put measures in place like:

  • A clearly laid-out inclusion plan
  • A spirit of inclusivity from senior management to the most junior employee
  • Inclusivity committees/groups

Getting Better at Hiring Diversely In Fintech Recruitment

Unconscious bias naturally creeps into the recruitment process. A Yale University study found scientists of both sexes, “trained to be objective, were more likely to hire men, and consider them more competent than women, and pay them $4,000 more per year than women.”

fintech recruitment

A recent piece we wrote on Talent Maturity discussed the importance of a well-developed team and strategic framework. And if that’s beyond a company’s reach, how valuable an external recruiter who can help them reach a mature level can be. 

And combating unconscious bias is one of the things an outside recruiter can help with, using various measures: 

Clearly Laid Out Requirements

We call this Scoping at Solutions Driven. Sitting down with the hiring manager, figuring out their requirements and what success looks like, whether for sales jobs or for executive search. Employees are less likely to be hired on “gut feel” (another form of unconscious bias) and the brief is followed by both sides throughout, with a focus on diversity.  

It provides the basis of the candidate scorecard where we set down what’s important and rank each section. Perhaps a degree is desirable but experience is more important? That’s taken into account throughout the fintech recruitment process.

Blind Shortlisting in Fintech Recruitment

It’s difficult to hire blindly when you’re hiring for yourself. Recruitment companies regularly present candidates blindly, allowing businesses to judge them on their skills and experience, rather than their name or where they’re from. 

Companies then get the best talent presented to them to final interview, without any outside factors influencing the decision.

Psychometric Testing

One of psychometric testing’s main aims is eliminating unconscious bias. Teams can focus on a candidates’ personality, attributes, and skills, rather than looking for similarities to themselves.

psychometric testing

It can also be used on the existing workforce to determine what skills and attributes are needed on teams and help identify the right fit for each role. By saying “we need an analytical thinker” recruiters can add this into their requirements, and hone in on the “perfect match”.

Hiring the Right Candidates 

Everything we’ve spoken about until now is getting the right people for your company. But what about if your company is right for the employee? 

As part of our Recruitment Process Intelligence (RPI) at Solutions Driven, we employ the 6F methodology

We look at fit, freedom, family, fulfilment, fortune, and family to determine whether an employee and a company will work well together and if reasonable adjustments can be made to get the perfect candidate onboard.

Our Chief Diversity Officer, Salma El-Wardany recently held a round table session with HR and Talent Leaders in our network. Read the Top 10 DE&I Questions from that session here.

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