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Why the financial services sector is struggling to find the right talent

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Across the globe, recruitment is changing. A focus on diversity has meant a wider talent pool, spurring on sectors where challengers are entering the arena left, right and centre.

But with so many companies competing for candidates, how hard has it become to find the right talent?

Plugging the gap

The answer, at least for the financial services industry, is that it has become an uphill battle.

LinkedIn’s Recruiter Sentiment Study suggests challenger banks and fintech firms are on a recruitment drive. This is in part due to the changes automation and regulation have inflicted on the sector. Everyone now requires certain technological expertise on board.

So, to keep up, companies hope to plug any skill gaps produced by new technologies. Within the study, Jon Addison, head of talent solutions at LinkedIn UK, explained why.

“Shifting demands – from both businesses and professionals – coupled with external factors like Brexit, automation and regulation, mean talent professionals need to keep pace with a quickly evolving landscape.

“If they don’t, they’ll fail to remain competitive and attract, and retain and nurture professionals with the right skills.”

The most sought-after skills revolve around emerging technology. Some 51% of recruiters have seen a demand for AI skills, while 49% are in need of cryptocurrency experience.

The ability to work with blockchain, as well as statistical analysis and data mining, is held in high regard. The same can be said of mobile development and machine learning.

Supporting the industry’s more technological focus, the study said, “is the fact that hiring for administrative and customer-facing roles has declined, and legal and software job opportunities have increased.”

A changing workforce

The types of companies candidates want to work for is changing. More people seek to work with investment funds, challenger banks and cryptocurrency businesses – and therein lies the challenge.

The talent pipeline has become smaller, making it a race to hire those with the right skills. After all, the study highlighted that recruiters and hiring managers are struggling to fill open roles.

Some 55% of respondents suggested there was a greater number of roles than available candidates, rising to 63% in the Midlands.

UK talent has also been steadily moving out of the nation since the referendum – particularly those that have experience in financial roles. There has likewise been a 36% decline in international talent coming to Britain.

The biggest decrease in hires from overseas has been from Germany and Italy.

Addison added, there are numerous ways a company can – and should – attract talent from near and far: “The financial services sector has reinvented itself and demands are changing fast. To keep up, there are actions businesses and hiring managers can take.

“Like developing and cultivating a standout talent brand to reach national and international candidates with the right skills, will help businesses stand out in a competitive industry where professionals have so many organisations to choose from.”

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