Do You Want To Hire Top Banking Talent?

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Are you wondering how to find the best banking employees for your open roles?

We covered recruiting for financial services back in summer 2018, and we touched on recruiting in banking this past summer. We wanted to present some new information about the state of the banking industry as regards recruiting now, though.

Specialist vs. generalist

This is actually based on research conducted in 2015 and 2016, but the research holds up across banking and financial institutions — and it’s a common topic these days because of David Epstein’s book Range about generalists triumphing in a specialized world.

In banking and financial services, you tend to see this trend line: The people who are entering the profession tend to be more generalist, whereas the people leaving tend to be more specialist, as seen below: 

There are a lot of potential explainers for that. The most likely is that people get specialized skills, i.e. derivatives or fixed income, and they can then command a higher salary at another banking or financial institution focusing on that area.

In this way, how banking hiring seems to work goes against the central argument of Epstein in some ways — you can get a job in banking or financial services by being a generalist (Epstein’s argument), but to get a higher salary, you need to often be a specialist. 

What would that mean for recruiters?

This actually makes the recruiting process a little bit easier in banking, because recruiters can look for a broader, more generalized set of skills — and that’s relatively easy to screen for using technology. 

If you look at 2019 hiring and firing plans bank-by-bank, for example, many banks are still using a cost-cutting approach ahead of potential 2020 downturns.

In a cost-cutting hiring model, the best bet is younger talent with generalized skill sets that can be developed within the processes of that specific bank or financial institution.

That’s good news, because that’s pretty stable to locate with an advanced recruiting tech stack. Ideal, for example, will take hundreds of candidates and sort them into A, B, C, and D tiers — so there’s essentially an instant short-list for a hiring manager. And what hiring manager, especially in time-sensitive banking, doesn’t want an immediate look at top potential candidates? The idea of an instant short list could actually bolster the hiring manager-recruiter relationship, which can sometimes be a struggle.

Should you avoid hiring specialists right now?

No. You should come up with a broader recruiting strategy and hire whatever is best for your bank. But specialists tend to demand higher compensation, which isn’t as attractive in cost-cutting hiring models. That said, the same sorting methodology works with specialists as you see above; they’re still grouped A-D, and there’s an instant screen for the eventual hiring manager through that process. It still saves you time and, more importantly, frees up time for that broader strategy you need to be setting. 

Is banking greening or graying?

Banking was/is a huge profession for Baby Boomers, so the industry is graying somewhat. There is an influx of young talent, which is good, it’s not replacing the sheer numbers that will retire in the next 5-10 years. That makes the talent acquisition component of banking especially important between now and 2030. 

When talent becomes a more important piece of the puzzle, you need scalability and flexibility in how you approach your needs. You get that with technology. We wanted to solve these problems, including around high-volume hiring, for organizations. We’re here to save you time and help you build out your strategy. We take care of the top-of-funnel recruiting work. Banks and financial institutions especially need that right now. We’d love to help.