Hiring, a challenge for financial services directors

Already facing changes in the global regulatory landscape, financial services managers have other challenges: hiring qualified profiles and talent retention. This is what a recent study conducted by Robert Half across seven countries has revealed.


1,100 financial services executives were interviewed in seven countries – Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States – on recruitment of candidates for their acitivies. 89% of respondents reported experiencing difficulties in hiring competent professionals. 83% expressed concerns about retaining their best employees who might be tempted by other opportunities.

Difficulties in recruitment…

According to Neil Owen, Director of Recruitment, Global Financial Services, for Robert Half, these figures are explained firstly by cuts in some areas of financial services institutions and also by investments made in other, more profitable product lines. Hence the difficulties for companies to recruit staff able to exploit the new possibilities. Hiring the best talents for market monitoring and support functions as well as positions related to operations are now subject to increased competition, according to the director.

The shortage of candidates is especially felt in Hong Kong where 95% of respondents listed difficulties in recruitment. This is followed by Singapore (93%), Germany (91%), the United Kingdom (91%), Canada (90%), the United States (84%) and France (82%). According to Neil Owen, recruiters are primarily seeking personnel that are able to manage basic administrative needs, increase profitability and ensure that compliance rules are respected. These are diverse skills that make hiring difficult, with more job openings than there are candidates.

And retaining talent

With improved hiring conditions for financial sector professionals, their loyalty is a matter of concern to employers. The trend is especially marked in Hong Kong (93%) and Singapore (92%). The same ranking is found for hiring difficulties for Germany (87%), Canada (84%), the United Kingdom (83%), the United States (77%) and France (76%).

To retain their top talent, Neil Owen says that companies should strive to offer not only competitive pay but also especially progressive benefits and stimulating career opportunities.

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