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Financial and Professional Services Risk Falling short on Graduate Recruitment

Tom Williams


The financial services industry is ready to expand its ranks with recent graduates. But are the graduates prepared to do the jobs that are being offered?

In the last 12 months, the financial jobs market has expanded exponentially, according to consultancy Morgan McKinley. As of April, there were 17% more jobs in the sector compared to the same time last year, and this number is growing rapidly month-on-month, thanks to the strengthening value of the pound.

The banking industry in particular is on the rise after a number of years in recession, and this means there's an increased demand for right-fit candidates with the full range of skills required by such organisations.

However, Morgan McKinley's study also revealed the growing graduate skills gap was responsible for 59% of hiring managers looking to fill new roles internally rather than extend their search to the public sphere last year. What’s more, this trend is set to continue unless financial and professional services institutions seek new methods to scout top talent, rather than rely on trawling careers fairs in the hopes that they’ll get lucky.

This gap in this particular sector underscores a larger talent shortage problem among UK graduates, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In fact, UK graduates are ranked last among European graduates for “essential skills,” according to the Telegraph. This problem is particularly serious from an economic standpoint, considering that today, the top recruiters of UK graduates are firms (listed here by the Independent) that depend on STEM talent, like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Google and Deloitte.

The Recruiter’s Challenge

Because of the skills gap, recruiters have found that searching for qualified candidates is more time-consuming and costly than ever. Many recruiters have found that they must conduct multiple career fairs in different locations simultaneously, sift through as many as 200 applicants per position and spend several months before finally onboarding the right hire.

Despite their best efforts, recruiters can’t reach out to all prospective candidates personally – online tools are becoming indispensable to their ability to lengthen their reach. Social media, mobile applications and job search engines are now essential for performing a recruiting campaign effectively.

Tech to the Rescue


But while search engines and apps are great for finding candidates, they don’t improve the efficiency of the recruiting process itself. To address this issue, many employers in the finance and professional services industries are turning to video recruitment software to replace a particular time drain: the traditional phone interview.

Video interviews don’t usually require a recruiter’s direct participation, and they tend to be faster and more engaging than their telephone counterparts. Candidates seem to prefer the shift as well – many young candidates, in particular, appreciate video interviewing because of their familiarity with technology, and the high level of convenience the platform affords.

Recruiters have also found that video interviewing helps them to assess candidates more thoroughly. Europcar is a great example: the company previously held assessment days for recruits, but found that of the few candidates who turned up, many were not qualified and at the end of the day, no offers were made. These were, obviously, a waste of costly recruitment efforts.

Consequently, Europcar began using video interviews. Since candidates must deliberately choose to complete these interviews, the company found that the candidates who did, in fact, respond were the most enthusiastic and committed of recruits. On assessment day, fewer, but more qualified candidates were invited, several of which were offered positions.

Taking Recruitment to the Next Level

Launchpad Recruits makes it easier to sort through the massive number of graduate candidates and target only those who are most qualified and dedicated to your mission.

In male-dominated industries such as finance and professional services, video interviewing can help take the gender bias out of the recruitment process as well.

With video recruiting, companies can disseminate their culture and goals across multiple media to increase their chances of attracting motivated, highly-skilled, right-fit graduates. Furthermore, Launchpad’s video interviewing software helps screen candidates quickly and effectively, all while giving your prospects a positive, interactive experience.

(Main image credit: USAID Guatemala/flickr)

Tom Williams

Tom is Business Development Director at LaunchPad Recruits. Tom helps companies rethink and re-engineer their recruitment process and adopt more effective ways of working.