By Brin McCagg
It’s no big secret that the financial services industry experiences high turnover. Yet, despite widespread unemployment, firms in this sector often struggle to find the right talent in an increasingly competitive environment. So the problem remains: how can financial institutions find – and keep – the talent they need to achieve business goals?
A major change is taking place in today’s hiring environment. The power has shifted from employers to top candidates. Job seekers have become more selective in the companies and positions to which they apply and the methods they use to do so. For organizations, this requires developing a recognizable employment brand that presents the company as a desirable place to work. But more than that, employers must recognize that candidates are seeking an easier application process with greater transparency. Without an intuitive process and increased visibility into the hiring continuum, candidates will apply elsewhere and won’t hesitate to discuss any negative experiences with their networks.
To attract, engage and retain top financial talent, employers must empower candidates by providing them with more information and greater control. One of the best ways to do that is through a web-based, candidate-maintained talent community. With this approach, employers can attract a higher level of talent - individuals who appreciate being in the driver’s seat - while building a sustainable talent pool that ensures greater access to qualified candidates.
Conventional recruiting methods typically involve a narrow, “one-and-done” approach, by which the company searches for talent based on a specific job opening. However, the effects of the global recession have complicated and drawn out this process: a recent article from The Wall Street Journal suggests positions that typically took two months to fill can now take up to four times longer to fill, as recruiters hold out for better candidates. Moreover, if they are recruiting for the same position in the future, they often must start the sourcing process over.
Using traditional recruiting models, candidates are often lost to the infamous “resume black hole” once it’s determined they’re not the right fit. Furthermore, if candidates wish to apply for another position at the same firm, they often must start the lengthy application process from the beginning, causing frustration and fostering negative feelings toward the company.
Empowered Candidates Become Engaged Candidates
Instead of relying on outdated and inefficient methods, financial institutions can improve their recruiting efforts and build a candidate pipeline by adopting a cloud-based talent acquisition strategy. Leveraging a software-as-a-service system, companies can put the power in the candidates’ hands through talent communities that allow them to build and maintain their profiles and ensure an easier and more engaging application process.
With a candidate-controlled database, candidates can update their profiles as necessary and manage who can or can’t see their profiles, ensuring they only connect with the employers for whom they would like to work. Employers can keep in touch with candidates as they develop new skills and experiences, helping them build a healthy pipeline as new positions become available. Some talent communities also enable users to share job postings, offer incentives for referrals, and provide advanced matching technology that connects applicants to employers based on their skills, experience and qualifications. Candidates using such a dynamic and user-friendly platform will become more engaged in the application process and be less likely to abandon their applications.
The result is a robust community of talent where recruiters can evaluate candidates’ qualifications to find those best suited for their positions. Moreover, such a cloud-based platform can integrate with the various sources organizations use to attract candidates – including corporate websites, job boards and social networking sites – aggregating candidates into one information source and facilitating interactions between candidates and recruiters.
Candidates become empowered with a more transparent recruiting process that eliminates the black hole effect, where they never receive feedback or status updates. Research from the Talent Board shows that only 43 percent of employers inform candidates of next steps in the application process, and 8 percent of candidates develop negative feelings about the company by the end of the process. This resentment can discourage qualified candidates from applying to that employer in the future, spur them to share their resentment with others, and also affect their willingness to become customers of the firm. Providing visibility into their applicant status will result in a more positive candidate experience and enhance the organization’s employment brand.
Finding Right-Fit Candidates with the Right Technology
As competition for top talent in the financial services industry remains fierce, using the right technology is crucial for finding the best candidates, cultivating relationships and building pipelines for the future. A cloud-based, candidate-maintained solution helps to connect candidates with employers and ensure that both parties have access to real-time information. When organizations take such a broad perspective to recruiting and put candidates in control, they will gain a key differentiator and be well positioned to find the best employees at a time when top financial talent is scarcer than ever.