By Andrew Manning,
Senior Vice President

However you refer to it – “skills shortage,” “skills gap,” or “talent deficit” – it is becoming plain to see that UK businesses are facing a major problem. Brexit will only compound the issue as a requirement for visas and work permits may create a barrier that turns off EU candidates. It is clear that in the UK Financial Services & Insurance market, where speed is everything, businesses are going to need a Plan A and a Plan B for whatever changes may come their way.

A recent report by Cielo, “European Talent Acquisition Trends: Productivity, Profitability and Personal Impact,” reveals that 40% of Financial Services companies in Europe cited skills gaps as their biggest concern. So how can Financial Services organisations ensure that they are recruiting the best talent – in the shortest time possible and for the least amount of money – enabling the business to continue as usual?

1. Enhance your employer brand: Creating a unique standout Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is vital in attracting the best talent to view your organisation online. With only a little more than a quarter of European Financial Services organisations having a clearly articulated EVP, this is a prime area for investment, presenting a quick, reliable way to ensure that your brand is at the forefront of a candidate’s mind.

2. Be sourcing savvy: Given that only 31% of European Financial Services organisations provide full recruiter training, it’s no wonder they are so reliant on agencies, pushing up costs. Ensure that your recruiters/sourcers are fully up-to-date with new technology and the most effective ways and means of finding and engaging with the best talent. They are the first point of contact for candidates, and first impressions count. Talent pooling is also critical, and I dread to think what percentage of FS organisations do this successfully, if at all. Having a talent pipeline can be so crucial and save a business thousands.

3. Make applying easier: According to the CEB, the average time to hire is up by 50%, so it is crucial to map your candidate journey and understand the length of the process, the level of engagement candidates are given, and areas that need re-engineering. At Cielo, we have been working in partnership with a UK insurer, switching their application process from a 30-minute slog to one that is mobile-optimised and involves just 3 clicks. After we did this, the number of applications received skyrocketed by over 700%. It really is worth evaluating your process and seeing where key elements could be modified, completely changed or taken out altogether.

4. Control costs: As the saying goes, look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves. 50% of talent professionals in Europe saw cost per hire being a major issue within their organisation, although that doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s crucial that organisations are as cost effective as possible, but still look to recruit the best talent. In our study, 16% of Financial Services organisations used recruitment agencies to fill less than 20% of their roles, meaning that the other 80% are potentially agency dependent – a very costly exercise! Utilising an RPO could reduce the overall cost considerably.

5. Maintain quality: Quality beats quantity, so whilst it may be easier to spread the net wide and attract as many candidates as possible, it is better to be targeted and to pull resources into finding the right candidate. With financial services organisations stating that video interviewing, telephone Interviewing and interview scheduling are their weakest areas, an RPO supplier can help by delivering better quality of candidates (and by extension, hires) and in turn have a positive impact on your business whilst taking on the burden of finding the best talent and delivering them to your door.


Post contributed by Andrew Manning, Senior Vice President. Connect with him on LinkedIn.