Creative recruitment strategies for financial providers

Andy Aeschbach
Andy Aeschbach - Special to Al Arabiya English
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The reason that there are plenty enough articles on alternative or creative recruitment strategies is merely based on the fact, that previous methods are not producing their desired results, eventually causing HR officers to rethink their entire hiring process.

Today, creative recruiting is the name of the game as one has to take another approach if one wants to survive stacks of CV’s crawling up your desk.

What is creative recruiting? As the name says, it’s simply another way of finding your dream candidates in non-traditional places and this is what differenciates a creative hiring process from a more conservative method of recruiting.

Why not make social media an automatic source? Social media can help us to screen people on the markets. However, as we all know, most CVs or profiles on these platforms are overstated. Not in terms of exaggerations, but rather based on the fact, that the candidate might not be equipped with the relevant skills or even being overqualified. However, be aware that many people in charge do simplify a process by communicating that a candidate may be overqualified, before really getting into details. In addition, it can also happen that a CV is quickly placed on another stack of paper, as some HR associates qualify you as not being suitable enough.

So, how are you getting people to contact your job board, besides the ones you don’t wan’t to hire in the first place?

The media presence of a company or website is key nowadays. Some years ago, one was willing and able to navigate through some non-relevant messages in order to find the needed hint or answer on a company’s website. Today it’s different. Experts talk about a seven second test. This means that any client or interested party can rate any website after seven seconds. Now imagine yourself being someone who thinks about eventually wanting to get hired by a company. Would you want to become a worker for a company with a somewhat negative media impact?

A valid method is to identify yourself with any future employee by utilizing your top resources or even a spokesperson. Make sure that you use various people to support the process (employees, management, board members, clients, marketing officers).

Use technology as good as you can, such as Skype, in order to interview candidates who don’t live around the corner. Make sure that you INTERVIEW not REVIEW them!

Also pay attention to the fact that you create a friendly atmosphere by talking to someone for the first time and don’t give your potential new employees the feeling that administration in your hiring process is more important then feeling the vibes of a human being. Besides that, demonstrate that the hiring process can be effected in a timely manner and that your company is able to make a decision, regardless of how many people are involved in the process. Set timelines clearly as of when and by whom you are going to communicate next issues or decisions. Make sure that you communicate relevant points of the job description during the first interaction. As a qualified listener, one should also observe the candidate's body language as well as his or her gestures.

The crowd is no longer responding to traditional tactics. People on the move are active with social media and we need to get them attracted through all relevant channels.

Therefore, it is important to liaise with a broad range of marketing agencies in order to ensure to get involved in PR campaigns to make people aware of your own corporate identity, demonstrating that you can differentiate yourself from the competition. (I usually recommend to first engage in a fact-finding mission to evaluate a strategic method on how this vision can be achieved).

Before being able to hire skills, one has to discover them. I tend to agree that this might be the most difficult task to fullfil for many companies.

Besides that, talking of general hiring specifications, it is very important to make sure that you divide your responsibilities clearly of whom being an on-boarding specialist and other functions, such as a talent manager. This clearly is a two-fold approach. They may both report to the head HR. However, further up the ladder, we are talking about two different skill sets within an organization. In addition, I truly believe that a recruitement process as a whole is amongst the most valuable responsibilities in any organization if it’s done the way it should. Be aware that it can’t be all about diplomas and grades, when hiring someone.

It’s about common sense and often this is lacking. What good is it for a company to hire fancy graduates , if they are leaving for a better paying job, when you can get people engaged for less but therefore with an untamed will and perseverance.

Furthermore, it may be worthwhile to think about an important word, called LOYALTY.

Fortunately, and especially in banking, I see some very good examples of hiring and retaining talent. However, unfortunately I also observe the opposite.

My firm belief is that financial providers are still far away from reality and that it proves to be difficult for a bank or a wealth manager to visualize with what kind of personnel, their future clients should get involved. In other words, they don’t know today, what client manager type they need to hire tomorrow. For this purpose, and I am not talking about Roboadvisors, as this is another ballgame.

Hiring staff is nothing but effective marketing. In the end, you got to influence, implement and visualize some sort of needs vs. requirements and skills. The better you can communicate this to your group or a chosen few, then the more people will buy the ticket to want to come on board.

Furthermore, this goes for any business, be it a record store, a grocery shop or a financial provider. It’s all about inspiration and making things happen!

Another strategy is definetely a so-called headhunter strategy whereby one contacts candidates directly, in order to hire them away from an already established environment.

This can be achieved by various strategies, be it personal contacts, marketing events or social media channels.

One final thought when it comes to recruiting:

Whether it’s about hiring people or managing client relationships. Put the same amount of effort into retaining employees or clients as if you spend for on-boarding them in the first place! As experts say, for every lost workforce or client, you need to get seven in return to make ends meet.

Attracting top talent will always be an important fact and an asset of any company.

Finally, the most important of all questions has been left open!

What is more important, skilled workers or fancy clients?

Andy Aeschbach is acting senior partner with an asset management company in Zurich, Switzerland. He holds an international coaching certification and is the founder and managing partner of Katana-Coaching, an international established training & consulting association and change management boutique for financial service providers, in Zurich, Switzerland.

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