Why corporate functions roles within financial services are key

Simon RoderickResearch, insights & industry news

Corporate Functions roles - financial services - recruiment - talent strategy

Why corporate functions roles within financial services are key

Corporate functions roles within financial services are key. In order to secure the best talent, firms need to revisit how they select candidates and to really think about the non-financial elements of why top talent may join, or stay, with them.

The best money you can spend is to sleep well at night

Corporate functions roles within financial services are key. You can’t scale a business effectively or safely without great people in place, but too often these teams are seen as cost centres – burners not earners as somebody once said to me when talking about businesses in general. It’s also a market badly served by the KPI driven parts of my industry. Our focus is on mid-to-senior hires in finance, compliance and operations and I feel that in order to secure the best talent, firms need to revisit how they select candidates and to really think about the non-financial elements of why top talent may join, or stay, with them.

Talent strategy in Corporate Functions

Experienced infrastructure candidates are often time-poor, driven, professionals. They’re conscientious, having often taken professional qualifications to further their career, they work long hours, work across a wide range of issues, and this requires experience and both emotional intelligence and intellect. Until the pandemic created a candidate shortage, some firms tried to reduce costs in these areas. They would “juniorise” roles and replace experience with juniors and they would often try and hire directly – with mixed results. The pandemic caused all of us to sit up and to re-think how we hire and what environment teams work in. With the financial services industry financing cost pressures and a fall off in business volumes, there is a temptation to revert to pre-pandemic practices.

Firms know what is right for them, but generally speaking we’d recommend not rowing back from flexible working policies. Whilst candidate availability is easing, the best talent is often happy in their current role and needs “tempting” to change employers. I’d estimate that not having a hybrid working policy closes off well over 50% of the talent pool for any role. With no uniform way of working in any segment of financial services, you are automatically on the backfoot against a competitor who is more flexible. Great candidates always have multiple options in any market and this needs thinking about carefully. However, candidates also want to understand what the vision is after they sign on the dotted line.

Hybrid working, a high-quality induction, reiterating the strategic vision, continuous training, clear deliverables and regular catch-ups, should all be part of a good working environment. They all form part of a non-financial employee value proposition, which retains talent and allows colleagues to excel. We all know that in a quieter market it’s hard to provide promotion opportunities, but we’re all well versed enough now to know that bad times pass. By continually investing in an individual’s development in the downtimes, it may encourage them to stay for the good times.

Why a robust process is important

Equally, the hiring process should be an enjoyable, high-quality experience for both client and candidate. Every high-quality search, whether conducted on a contingent or retained basis, whether senior or junior, should start with identifying a talent pool of those in the market and not just those on the market. Of course, you need to go much further when appointing a CEO and to allocate more time to the process. If working on a contingent basis, hirers need to adopt elements of executive search when it comes to attraction and screening. These roles are business critical and due care and attention needs to be taken in identifying candidates for shortlist. Candidates are expecting a robust process, managed by an experienced professional, and anything less than this will make them question whether the role is worth their time. This was the way it was done many years ago, and it’s the way we’d advocate moving forwards.

Creating a stimulating, empowered environment for your infrastructure talent, is key to any successful financial services business. If they are expensive “costs” to maintain, imagine the cost of something going wrong through hiring the wrong person.

About Fram Search

Fram’s Corporate Functions Practice provides a deeply consultative recruitment service focusing on Finance & Accounting, Legal & Compliance, and Operations functions.

Established in 2010, Fram Search is a specialist financial services recruitment consultancy. We focus on mid-to-senior hires in the UK and internationally, providing high quality contingent and retained recruitment services, focusing on permanent & interim placements at all levels.

We have long established relationships, outstanding market knowledge, and access to deep talent pools. Fram takes a highly consultative approach, combining outstanding tech with a human approach. We are proud that our contingent fill rate is nearly three times the industry average and we augment our retained search methodology with rigorous psychometric testing. We take ESG seriously, we are champions of diversity and all staff have undertaken unconscious bias training. We also carbon offset.

Please contact us on 01525 864 372 / [email protected] to learn more.

Share this Post