Money Matters: Finding the Right Candidate for Financial Services

28th May 2015

After a turbulent few years for businesses in terms of finances, having the right personnel dealing with company money is imperative. This week, we shine a light on finance recruitment, with particular focus on how to identify the right kinds of candidates for the job.

New Data for Recruitment

A 2014 CareerBuilder study has given new insight into the top qualities recruiters and hiring managers look for in budding candidates. Aside from qualifications and knowledge of the industry for which they are interviewing, a candidate’s personality has much to do with whether they are hired or not. Being able to meld with others in the office is an important aspect when deciding a potential employee’s suitability to a role, and as part of a larger team.

Personality traits or 'soft skills' that enable a person to work well within a team, refer not to the skills to perform the job, but rather the skills that indicate a moral and ethical person and someone with adequate communication skills. The CareerBuilder survey cited the following as top personality traits desired by recruiters:
• Hard working
• Dependable
• Positive
• Self-motivated
• Team-oriented
• Organised
• Works well under pressure
• Good communication skills
• Confident
• Flexible

While these may seem obvious at first, and many are frequently seen typed up in resumes, the fact that these seemingly simple things are the most desirable proves the importance of so-called ‘soft skills’. In terms of financial recruitment however, these skills must be underpinned with certain other traits as well.

Traits for Finance Recruitment

When recruiting in the financial sector, there are attributes that can signify a person’s suitability for a role. We’ve listed a few below:

Problem solver – Those in financial services need to understand the importance of perseverance and sticking with a problem until a solution is found. Whilst this might not be immediately obvious in the interview stage, perhaps including some kind of problem or challenge within the application can help recruiters find those who are passionate about problem-solving.

Analytically minded – Being analytical as part of their personality suggests they will carry it over into their work. Within financial services, it is incredibly important that an employee can identify every element of their work and analyse figures deeply and with a strong understanding.

Strong communication – When explaining the route and use of money within a business, it is imperative that your chosen hire be able to communicate technical language and complicated projects with ease. Strong communication skills should be obvious during the interview stage, see how well candidates explain themselves and deliberately ask questions that require a carefully-constructed answer.

Totally professional – Of course, when dealing with finances, the utmost professionalism is needed. Candidates must be trustworthy, ethical and show themselves to be passionate about doing the job right. Professional candidates will take all aspects of the application and interview process very seriously and will hopefully immediately demonstrate their passion for the job.

Embraces new technology – As well as working within a team and on their own, the new hire will be expected to embrace new technology as part of their job. There are a multitude of financial and accountancy programs available and each business chooses to do things in a different way so a strong understanding and willingness to learn new tech is an attribute to consider searching for.

Where To Find the Best Candidates

One of the best ways to search for top quality finance candidates is to target your search demographically. Due to the fact that businesses will need tech-savvy applicants, try channeling your search using social networking sites and their associated search facilities. Offer candidates a problem or a challenge and use hashtags to increase reach, this inspires both active and passive candidates to show off their skills and demonstrate their passions, whilst showing off key parts of their personalities to the recruiter or hiring manager.

Finding candidates who have both the soft skills and professional experience to enter a high-pressure accountancy or finance job can be tough, but creative job applications and intelligent interview questions can maximise the chance of recruiting staff who thrive on challenges and are able to communicate in a positive way.