Financial services firms need a different approach to retain graduatesFollow @PwC_Scotland
Financial services firms need to adopt a different approach to their graduates’ careers or risk the sector’s current talent shortage growing further. This is according to a new PwC survey of graduates working in financial services, which revealed a significant gap between what graduates currently working in the sector expect from their careers and employers and their actual experience.
The research found that over half (55%) of the respondents made compromises when accepting a job during the downturn, which is likely to mean that as job opportunities increase with economic recovery, many graduates will be assessing whether their employers are acting on their promises.
Worryingly for the insurance sector, 45% of those surveyed who were working in the sector said their decision to take their current role was primarily down to their pressing need for a job.
Employers who fail to invest in this group and adapt their recruitment, retention and development programmes accordingly are likely to see less loyalty. The research shows that nearly half (48%) of millennials working in financial services (the group of graduates born between 1980 and 2000) are already actively looking for new opportunities and 42% are open to offers.
Only 10% of those surveyed said they were planning to stay in their current role for the long term. This means financial services companies will have to work harder than ever to retain the talent needed for their future growth plans.
Chris Massey, human resources partner at PwC, in Scotland said:
“On one hand, financial services companies are having to battle to keep younger workers whose expectations and drive are different from previous generations - a challenge that could become even tougher as the job market picks up.
“Millennials want more than ‘just a job’. They have high expectations of a varied and interesting career with the opportunity to progress quickly and constant feedback. Firms need to take a different approach to recruitment, retention, management and development to address this – failure to do so could result in them losing their best talent to their competitors.
“We previously noted in our Navigating the Next Decade report last year, the strength of the skilled workforce in Scotland, however, it is clear that action needs to be taken now to ensure we continue to harness this talent pool.
“With an insatiable demand from London for skilled people, there is an urgent need to carefully manage future millennial talent, improving the attractiveness of the corporate culture, investing in skills and nurturing future business leaders.”
The shortage of talent is becoming a major business issue. According to recent PwC research of 368 financial services CEOs, around a quarter (25%) said they had to cancel or delay a key strategic initiative over the past 12 months because the right people weren’t available to execute it.
With 40% of the CEOs surveyed saying they think it will only get harder to hire good people in the future, due to the limited supply of appropriate talent, this underlines the need for firms to focus hard on appropriate approaches to the millennial group.
The reputation of financial services has suffered due to the financial crisis, with 21% of respondents saying they would rather not work in the sector. The millennial generation are extremely conscious of a company’s reputation, with 61% of respondents saying they actively seek out employers whose corporate social responsibility values reflect their own. People working in the insurance sector seem to be particularly reputation-conscious, with 76% saying they would leave an employer whose behaviour no longer met their standards.
Chris Massey, human resources partner at PwC, in Scotland added:
“The financial services industry needs to ensure it continues to broaden and deepen its skills base, with the clear vision for the development of particular skills. Closer working with business schools and industry bodies is necessary to provide relevant qualifications that better reflect the industry’s needs and allow us to effectively in the fast-pace global market.
“This approach may go some way towards helping financial services companies compete against other industries for the reputation-conscious millennial generation, whose experience and expectations have been marred by the financial crisis. This generation of graduates actively seek out employers whose values reflect their own, so the sector’s ability to restore trust and re-engage with society will be critical in attracting the best talent from current and future graduates.”
- The Millennial generation refers to those born between 1980 and 2000. Respondents were aged 31 and under and had graduated between 2008 and 2011
- Millennials are more numerous than the Baby Boomer generation and by 2020 will account for 50% of the global workforce
Email: Chris Massey
Email: Lynn Hunter
Tel: +44 (0)141 355 4015