Attracting Millennial Talent in Finance
If you’re a hiring manager for an accounting or financial advisory services firm, you may have noticed something odd about the recent stagnation in the job market. While other industry mangers were sifting through stacks of resumes a mile high and turning away a dozen highly qualified candidates for every open position, you faced no such burdens. In fact, a stubborn shortage of millennial candidates only seemed to increase as the downturn wore on. If you’re still having trouble finding qualified young applicants for you financial positions, you’re not alone.
What Draws Millennials?
In order to attract candidates under the age of 35, you’ll need to create a workplace culture and a compensation package that provides what younger workers are looking for. In general, candidates in their twenties are not yet lured by the same attractions that draw older workers. They don’t yet have families, so family-related benefits won’t get you all the way there. (Though after you attract them, you’ll want to keep them in years to come, so don’t take these benefits off the table.) Instead, focus on compensation, bonuses, and a culture that rewards growth, commitment, and determination.
You’ll also need to think about your support for training, mentoring and continuing education. Do you have a structured mentoring program in place? Do you reimburse tuition? Does your training program build real skills?
Overcoming the Millennial Finance Talent Shortage
You’ll also have to overcome a few of the realities that are driving millennials away from the financial field. First, millennials are turned off by companies that lack integrity, and distrust of the financial sector is high among young people who have been, for example, drawn in lending practices that have left them (or their families) burdened by high interest debt. If your company treats “financial advisory services” as a simple euphemism for “sales”, you’ll need to find a way to frame this that doesn’t turn off sharp, ambitious candidates who are looking for jobs with integrity and meaning.
Second, young graduates with backgrounds in areas other than finance and economics may believe they aren’t qualified for positions in your firm. But a strong training program means any highly intelligent candidate can learn the ropes with a little determination. Make this clear in your recruiting and outreach efforts.
And third, culture matters to young employees…a lot. Be ready to pair younger workers with established teams. Create clear handoff arrangements between experienced employees approaching retirement and young mentees who are ready to absorb their institutional knowledge. And bear in mind that if this process freezes or stalls due to a culture of criticism and isolation, you’ll lose your young employees as fast as you bring them on board. For more information on how to attract and retain younger financial employees, reach out the Seattle hiring experts at Pace.