Tags (Advice, Hiring Knowledge, Market Intelligence, Trends)

The challenges we face with job orders and recruiting Clients…

May 17, 2024
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CassonX are not only honoured to be working with some of the best candidates in our sector, but we are proud to partner with a vast range of clients. We typically meet all our hiring managers to gain an insight into what is essential for any hire’s that they might want to make. We do not only listen to their requests but we offer sound market knowledge and intelligence because of our specialism. We can educate clients with what is trending within their talent acquisition market, including availability of suitable profiles, what their competitors are doing, and even simple economics of the industry. We believe this is paramount to building a strong working relationship with our clients.

Recruitment is a tough job. We represent individuals who have emotion’s and opinion’s, and sometimes the perfect candidate profile may not want to do the role that is on offer, or even work for the company we are representing. However, recruitment without its challenges would be boring and there are certain situations that can be extremely rewarding to overcome.

The are many hurdles as recruiters we must overcome when instructed to fill a role, we have outlined below the ones we come across most frequently.

Expecting candidates to want to leave and just do the same role

We understand why client’s want to hire someone who is doing the same role in a competitor firm. But this is not necessarily enticing for a candidate. Unless they are being made redundant as example, it is very rare for a candidate to want to make a sideways step in their career, most candidates will always want to further themselves. Therefore when hiring we always recommend that a client chooses a candidate who can demonstrate they are competent in 70% of the role which leaves 30% for them to learn. This will leave the candidate excited at the prospect of joining your firm and giving them the chance to develop further.

Candidates with advanced academics

Whilst many roles within financial services require specific levels of education and qualifications, our Operations and Middle Office sector doesn’t always dictate premium education. Those from top tier universities with STEM education as example, don’t necessarily want to forge careers in the back office. We encourage clients to meet those who don’t stand out with their advanced educational requirements, because often having practical experience within their field, or offering logical common sense is more valuable in the Operations world.

Trying to fill two or three roles using one candidate

Often due to budget constraints, firms will try and find a candidate who is able perform multiple job functions. Whilst this can be an exciting prospect for a potential candidate to grow their knowledge and skills, finding those with specialisms in multiple functions can be extremely difficult. Whilst we appreciate that candidates who work in smaller firms tend to offer a more varied skillset, we encourage clients to put emphasis on the most important part of the hire, and give opportunity for someone to be keen to do a wider role as part of their move as a bonus.

Hiring juniors

Whilst there are many benefits to hiring those at the start of their career, the junior end of the recruitment market has been challenging for a few years now, largely down to the lack of graduate schemes run during the COVID pandemic. My previous blog (https://cassonx.com/the-difficulties-with-hiring-a-less-experienced-operations-or-middle-office-candidate-in-the-current-market/) details most of these issues, but fundamentally there is no value in hiring those with less experience right now. Given the ever-increasing demand for youthful talent, and the sheer lack of graduates or school leavers starting their careers in the last 4 years, (not forgetting rising cost of living and individuals trying to get on the property ladder) this has forced the salaries up of those in the junior category. Surprisingly, firms are still willing to wait patiently and pay for them!

Programming skills

Many firms now use Operations or Middle Office hires to help automate their processes. In many of the smaller firms we recruit for, who don’t have budgets to invest in major technology systems from vendors, they typically use Excel to manage their data. Whilst being proficient with Excel and sometimes VBA are justifiable in those instances, some firms try and hire Python/SQL/Alteryx programmers as example. A programming role is very different from working in Operations or Middle Office. In fact a programmer can not only take on a more front office focused role programming algorithms for trading strategies as example, but these roles pay substantially more! Front office roles are certainly more attractive, as they are more aligned to revenue generating. But the main issue is that they are two sperate roles, requiring two separate skillsets which tend to be much harder to correlate. We always recommend that where possible, budget should be found for 2 separate hires to attract the best possible candidate for each role.

Low salaries

Budgets are always the toughest part of any recruitment process we have to manage. It is rare that companies want to overpay their own staff in comparison to their competitors. Some firms do, but typically you are expected to work much harder in return. However, unsurprisingly it is a common theme that candidates want to earn as much as they can, and companies want to pay as little as possible. The most complicated challenge is when a team has been built on budgets that are outdated and not in line with the rest of the market, consequently it shocks hiring managers to see that candidates with less experience than their current staff are commanding higher renumerations that some of their experienced employees. There is nothing we can do to change this and have sympathy for those hiring managers as sometimes, they will experience a high turnover of staff due to financial constraints. Our only advice can be to make sure you are creating an environment where people don’t want to leave, with excellent working conditions, strong leadership, and above all, job satisfaction. This is turn can help attract suitable talent when explained.

Not considering experienced professionals for more junior roles

There is always a fear that someone could be too overqualified for a role, and that they might want to leave soon after joining when a more senior role becomes available in the market. There is sometimes even a hesitance to hire them because the hiring manager is worried that they could challenge their own role. Many talented and experienced individuals don’t want to take on a demanding, high pressured role that carries a lot of responsibility. We always say to the clients that if we are sending their profile, then the candidate understands the level of role they are applying for, and are comfortable with it, thus willing to commit without causing complication to their team or department.

Part Time roles

We believe that these roles should always be offered to internal staff first. Many people now days are looking for job shares, or reduced hours to fit in family or other commitments for a healthy work/life balance. This is something that their existing staff may be looking for. Many clients want us to lower our fee to represent the reduced salary vs the amount of days or hours they work, but we must remind clients that we are not working part time and that the fee should be reflective of the full time work we are doing. We always embrace recruiting part time roles when required, we do however make sure our clients have explored all internal options first before embarking on this type of search.

Having to compete with internal recruitment teams

This shouldn’t be a competition! Specialist recruiters should be working in partnership with internal Talent Teams. Given we have a vast understanding of our specialist sectors, we should be encouraged to try and find profiles that their own resourcing teams can’t find. Many internal teams just use Linked In these days, to post a role and hope the ideal candidate applies. However, recruiters are trained in many ways to attract and identify candidates for all our clients. Some candidates even prefer using recruiters to act as a broker, and not directly with hiring firms. Having good communication with the internal recruitment team will achieve optimum solutions and give them the chance to make sure they can make the most informed hiring decision, by having a larger pool of candidates to choose from.

Lack of sponsorship

Working with international candidates has many challenges. Mostly the need to relocate and lack of being able to attend a face-to-face interview. But most commonly because they would most likely need sponsorship. Every company, dependant on size, has a limited amount of visa’s they can offer if any, therefore this may not be relevant for everyone. Some roles we see require individuals who are skilled in certain job functions who are typically found in locations internationally. We have experienced it many times where we are approached by those international based individuals, yet the client has no approval to offer sponsorship. Sponsorship requires time, financing, and can make a candidate less attractive in an interview process in comparison to those who are already in the UK. We always advise candidates in this situation to relocate and apply for a visa, before exploring roles here in the UK, and certainty when considering BREXIT implications.

We welcome the opportunity to talk to all potential client’s and candidate’s surrounding their needs. On our website you can find dedicated sections on how best to partner with us or other recruiters. You can also see all of our vacancies: https://cassonx.com/vacency/

CassonX are a specialist operations and middle office recruitment firm based in London. We are a boutique specialist agency, privately owned, giving you friendly and bespoke advice and support for all your staffing and recruitment needs. You can always contact one of our friendly, experienced, and talented recruiters directly via the website or on +44(0)2030565545.

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