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66% believe Gen Y are difficult to recruit in financial services

Despite a majority of finance leaders (79%) believing a career in financial services is attractive for Millennials, many still face challenges when recruiting high-calibre candidates from this demographic, found a new research by Robert Half.

In fact, two in three (66%) financial services leaders in Singapore said Gen Y (those born in 1977-1995) financial services professionals are the most challenging to recruit. This was followed by professionals from Gen X and the Baby Boomer generation.

Digging deeper, a third (33%) felt that mid-management level roles will be the hardest to recruit for over the next year, followed by executive-level roles (20%) and non-management mid-level roles (20%). As for functional roles, the toughest to recruit for include finance (30%), risk (20%) and accounting (15%).

The main reason these roles are hard to recruit for - lack of relevant skills and shortage of talent.

Over half (51%) of survey respondents highlighted a lack of necessary skills as the main reason it is challenging to recruit experienced professionals. This was followed by demand outweighing supply (50%), underscoring the importance of securing the best talent quickly.

Robert Half finance professionals in Singapore

Apart from being difficult to recruit, with many financial services companies actively approaching millennial employees from competing organisations, staff retention has become a high business priority.

More than half of respondents (54%) revealed that the generation they are most concerned about leaving in the next year is Gen Y, followed by Gen X (35%) and the Baby Boomer generation (11%).

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director at Robert Half Singapore, said: "To build the professional teams of the future, companies need to rethink their hiring strategies in order to attract younger professionals. In particular, firms need to act quickly to secure the best talent rather than allowing the recruitment process to drag out and risk losing quality candidates."

READ MORE: Are Millennials getting more loyal?

Overcoming the talent shortage

Additionally, the report noted that as the war for talent continues, employers are adapting hiring practices aimed at sourcing highly-skilled Millennial professionals.

Over the past two years, 66% financial services employers have partnered with universities to source Millennial candidates, 47% have increased their use of social networking sites as a recruitment method and 39% are recruiting graduate-level professionals from overseas.

Other methods employers are using to attract high-calibre Millennial talent include flexible work arrangements, financial incentives, and opportunities for career advancement.

To attract Millennial candidates, more than half (55%) revealed that they offer flexible working arrangements, 53% make use of higher salaries, and 47% are providing tailored career paths.

ALSO READ: Is contract hiring the solution to Singapore’s talent shortage?

"In order to attract and retain the best Millennial talent, Singaporean companies need to take a proactive approach to offer work-life balance initiatives, as this generation will make up the backbone of the future workforce," Imbert-Bouchard said.

He added that while benefits such as working from home can go a long way in enticing Gen Y candidates, offering a competitive salary is just as important as lifestyle benefits.

Additionally, Imbert-Bouchard noted: "millennials tend to be forward-looking, so providing clear opportunities for career advancement holds just as much appeal as an annual bonus for some candidates."

Photo / 123RF

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