Recruiting outstanding talent is the goal of every talent acquisition team. However, market forces have made that task increasingly difficult. Often candidates are unwilling to leave jobs that have seen them through the pandemic, and those who are looking for new opportunities are often the subject of bidding wars. Even highly desirable businesses, like Fintech SMEs, are having a hard time finding enough people with the right skill set for their companies. Ultimately, these candidates command a premium and, as a business, you may very well offer and exceed their expectations, however, that still may not be enough to sway them to work for you.
So, in a skills' drought, what can your business do to attract the best talent for your Fintech start-up or SME?
Understand the candidate’s motives
As a Senior Recruitment Consultant, who specialises in the Fintech market, I have multiple conversations a day about the cons of working for a start-up vs. a large organisation. Some of the key themes from these conversations include:
1. Potential lack of learning and development in a smaller business
2. Fewer opportunities to progress in SMEs
3. Less opportunity for flexible working and longer working hours
4. Not enough employee benefits
5. Less job security in a start-up
Yes, there are risks that come with joining a smaller business, but start-ups are some of the most progressive and creative businesses around. Remuneration, employee benefits and job security are only some of the motivators for people in their working life. People often work at start-ups because they believe in the mission or product, not necessarily for financial gain or job security.
Make your job opportunity stand out from the crowd
Recruiting top talent in the Fintech market is difficult, every hire is integral and can make or break your company. With budgets being a big concern for many businesses, you need to think strategically about how you present jobs to potential candidates. A job advert is not a list of responsibilities. Companies need to understand who they want to attract with the job advertisement. A well put together job advert, which covers all of the essential qualities the candidate needs to possess to be successful and what you can offer them in return, is a great starting point.
Showcase your employer brand
Candidates want to know what it is like to work for a company before they work for them. Attracting candidates whose values and work style align with those of your company will make your recruitment process smoother, as you won’t have to sift through candidate profiles that aren’t a match in any way. It also works the other way around. Candidates who don’t like what they see will deselect themselves from the selection process.
To ensure you’re getting candidates who fit in your company, showcase your company culture through as many channels as possible and communicate why you’re a great place to work."
Boost retention and retain talent
Retaining talent is an essential component of acquiring talent. The Fintech industry is compact and well-connected. One person’s poor experience with your organisation could have a damaging impact on your ability to hire new people. Therefore, ensuring there is a keen focus on developing and retaining talent is a must if you want to recruit successfully for your Fintech SME.
Start-ups and SMEs are often disadvantaged when it comes to their ability to incentivise their employee’s roles, and provide the type of working environments, benefits and conditions that incentivise employees to stay long-term. This is because start-ups may not always be able to compete with large organisations on remuneration, benefits and bonuses. Therefore, it is essential to see appropriate and financially sustainable incentives as a cornerstone of talent acquisition and retention.
● Training and progression
Some SMEs might shirk the cost of training, however learning opportunities often lead to increased productivity. Furthermore, employees are much more likely to stay with a business if they can see a clear progression and development plan. And whilst there is always the risk that if you train your employees and enhance their education, that they will leave, if you don’t offer a clear progression and training route, they are even less likely to hang around.
● Welcome feedback
You should actively seek feedback from your people around the business. The people on the frontline of your organisation are often the ones best placed to provide insight into business performance. Moreover, employees who are engaged and feel heard often stay in their roles longer.
Ask for help
The average employee exit costs 33% of their annual salary. However, some studies have found that the real cost of making a bad hire is closer to £130k! This is taking into account the loss of talent, time, recruitment fees, training and decreased productivity.
A high turnover rate can cripple a start-up or SME. It is essential that as a business, small or large, that you don’t fall into a pattern of making bad hires. There are several routes to acquire talent, such as referrals, ex-colleagues, and reaching out to connections, which are advantageous. However, scaling and growing a business on the back of referrals is time-consuming, and there are fewer safety nets in place if the hire isn’t quite right.
That is why engaging the services of specialist recruitment consultancies, like Marks Sattin, is essential. We don’t just find you your next hire, we are uniquely placed to consult with businesses on hiring trends, candidate behaviour and best talent attraction methods for your business. And the best part is, it won’t cost you anything until we have made a placement.
TeaserCommerce & Industry
Fintech is constantly rewriting the rules on how companies operate, how businesses borrow money, and how customers pay for goods. It’s exciting to see how it’s changing the way we conduct transactions across the market, and it’s going from strength to strength. Since 2017, Fintech has been the leading sector for investment, with UK financial technology firms attracting a record £1.34 billion in venture capital funding in 2017 alone. With the fintech market constantly evolving, from blockchain to automation, let’s look at how it’s impacting commerce and people’s roles: Flexibility and Accessibility One of the key benefits of fintech is its flexibility and the ease with which it can be adapted to suit the evolving digital market. In today’s hyper-connected world, it offers accessibility; casual shoppers, business people, and even companies can access their money instantaneously on banking apps, and pay for services with the touch of a button. It’s a new way of doing business, and digital-only banks like N26 and Revolut are springing up to deal with this method of frictionless payment, challenging traditional banks as they do so. Falling behind means losing business, and fintech is disrupting the rules of business. The trend towards instant accessibility is raising client expectations: companies need to ensure that they’re providing a high-quality online service to their customers if they want to remain competitive. Whether it’s a mobile-friendly service or a 24/7 helpline, flexibility and digital accessibility are today’s keywords, and this is creating a demand for faster, more efficient ways of doing business. Innovation in Auditing The rise of fintech has also brought about a revolution in the role of the auditor. Blockchain technology has repeatedly been hailed as a breakthrough in the burgeoning crypto economy, receiving more than £500m of investment in the UK alone over the past year- and for good reason! Blockchain is a decentralised online ‘ledger’ that records all transactions made for a particular company. Each transaction creates a ‘link’ that is locked into an online chain of similar transactions and makes it extremely difficult to tamper with; to interfere with one transaction, you need to tamper with all of them. The biggest challenge an auditor faces is having the relevant data on hand to carry out their daily responsibilities; now that businesses are operating essentially in ‘real time’, a blockchain ledger containing essential data for any business can be monitored and maintained by the internal audit team, and then verified by an external team. For anybody working in accounting, adopting blockchain is an excellent way to minimise error, risk and enhance accountability, whilst also freeing up time to concentrate on other important tasks. AI and Conversational Commerce From deep learning to analytics, AI is playing a vital role in influencing the market. Indeed, fintech companies are turning to smart technology to develop new interfaces, such as apps, through which they can learn more about their client base than ever before. Using smart software helps companies in commerce to automate day to day tasks like data analysis, freeing up time normally spent on time-consuming or mundane parts of their job to do more valuable, high-level work. In fact, AI can do everything from draft contracts to analyse customer data and create actionable insights into the way an organisation does business; naturally, fintech companies that provide this software are thriving. The benefits go further. For accounting teams, using automation and RegTech can even help them detect fraud, as the system can process, analyse and monitor customer behaviour to detect suspicious transactions and flag them for further investigation. With so many uses, it’s no wonder that fintech is paving the way for teams to do their day to day jobs more efficiently than ever before. An interconnected market With all of this innovation taking place, we’re expecting to see more collaboration between big business - especially in commerce - and smaller start-ups, as both sides seek to leverage the other's expertise and gain more visibility in the market. Companies like Mastercard are partnering with and nurturing start-ups in order to encourage innovation within the market; still others, like Visa, are partnering with start-ups like Paidy, which offers post-payment credit services for eCommerce customers in Japan. As the fintech market expands, expect to see more of this collaboration, as firms grow closer together in order to innovate their customer offering. Looking to the future with Marks Sattin At Marks Sattin, we’re excited to see what the future will bring for the commerce industry, especially as fintech strengthens its grip on the market. It’s time to get involved: take the next step in your career and become part of the change with our range of jobs in commerce and industry, or read our blog for more insights.
The Bank of England (BoE) announced this week that there is “no clear evidence” (yet) of a sharp economic slowdown after last month's vote to leave the European Union. The BoE reported that whilst business uncertainty had risen markedly most firms did not plan to cut hiring or investment. Sterling rose against the US dollar following the report which was more positive than other surveys indicating falls in business and consumer confidence. The British central bank has also surprised markets by holding interest rates. The uncertainty in the run up to the referendum did result in a slower market for finance recruitment in H1 2016. Now that a decision has been made and a new cabinet is in place, companies seem to be moving forward with recruitment strategies and Marks Sattin has seen uplift in finance jobs registered with many hiring managers quietly positive about future growth. Within financial services, FinTech companies appear to be largely unhindered by the EU referendum and continue to experience consistently levels of high growth. It’s an exciting time for FinTech as it is acquiring a larger stake of financial services market share, a recent study by PwC indicates that financial services organisations fear losing up to 23% of their business to FinTech in the next five years. Mark Sattin works with a range FinTech businesses from established listed companies to new start-ups and we have seen an increase in activity across the board from these companies. FinTech is becoming a highly attractive area for finance professionals to move into as the roles tend to be more varied than other sectors and have a significant commercial aspect. The sector provides the opportunity to work closely with high level internal stakeholders with a clear impact on business performance. The drive for high levels of growth within FinTech provides scope for exciting project work which could include fundraising, system implementation, process improvement and M&A work.
Content TypeJoin our team
In March 2021, Anthony Mills made the move to Marks Sattin Birmingham, after spending nine years at another recruitment company. Our Internal recruitment manager, Karen Chilton, chatted to Anthony about his career so far, what it’s like joining a new company during a pandemic, and some of his most memorable moments in recruitment. Anthony Mills Principal Consultant, Birmingham Contact Anthony Anthony, welcome to Marks Sattin! How are you settling in?What a start it has been! Although we are currently working remotely, everyone has taken the time to welcome me into the business. Luckily, with recruitment being a well-connected industry, I have either previously worked with, or met some of my colleagues in the past, so it has been pretty easy to settle in!How did you get into recruitment?Like most recruiters, by accident! However, my situation is a little different. My father had hopes of me becoming an accountant, and would often get me to help him with his business accounts. I studied accountancy as one of my subjects at A-level, and I studied accountancy & finance at degree level.However, I chose a career in business development and account management. In 2012, I decided to try mixing my business development and account management experience with my accountancy and finance studies to become a finance recruitment consultant, and I haven’t looked back since. So, I guess I did somewhat get into accountancy as per my father’s hopes, but in a weird sort of way!Tell us about your career so farI specialise in permanent and temporary positions across the West and East Midlands, primarily recruiting roles at the qualified level. My experience has allowed me to work with a range of companies, from FTSE 100/250 listed, multinational organisations, SME’s, private equity and venture capitalist backed.However, over the past seven years most of my work has been in the interim and contracting space, partnering with clients to recommend effective and efficient interim solutions to meet their needs. As a result, I have been able to acquire a sizeable interim finance network that continues to grow to this day!What do you enjoy most about your role?I have to say that the feeling of placing somebody in their “dream job”, and knowing that I have delivered a top class experience for my client is the best part of my work. I don’t believe that feeling could ever go away. In recruitment, you get the opportunity to learn a lot about the people and businesses you support, and I have built some genuine long-lasting relationships and even some good friendships off the back of it.Do you have any work-related embarrassing tales for us?It was just after Christmas and I had gained a few extra pounds. We were attending an important client meeting to take the brief of several senior finance vacancies. The weather was awful, and there had been torrential rain all morning, so we decided to take a little jog to get there as quickly as possible. As I took a few paces, I heard a tear. I looked down to discover my suit trouser was ripped!Like a true professional, I had to soldier on and attend the meeting. Luckily, my trusted colleague was on hand to give me his jacket which I strategically dangled over my arm to hide my unfortunate accident. We won the pitch and recruited the vacancies within the team, without the client suspecting a thing, and I learned a valuable lesson, always have a suit one size up ready for the winter months, or just eat fewer donuts! What swayed you to join Marks Sattin?The idea of being just a number has never interested me. I want to work for a business that invests in their people. Luckily, because I knew people who work at Marks Sattin, I had a good idea of what it would be like to work in the team. Ultimately, for me, the attraction was knowing that I could bring my skills and regional knowledge to a new business, and help the directors develop Marks Sattin's offering in the Midlands. I knew I could add value and go on a journey with the business. Marks Sattin is already a leading recruitment consultancy with offices in Birmingham, London, Reading, Surrey, Manchester, Leeds and Dublin. The business has been established for almost 35 years, plus Marks Sattin is owned by Gi Group, a leading global recruitment conglomerate which operates in over 40 countries. Whilst some businesses in their position may be complacent, there is a lot of drive and ambition within the business, and I knew I needed to be a part of it. In your opinion, why is Marks Sattin different from other consultancies?Well, I’ve never known another recruitment consultancy that has a golf simulator for us to use at our leisure, a spacious gym with all the equipment, and an awesome rooftop bar in their offices.I would also say that Marks Sattin genuinely live by what they say about “being a mature business”. Whilst commercial viability is central to any business, there isn’t any micromanagement, and the consultants are trusted to work in a way that works best for us to bring the best results. It has also been extremely refreshing for me to see first-hand Marks Sattin’s stance on diversity & inclusion across the Group. No matter your race/ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality or disability – being fairly represented with equal opportunity and having your voice heard is critical to any successful organisation with a diverse workforce. I learned that Marks Sattin really take this seriously and their diversity & inclusion committee has representation from a variety of groups within the business to increase our awareness and education. Not only is this practice followed internally, Marks Sattin partner with a number of external clients to ensure D&I is at the centre of the recruitment process, allowing for fair representation and minimising unconscious biases. I am really proud to be a part of a business that champions diversity & inclusion! What advice would you give to any consultants who are considering a move after working with another consultancy for a long time, as you were?To move roles after nine years as a consistently high performing consultant was daunting. It was a big decision to move, given my length of service and having a “safe” job during an uncertain time, it was a complex decision to make. Unfortunately, my partner was made redundant as a result of the pandemic, meaning I became the sole earner, and we were also expecting our second child (who we welcomed on May 2nd 2021). For anybody considering a move after being with an employer for a considerable period of time. I think the first piece of advice that I would give is to have self-belief. The thought of change can be such a daunting thing, but it can also be the best thing that you ever did! Anthony mills | Principle consultant There are businesses out there, like Marks Sattin, that can work in a fluid way, meaning they can shift and adapt to meet the needs of their employees, whether it be flexible work from home/office working, part-time/full-time. At Marks Sattin, entrepreneurial flair is celebrated and ideas aren’t dismissed before you’ve even finished your sentence. I would also advise that opening up an informal discussion with an agency doesn’t mean that you are tied in to anything, but instead it can be used to gauge whether they could meet your long term goals; if not, then they are not the business for you.Finally, tell us something not many people know about you.As a sports enthusiast, I represented my Regional Athletics team, where I had the chance to meet the GB Athletics and the Jamaican Athletics Teams. I also had the opportunity to play a “Cup Final” game as a teen for my football team at the Birmingham City Football Ground. I shouldn’t admit to that, being an Aston Villa fan!If you enjoyed reading Anthony's career story so far, and would like to learn more, check out our internal vacancies or contact me for a confidential chat about your career options with Marks Sattin.