What do finance professionals really want from their employers?

What do finance professionals really want from their employers?

Almost half of survey respondents in the finance sector said they've been put off from pursuing a new role because of negative first impressions of the company

First impressions are of the utmost importance when it comes to making valuable hires, according to a recent survey.

Hays Accountancy and Finance found that 42% of job applicants have been put off from pursuing a role due to negative first impressions of an organisation.

The company’s What Workers Want report examines a candidate’s journey from initial job search to acceptance of a role and joining their new organisation. Over 2,000 responses out of 14,600 were from finance professionals.

Drilling into specifics, over two thirds of finance professionals have been deterred by the internal office environment while 38% have been met with unwelcoming staff.

Interviews have their own problems. Close to half of finance respondents, 46%, said they have been deterred from pursuing a job because of a bad experience at interview. A huge number, 84%, admit they have had a bad experience at a job interview, giving reasons like unprepared interviewers, a lack of structure to the interview process, and poor communication.

Job seekers also view training professional development as an important consideration when deciding where to work, yet only a third of employers in the finance sector say they offer formal training in their induction.

As you might expect, online reviews of companies can have a big affect on potential employees if they read negative ones, especially those in the early stage of their accountancy career. Nearly two thirds, 59%, of respondents said they would be discouraged from working somewhere if they came across negative reviews of a company.

Delays are best avoided 

The Hays survey showed that, like in a lot of aspects of our lives, people are quite impatient. The majority of respondents, 62% said they are only willing to wait one week after submitting an application to move on and look elsewhere. Similarly, 61% are only prepared to wait for one to three days after an interview for an offer before considering or accepting another opportunity.

The issue of new employees leaving soon after joining also came up in the survey.

Nearly half of finance respondents, 43%, said they have left at least one new job within the first twelve months because their expectations did not match the reality of the job. The key reasons for this cited were misleading job adverts, expected training not delivered, and management being different to what was promised.

Karen Young, director of Hays Accountancy and Finance, said: Finance employers tell us that they continue to experience skills shortages and what we’ve found is that the challenge isn’t just finding prospective candidates, it’s about keeping them engaged throughout the entire application process to the point of hire and beyond.

Our findings show that employers risk letting future talent slip through their fingers as finance applicants experience frustrations and delays throughout the process, or leave the role early in their employment. Unwelcoming first impressions, misleading job adverts and badly structured interviews are all key contributors to a poor applicant experience, ultimately making it harder for employers to recruit and retain talent.

How to hire well

Young explained that hiring well is all about working around the Search, Apply, Decide, and Join structure.

You need to think about why a candidate would click on a job advert and then apply to a job, and display these reasons clearly. Pay is obviously a key reason why someone might apply, so avoid using phrases like ‘competitive’ and ‘dependent on experience’.

However, other factors like career development, employee benefits, working environment, and commitment to diversity and inclusion can be viewed as equally important.

Next there is the actual application process. Make it easy to use and simple to complete, where possible. Almost half of finance candidates, 46%, will give up on applications that take longer than ten minutes. People are pushed for time nowadays and anyone who is applying for a new position while still working full time will be reluctant to spend their evenings filling in long, complicated forms.

One applications start coming into and the process is up and running, you should treat it like any other project.

It’s all about expectations. It’s ok to spend time looking at applications and ensuring you choose the right people, but ensure you are transparent with when people will hear back and then stick to it.

When you get to the interview stage, treat meeting prospective employees in the same way as you would a client. Remember that you need to sell your business to them as well as them selling themselves to you. Present it as a place they would like to work, and make sure the interview is not overly formal as this might mean the culture of the company is lost.

An impressive extra to this is giving the prospective employee a change to meet the team and see the office space. It allows the applicant to gauge whether they would fit in and the employer to see how they might mesh with the rest of the team.

The importance of the final stage, Join, should not be underestimated. Candidates need a proper induction, enabling them to smoothly transition into their role and the wider company. Many finance employees, 61%, said they would want to meet with their new employer prior to their start date to understand more about their role so they can prepare, but only 35% of industry employers offer this, according to respondents.

 

 

 

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