Hiring Millennials into Asset Management

Kay Fleming 10.09.2018

The millennial generation, or ‘Generation Y’, are those born between 1978 and 2000. Although not everyone identifies with their generational traits, it is interesting to note what different generations consider important.

Investment management employers will benefit from being mindful of what millennials want

It could be argued that if a hiring manager is from the same generation as the prospective employee, then it may be more natural for them to speak about and effectively sell the role better than someone born in a different generation. Therefore, understanding what is important to any generation is a step in the right direction to bridge the gap between different ages in the workplace.

Millennials tend to look for the following three things in their job search:

Positive Change

By this we mean positive change to the world as well as their immediate environment. It is no secret that the industry has been heavily criticised for funding companies associated with tobacco, alcohol and cannabis. Though in more recent years, we have seen firms move away from such investments for ethical reasons, with an increasing number of asset managers offering sustainable investment solutions to clients. It was reported in Morningstar (2018 - click here to see report) that in Barclays Wealth’s latest Impact Investing Report, the number of investors in this space has increased by 2/3 to 15% since 2015, and that this surge has been mainly triggered by millennials.

It therefore stands to reason that if millennials are investing responsibly and with a conscience, then they will want to work for a business that does too. To appeal to a millennial in a candidate driven market, an employer should be sure to showcase how they promote responsible investing and their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes available to heighten the potential employee’s interest.  

Availability of Agile Working

A flexible work environment is regularly one of the ‘must haves’ when I meet with jobseekers across all age groups. Millennials have grown up around technology, more specifically portable technology. Therefore, a job offering mobility and flexibility is attractive.

Generation Y feel stifled in a work environment where they are confined to their desks and believe they can add as much value logging on from home or even working from a coffee shop. From what I can see, flexible working hours or remote working in asset management is a work in progress, and is certainly on the HR agenda. But on the whole, it seems to be behind its financial services peers in sectors such as FinTech.

Understandably, there is a lot of trust involved in flexible working and it carries risks. There are inevitable fears that performance might drop, however, I would argue that if you are questioning whether or not your colleague can be relied upon to work to their usual standard from home occasionally, then you have to ask yourself if they are the right hire for the business at all?

This is a generation who are never not on the Internet, so employers must embrace the changing world and act on the basis that they must trust the people that work for them until they are given a reason not to. Flexibility at work is not something that can be implemented overnight, but millennials will be dissuaded to join an asset manager with zero flexible working in place as it sends the wrong message.  

Clear Career Progression

It is no secret that having additional qualifications such as the IMC, CFA, or CIM for marketing professionals not only look good on a CV but are also great to facilitate personal professional development - another aspect millennials want from employers. Asset managers who offer their employees sponsorship for their studies stand out from the crowd. Millennials like to be seen as ‘assets to the business’ alongside your AUM, and one way to incentivise them is to invest in them.

We often see jobseekers financially tied into contracts with their current employer because of this, and more recently I’ve seen some of my clients offer a higher than usual compensation package in an attempt to secure the jobseeker. Employers recognise the fact that they may have to pay back the cost of these qualifications to their current employer.

Therefore, thoughtful gestures like sponsoring further development, offering qualifications or reimbursing previous study costs really set businesses apart in the eyes of a Generation Y workforce.

We’d love to hear your experiences of hiring millennials or if you are an employer looking for tips on how to stand out to a millennial job seeker, please get in contact with myself or one of the marketing recruitment team, as we’d be happy to discuss this further with you.

Kay Fleming's picture
Senior Consultant | Marketing & Sales Support