Why financial services professionals should use a professional recruitment consultancy

Hakan Enver 29.05.2019

Which is the best route - using the services of a professional recruitment consultancy or going direct through a bank’s in-house recruiter?

Should financial services job seekers choose a professional recruitment consultancy or go direct?

According to the online finance dictionary Investopedia.com, the definition of a broker is:

  • An individual or firm that charges a fee or commission for executing buy and sell orders submitted by an investor. 
  • The role of a firm when it acts as an agent for a customer and charges the customer a commission for its services. 

In the case of a recruitment consultant, the latter definition is more appropriate as recruiters act as a broker between hiring companies and professionals seeking new roles. Commission is charged for successfully finding an individual whose skill set and personality fulfils the requests of the client.

You are probably wondering why I am explaining this... It’s less the definition I wanted to highlight, but more so why it is important that, when a skilled financial services professional is considering a move to another organisation, the involvement of a “recruitment broker” or recruitment consultant is so important. There are two possible routes that a job seeker can take.

The direct route - via in-house recruiters

Banks may have their own internal recruitment functions - this is the ‘direct model’. In essence, banks are employing their own recruiters to handle all their recruitment. In the short term, it appears that this might be a good financial decision for the hiring organisation. Yet, from a job seeker's perspective, this doesn’t replace the need for independent advisors with a broad overview of the market.

In-house recruiters trawl through websites and call individuals to speak about opportunities. Whilst it may attract a small percentage of individuals who are actively searching for new positions, this model fails to target the passive pool of professionals. If the focus is within more technically aligned functions or at more senior levels, then it is unlikely that these banking professionals will want to speak to other banks’ internal recruiters. It also isolates professionals from choice as they can only gain limited and subjective information from communicating with internal recruiters.

The indirect route – via a professional recruitment consultancy

Successful recruitment companies invest a lot of time and money in the training of their employees. This occurs at all levels of seniority.  

Researchers learn about the sector in which they operate, how to identify and source talent that matches specific clients’ needs, and by using various techniques, map teams from different institutions. A key part of the role is mastering the art of relationship building. With continual training, recruiters become specialists in their particular field, and as such, financial services professionals know their representative has a deep understanding of the market.

If a recruitment business has many consultants working within a particular sector, job seekers can be exposed to a greater number of different opportunities from a range of different institutions. This is in stark contrast to just one bank which is the only option an in-house recruiter will be able to offer. It is better to know how the entire employment market is currently performing from someone who speaks to many businesses on a daily basis as opposed to the opinion of one.

What are the primary benefits of using a professional recruitment consultancy?

Further reasons to engage with banking recruitment agencies include:

  • Impartiality – A professional recruitment consultancy invests time in finding the right career opportunity for the professionals it represents, rather than simply favouring one employer over another.
  • Responsiveness – A recruitment consultant can give a job seeker the honest reason why processes may be prolonged and decisions delayed.
  • Negotiation support – If you were successful at interview stage, the recruiter will proactively support the negotiation and secure the best compensation package to suit your requirements.
  • Existing relationships - Recruiters from agencies spend a fair amount of their time establishing strong relationships with employers from a range of organisations who are looking to hire as well as professional job seekers. Direct recruiters do not have the ability to provide detailed advice and preparation as it contradicts the purpose of their position.   

If you partner with a professional recruitment consultancy, you will increase your chances of finding a position. If that is not your goal and you are keen to seek advice on your career, then it is the recruitment business once again that offers the best of this service.    

It may be flattering to be contacted by a big organisation, but before you commit, consider what else could also be out there.

Hakan Enver's picture
Managing Director