CEO and founder of Give A Grad A Go
What are graduates looking for in today’s job market?
Clear opportunity for career progression is really important for today’s graduates. They want to know how often they will have performance reviews with the opportunity for promotion and salary increases. Equally, they recognise the importance of training and want to make sure that is included as part of their offer.
Do you think financial services has an image problem?
Yes, I think so. The industry still suffers from the male dominated Wolf of Wall Street stereotype. The rise of fintech has helped shift this, but increasingly that means graduates prefer those companies, rather than traditional financial services.
For example, we work with a national financial advice network – and I would imagine they are finding it harder to attract talent now as compared to five years ago, as they are now competing with fast growing start-ups or established and well known tech companies. That reflects a wider trend where graduates are now more reluctant to go into what they see as corporate jobs where you have to be suited and booted.
Diversity is also really important. We know from our own research that 83% of graduates would prefer to work for companies that have a clear Diversity and Inclusion policy, so that’s definitely something that advice firms should consider.
Why do you think the industry attracts so many maths and science graduates?
There is a tendency for those who studied STEM subjects to look for roles where they can apply those skills directly, whereas social sciences and arts graduates are much more open to different options. Yet I think lots of candidates and employers overlook the value of softer skills, which are still highly sought after in financial services. More could probably be done to emphasise that, as I think lots of graduates are put off financial services because they worry they don’t have the right skills.
How would you encourage the younger generation to consider a career in financial advice?
I would focus on the fact that you genuinely have the ability to improve people’s lives and help them achieve their goals, while also earning a good living. There aren’t too many jobs out there that can offer that. I would also talk about the flexibility it offers, as well as the problem-solving aspect of the role and the opportunity you have to build relationships with all sorts of different people. I think that would really resonate.
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The advice gap looks set to grow substantially – with significant implications for the financial advice profession.
Chapter 1 – Why the advice gap looks set to grow wider
Learn why the advice gap looks set to grow wider and why outdated perceptions of the profession are making recruitment more difficult.
Chapter 2 – Raising awareness of financial advice as a career
This chapter outlines how we can attract the next generation of talent as well as the significant commercial benefits of doing so.
Chapter 3 – Harnessing technology and new ways of working
Technology has huge potential to help close the advice gap, but where should you start, and what are the barriers that still need to be overcome.
Still want more? Here you can find extended conversations with some of the report’s contributors.
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