Winning the War for Finance Talent: Don’t Be Complacent  

It’s been a very long time now since we’ve been in an employer’s market. And if you’ve recruited in the last year, or even couple of years, you’ll know the war for top finance talent is back with full force. Whether it’s a result of an improving economy, higher emigration or the creation of more value-add finance roles, if you’re looking for an A grade candidate, you’ve got to plan for an A grade recruitment strategy.

Yet, in the same breath (and market) we see, and hear, time and time again, about badly managed recruitment processes; employers not acknowledging applications, taking months to re-connect, and the worst of all, not providing feedback after interview. We’re all time poor, but worryingly, the damage repeated episodes of these type of behaviours can do can negatively affect your employer brand for months, or even years afterwards.

Most of us are not guilty of this type of misdemeanour, but we can all be guilty of complacency in hiring processes. Top of your list in hiring top talent should be making sure you do everything in your power to get your ‘branding’ and engagement strategies right as a sought-after recruiter and employer of top talent.

Here are some top tips:

#1 Accept interviewing is never a one-sided process

Contrary to popular belief, the interview process should not be a candidate interrogation. Yes, of course, it is your opportunity to evaluate an individual’s skills, competencies and achievements, but just remember, they are also evaluating you and your business, to decide whether this proposition is going to give them the opportunity they are looking for. When you’re dealing with top talent, it’s absolutely vital to remember that they won’t just be interviewing for one job, they are likely interviewing for 5-10 other opportunities, and could achieve up to 50% conversion to job offer. If this is the case, you have a fight on your hands, and this should be fought from the first time you shake hands, not at the end of the process.

#2 WIIFM (What’s in it for me)

We’ve all heard of this acronym. Understanding your interviewee’s priorities is key to engaging their interest, sustaining their commitment to the process and closing your potential job offer. Quite simply, you must take time to consider the drivers of aspirational and talented finance professionals, as well as developing a real and engaging value proposition for why your leadership, this role and the wider company is right for them. Often this is done too late, after the organisation identifies someone they want to hire. Take the approach right from the beginning, and although it goes without saying that you won’t want to hire everyone, the communication of such a positive employer brand and interview process to the wider market will reap you rewards for years to come.

#3 You Are Your Company Brand

What you, and your interviewing partners, say and do throughout the interview process will create an impression of what it is like to work in your team. Put yourself in their shoes. If you were in an interview process, what would you be looking for in a new boss? Vision, integrity, the feeling that you would be valued? Most likely all of the above. Beyond interacting meaningfully in an interview to bring them into your world, it is absolutely essential to manage expectations fully. Demonstrating indecisiveness, not giving feedback on time, or worse, not giving feedback at all is a sure fire way to cause irrevocable damage to not only a potential offer acceptance, but also your reputation as a hiring employer in the market.

Want A grade talent? Get your A game on!

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