Thank you for your support throughout the year. Have a safe and happy holiday season!
About Brian Soper
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This infographic was sent to me by a colleague and has some useful information about how to spot a potentially toxic work environment throughout the interview process. Please read through to the end – there are 7 great questions to ask during your interview!
As an executive recruiter, I hear a great deal about the interview process from both sides: the candidates I have presented to clients and the clients who are interviewing the candidates. Here is what I have gleaned from these conversations:
What Candidates Say:
What Clients Say:
Please let me know your thoughts from either side of the table (or Zoom meeting!).
For 10 years, KSB Consulting has been poking fun at the industry with a bit of holiday humor. As seen in this retrospective of our cartoons, each one is reflective of the unique circumstances in our industry at the time it was created. Each slide will display for 3 seconds before shifting to the next slide. Enjoy!
I’d say that I have some version of this conversation with my clients at least once a week. The reality is that it is getting harder and harder to meet the demand for strong bankers who have a well-rounded skillset of credit, sales, and communication, and a strong book of business. Let’s examine why, and explore some ideas on what to do about the issue.
Financial Services organizations, particularly in banking, lost popularity during the financial crisis of 2008 and the challenging economic years that followed. Many newly qualified college graduates were frankly not interested in pursuing careers in the industry. Fast forward to current, and there are fewer young, up and coming bankers in the market. These candidates have been increasingly in demand as the economy has improved and banks have continued to expand.
Additionally, many bankers under 40 (ish) were NOT given the opportunity to participate in formal training programs as many who came before them, and have been forced to ‘piece meal’ their training during their careers. I hear regularly from clients that today’s younger bankers do not have the same training (particularly credit) as their predecessors.
What can we do about this issue? In my opinion, there are both short-term and long-term strategies to mitigate this issue. In the short-term, banks need good talent to drive and support growth. In the long term, however, the industry must adjust to attract, train and retain good people.
Let’s start with short-term:
Some other near-term options that could work depending on your circumstances:
To sum it up, you should really have both short and long-term strategies to attack this challenge. If industry players can all pull together on this issue, perhaps we fix can it over the next 5-10 years, ensuring the next set of strong bankers for our clients!
“Decades of filling senior roles with executives from inside the industry have dulled the skills necessary to attract, assess and successfully assimilate talent from wide-ranging industries and experiences.” Robert Voth and Jane Bird, Co-Authors
As an executive recruiter, my role is to put the most qualified set of candidates in front of my clients. Clients need people who will fit into their culture and perform at a high level in a fairly short period of time. Those are understandable goals, and not unique to the banking industry.
However, as I read this article, it forced me to reflect on how well we are doing as an industry on the bigger picture of creating teams internally that are more reflective of the communities we serve. As noted in the article, there is data to support the idea that companies whose leadership teams reflect their customer base significantly outperform peer companies.
A question to consider: Is a focus on short-term results and immediate productivity overriding your ability to hire more strategically for the future?
I understand that there is not a lot of ‘cushion’ at smaller banks for long ramp times, and we need to hire people who have the skills to hit the ground running in a given position. However, I’d challenge ALL OF US to work together and look for those situations where the company can flex, bring in someone who might not check all the boxes on required skills, but can bring an important perspective by way of experience, race, and/or gender.
As an industry, we need to think more broadly for the future of our organizations as we continue to work day-to-day to meet our current objectives.
We all want to hire employees with mental toughness and grit. But what does true mental strength look like? The attached article provides a great description of mental strength including the abilities to delay gratification, to keep fighting when you feel defeated, to make tough calls, to keep emotions in check, and to maintain your resolve even when others don’t believe in your vision. Do your key employees demonstrate this toughness?