Generation Y or so-called “Millennials” are proven to be the most challenging candidates to recruit for Singapore’s financial services companies, a sector already facing a growing skills shortage.
According to independent research commissioned by specialized recruitment agency, Robert Half, the financial services organisations in Singapore are adapting their recruitment processes to entice high-caliber millennial candidates.
Two in three (66 percent) financial services leaders in Singapore say high-caliber professionals belonging to Gen Y (those born in 1977-1995) are the most challenging to recruit. Over half (51 percent) say lack of necessary skills is the main reason, it is challenging to recruit experienced professionals, followed by demand outweighing supply (50 percent).
In terms of specific roles that are the most challenging to recruit for, one-third (33 percent) of finance leaders say mid-management level roles will be the hardest to recruit over the next 12 months, followed by executive-level roles (20 percent) and non-management mid-level roles (20 percent).
For functional roles, the most challenging to recruit is for finance (30 percent), followed by risk (20 percent) and accounting (15 percent). Nevertheless, despite the majority (79 percent) of finance leaders believe a career in financial services is an attractive career path for millennials. However, there is still lack of millennial talents.
Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director at Robert Half Singapore said: “As the Baby Boomer generation is gradually exiting the workforce, employers can expect to face a growing skills gap, highlighting the need for companies to source employees from more junior generations and position financial services as an attractive career path for graduate-level professionals. Singapore’s workforce will eventually need to adjust to changing demographics. Millennials are working smarter, using new technologies to streamline and deliver projects more efficiently – making this generation of professionals highly desirable in the financial services industry.”
As the war for talent continues, employers are adapting hiring practices aimed at sourcing highly-skilled millennial professionals. Over the past two years, more than two in three (66 percent) financial services employers have partnered with universities to source millennial candidates, 47 percent have increased their use of social networking sites as a recruitment method and 39 percent are recruiting graduate-level professionals from overseas.
“To build the professional teams of the future, companies need to rethink their hiring strategies in order to attract younger professionals. In particular, firms need to act quickly to secure the best talent rather than allowing the recruitment process to drag out and risk losing quality candidates. Conversely, Gen Y financial services professionals should take every opportunity to equip themselves with the right skills needed to secure a role and gain valuable experience,” added Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard.
How can Singapore’s financial service companies attract millennial talent?
Financial incentives are the clear motivator for a career in financial services, as more than two in three (67 percent) employers point to salary as the most appealing aspect for Gen Y talent working in the sector, followed by bonuses (54 percent) and career advancement (54 percent).
In some circumstances, companies may not have the budget to entice Gen Y candidates with higher salaries, which is why more than half (55 percent) are offering flexible working arrangements. And yet, understanding that remuneration is a clear motivator, 53 percent are using higher salaries to attract millennial candidates and 47 percent are providing tailored career paths.
“In order to attract and retain the best millennial talent, Singaporean companies need to take a proactive approach to offer work-life balance initiatives, as this generation will make up the backbone of the future workforce. Benefits such as working from home can go a long way in enticing Gen Y candidates to accept job offers in the industry.”
“Combined with work-life balance, financial incentives are always appealing to candidates. Offering a competitive salary is just as important as lifestyle benefits. Not only this, millennials tend to be forward-looking, so providing clear opportunities for career advancement holds just as much appeal as an annual bonus for some candidates,” Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard concluded.