As a Strategy recruiter I hear at least once a day “No offence but I’m just not interested in Financial Services”.
When I ask why, the most common responses are “I want to work in a role where I will be helping people” or “I want to work with a more tangible product” or (my personal favourite) “I want a role that is customer focused”
So here are my 5 top reasons you should be open minded to Financial Services:
If you want to be in Sydney, then Financial Services is the place to be - 50% of the opportunities we receive in strategy are in Financial Services, which means you will never be lost for options or pigeon-holed. The teams within banks are generally larger and therefore can provide greater career progression opportunities. Strategy teams are seen as the talent pool for the business with the average tenure in a strategy team of 18 months to 2 years before moving into the business - so a foot in the door will lead you to excellent positions down the track!
An average bonus within Financial Services can be nearly double non-financial services organisations. These bonuses fluctuate less and attract more stability; we saw candidates being paid these bonuses through the GFC, so you can feel confident you will be rewarded even through hard times.
Work Life Balance
The banks have taken Dolly Parton’s words “working 9 to 5” seriously and are on board! You do not want to be trying to get into meet a client at 9am with the lift queues or be in the lobby at 5pm as there is generally a max exit us through the lobby on their way home. This is of course dependent on your schedule; if you need more flexibility and less rigidity of working hours, banks are more than happy to accomodate. Bottom line - you won’t be burning the candle at both times, and you might even find time for a social life!
We hardly see any redundancies within Strategy in the financial services world. In fact, in more than 2 years working with Sydney banks, I have not seen a single redundancy from the strategy function - these teams really value their hires and know not to let the good talent go! This is also reflected in retention rates, and the common practice of listening to top candidates and employees, tailoring roles and ensuring exceptional career development. Financial Services Institutions know a good strategy consultant is worth holding on to!
Access to Innovation Labs and Digital
The majority of innovation is happening in Financial Services, and many major players are moving away from the traditional model and becoming more customer centric. The whole market relies on Strategy teams to deliver innovative ideas and disruption in the market. Financial Services organisations are increasingly consumer and retail focused, and go to great lengths to constantly stay ahead of the game.
In saying all of this, Financial Services organisations know that banking is not seen as the “sexiest” industry to work in and therefore many have tweaked their recruiting processes, generally kicking things off with a coffee to show that some areas can be very much like working in a startup environment. Banks aren’t all just money makers - customers are truly at the heart of all they do, and they aim to change the lives of clients, be it through savvy investment for the corporate high flyer or helping a young couple save an extra $100 a week to buy their first home.
So if you would like to know about the exciting “sexy” opportunities within Financial Services then please reach out to me for a confidential chat.