Gaining an edge in the competition for talent

Inclusive recruitment in financial services survey 2017

The mounting skills gaps within financial services (FS) are spurring a rethink of how talent is sourced and selected. In this report, we explore employees’ and employers’ perspectives on how far the financial services industry has come in making recruitment more inclusive and what more could be done to accelerate progress.

We also look at the strategies and practices being adopted by the leading FS organisations and how they’re gaining a decisive edge in the competition for talent as a result.


Key messages

The findings of our global inclusive recruitment survey highlight the continuing challenges and need for new approaches, with FS organisations lagging behind other industries in recruiting diverse candidates.

Barely a third of the 55 FS organisations taking part have seen a rise in female applicants as a result of their specific diversity recruitment practices, and less than a quarter have received more applications from minority candidates.

Without more progress on increasing diversity and inclusion, the skills gaps will persist, which will lead to difficulties in meeting strategic objectives.

Three people talking in dim lights at Brussels office
24% of female FS participants have experienced gender discrimination when applying or being interviewed for a job

The need for a rethink of current recruitment approaches is further underlined by the troubling number of women who still experience discrimination. Nearly 30% of the 232 women working in FS we surveyed believe that recruitment in the industry is biased in favour of men. A similar proportion believe that experienced women are less likely to be hired than male counterparts.

As our survey further highlights, candidates want assurance that they’re not going to face this kind of bias. They’re therefore looking very closely at progress on diversity and inclusion within an organisation before putting in an application or accepting an offer.

While the FS employers in our survey mainly blame a lack of sufficient candidates – far more so than in other industries – employees point to the lingering assumptions and stereotypes so many women in FS continue to face. There won’t be substantial progress until these biases are rooted out.

Contact us

Roland Jeanquart

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 2710 4024

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