• Permanent positions in the risk function take the longest to fill in the financial services industry, taking 8.2 weeks on average
  • Operational support roles filled the quickest at 6.38 weeks
  • Top three methods regarded as the most effective for recruiting financial services professionals identified as recruitment consultants (70%), internal referrals (66%) and financial services job boards (58%)

It currently takes seven weeks on average to fill an open permanent job vacancy in the financial services industry, according to new research by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half Financial Services.  The roles that take the longest to fill are those in the risk function, which take on average more than two months (8.2 weeks) to fill.  The length of time taken to find permanent recruits for these roles may be explained by the current level of competition for talented professionals with the required skills.

Compliance roles take almost as long to fill (8.09 weeks), followed by revenue generation/business development at 7.74 weeks.  The roles that took the least time to fill are in operations support (6.38 weeks) and accounting and finance (7 weeks).

Table One: 100 UK-based financial services executives were asked, ‘How many weeks on average does it takes to source and recruit for an open permanent vacancy in the financial services industry’. Their responses:

Function in financial services company Median weeks taken to fill an open permanent vacancy
Revenue generation/business development7.74
Operations support6.38

When it comes to recruiting, word-of-mouth is no longer regarded as a leading solution, with just 11% of those in the in the financial services industry regarding it as one of their three most effective methods for sourcing employees. The top three methods identified as the most effective were recruitment consultants (70%), internal referrals (66%) and financial services job boards (58%).  The research highlights the importance companies place on specialist recruitment consultants to source and screen potential candidates.

Luke Davis, Vice-president, Robert Half Financial Services, said: ’In a competitive marketplace, financial services firms are eager to avoid having vital roles left vacant for crucial functions, such as risk and compliance, for extended periods. During the hiring process, it can be challenging to keep this a priority while managing the day-to-day activities of the function, coordinating schedules, booking interviews and screening interviews. As result, this extended hiring process could result in businesses missing out on skilled candidates to their competitors.

‘Sourcing and hiring for open roles requires significant time commitment and focus. Being able to outsource these requirements, combined with the ability to draw upon an untapped talent pool for skilled professionals, including professionals who are not actively looking for new opportunities becomes ever more invaluable in a competitive marketplace.’