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How To Retain Your Best People In A Highly Competitive Irish Financial Services Market

How To Retain Your Best People In A Highly Competitive Irish Financial Services Market

How To Retain Your Best People In A Highly Competitive Irish Financial Services Market

The financial services recruitment market has been extremely tough in Ireland in 2019. Rarely will you find any sub-sector of the industry not enmeshed in competition. It’s not just about winning customers and market share but keeping the best talent in the industry on your payroll. One thing characterises the financial service market, the difficulty in attracting and retaining talent.

In simple terms, the employee turnover in the financial services industry globally is on the increase. Employee retention experts, Retensa followed the trend from 2005 when the employee turnover was at 25 months, in 2017 it fell to just 17 months, the figure was 30 months in 1995.

PwC Ireland corroborated the claims of Retensa when it discovered that only 10% of Millennials working in the Financial Services industry are interested in keeping their job in the long term. At every point in time, no less than 48% of employees in the financial services industry are actively in search of new opportunities. Factor in that Ireland boasts 250 of the worlds financial services institutions here and you can start to grasp at the opportunities available for candidates.

There is hope however and a lot can be done should businesses wish to retain their best people. It starts with recognising and weighing the cost of turnover. There’s also a need to understand why the best people are leaving. It’s beyond just the benefits, incentives, and a salary increase. To stand tall in the financial services industry, there’s a need to craft out strategies on how to address this situation.

The question now is what can be done to retain your best people?

Right from the point of onboarding during recruitment, identify the best people that can benefit your business not just in the short term but more importantly in the long run. Make talent management an essential aspect of your recruitment process. This will allow you to identify and adequately manage these talents from their first day on the job. There is a need to factor into your hiring philosophy that there’s always someone better out there ready to send in his/her CV. Indeed, there’s someone out there, but you need to weigh the cost of recruitment, training, and onboarding. Will it be beneficial to your human resources’ budget to hire someone every 17 months for the same position?

One key factor that recruiters in the financial services industry fail is the understanding of the specific role given by the employer to recruit new hires. The simple solution is to make the employees understand what their average day / week / month will look like. A transparent onboarding experience will help you know who is exceptional and should be given extra attention. Never sugarcoat the new job, be clear as to what you expect of the hires. With this, you’ll be able to see who the leaders are. There’s a huge chance for the right person to fall in love with the job. This will make leaving harder as they enjoy every aspect of the job.

Due to the demands and natures of the financial services industry, some ‘pains’ such as occasional long hours and stress are somewhat unavoidable. However, there’s measures you can take to ensure that the best people perceive their job as enjoyable and not as pain. You need to look at a way of making them see that carrying their jobs carry a purpose not just in the organization but in the wider scheme of things. If your best people ever see themselves as only working, without a purpose or vision you’ll certainly lose them to your competitor.

A lot of time is spent with the people we work with, however how much can we truly know you’re your best talent is sitting there on a daily basis with grievances about their role or the organisation then it is best to understand these before it’s too late. By putting in place mechanisms such internal surveys, employee feedback, one-one meetings and paying attention to external trends in the market, these grievances can be unearthed, addressed and hopefully resolved. When there’s an issue that lingers for too long, you are about to lose your best people at short notice.

Look at companies in the financial services market in Ireland where there’s a problem with talent retention; they are being headed by bosses and not leaders. It’s not just about the condition of the job or the working environment. Talented people want to have as leaders, individuals with a clear vision of the future. These leaders are also huge believers in the importance of people and the value they add to the business objectives. Most importantly, they are visible and clear to the employees.

In short, be a financial services brand that your employees can identify with. A financial services business known for positives. Talented people are moved by being problem solvers, and if your company is in the business of solving problems, you’ll always retain your best people. In everything you do, have it in mind that even though a raise, incentive or financial benefits will never keep your best talent in your office. Go informal with your talents; make them feel like family.

For further advice on what you could be doing to retain your best talent and to attract the best in the financial services market, please connect with us at

William McCoppin


William has experience across multiple markets, specialising in compliance and financial crime at the interim, mid-to-senior and executive level.