Many finance professionals consider making a career move to be a daunting experience. Whether you are unemployed and searching for a job, or currently in a role but interested in learning about potential opportunities, there are some key issues to consider prior to starting your job search.
Associate Director, Nick Louca, identifies these issues and discusses the benefits of using a recruitment consultancy to help you achieve your career goals.
Why use a recruitment consultancy?
Many finance professionals who are looking for a new job do not want to approach companies directly. Their main concern is losing confidentiality and appearing as though they are not dedicated to their current employer. By using a third party to contact these companies, you can eliminate this fear - your anonymity is preserved throughout the initial application process.
Choosing to use a recruitment consultancy is also a necessary step if you are in a senior position, as senior finance opportunities are not always made public. Recruiters have contacts within the finance industry and at companies that you might not even be aware of. They can use their contacts to market your CV to the right people and provide you with additional exposure to potential employers who you might not be able to make contact with on your own.
Recruiters are in constant contact with decision makers in the finance industry. A good recruiter is not only able to assess your key competencies and skills, but also to find an organization where you will fit in with your co-workers. Many job seekers tend to lose sight of this important aspect of a career move. A company’s internal culture is something that is difficult to know without “insider contacts,” as interviews can often create an inaccurate depiction that is not indicative of the day-to-day working environment of the organization.
A recruitment consultant acts as an objective liaison between you and potential employers. This eliminates the need for you to participate in any uncomfortable discussions addressing salaries, benefits and career progression. A recruiter who has an established relationship with the company’s finance department and who has experience facilitating hiring within the finance industry will be able to use their experience to negotiate the best terms on your behalf.
Many organizations do not openly advertise their available finance positions. For example, if they have recently undergone some internal restructuring where they have had to downsize, it is often inappropriate for them to advertise for new positions. Recruitment consultants are often given the “heads-up” by their clients who will tell them that even though they are not officially recruiting, they would like to see strong CVs with experience in a particular area like taxation or financial analysis.
How a consultancy can help you
Choosing the right consultancy is key when considering your next career move. It is essential that the recruiter has a comprehensive understanding of your background and has assessed your skills thoroughly. This is the best way to ensure that they can assist you with your career progression and offer their market knowledge to present you with information on specific opportunities in the finance industry. A good recruiter will not only present you with job opportunities, but will also advise you on interviewing techniques, structuring your CV, core competencies for specific roles, salary expectations and progression paths.
With this in mind, you should consider the following criteria when assessing which consultancies meet your needs:
Choosing to use a recruitment consultancy is also a necessary step if you are in a senior position, as senior finance opportunities are not always made public.
Consultancy client base - Which companies does the recruitment consultancy work with in the finance sector and do they align with your career goals?
CV ownership - You should have complete control over the whereabouts of your CV. Some consultancies will send your CV to their clients without asking for your permission first. This is completely unacceptable - be sure that you are aware of the consultancy’s policies and that they are transparent when it comes to submitting your details.
Consultant remuneration - Does the consultancy work on a commission basis? Consultancies that do can sometimes let the prospect of commission override your needs as a candidate. Look for a consultancy that does not directly remunerate their staff on the volume of placements they make. A much better choice is a consultancy that targets client retention, repeat business and candidate referrals.
Candidate care and satisfaction - You have the right to ask about the consultancy’s policy towards candidate care. You should feel that you have entered into a trusted working partnership that lasts for your entire working career rather than a one-off transaction.
Consultant credibility - It is vital that you feel you are speaking to credible consultants with relevant knowledge and valuable insight into the finance industry. Make sure you feel comfortable trusting the consultants and that you are completely honest with them. You should expect their confidentiality at all times. Ask how much experience your recruiter has -you want to ensure that he or she has comprehensive knowledge of the finance industry.
Confidence - You should have confidence in the consultancy that you choose to work with. They should act ethically and responsibly on your behalf, and represent you to their contacts in the finance market accurately.
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