People pleasing: Attracting and retaining talent in an employees' market

Retail Financial Services

07 October 2022

AttractingBank and Brand Distribution of Retail Financial ServicesDevelopmentRecruitmentRetail Financial ServicesRetainingTalent

Expert: Sanna Jordansson Facilitator: Lucian Camp


To ensure we get the best people for the jobs we have, firms need to focus on how to:

  1. Attract
  2. Recruit
  3. Retain
  4. Develop


The suggestions included:

  • Don’t start recruiting/attracting when you need someone, keep a live candidate stream ongoing by meeting good people when you don’t have vacancies so you can then reach out to that network once a role does need filling
  • Ask for referrals from internal team members
  • For more junior roles invest in paid internships to develop an alumni pool to call when roles need filling
  • Be aware of role title and language in the advertisements for all roles as the candidate market in general is very discerning in relation to the roles they even apply for and you want yours to cut through

A tip is to look at similar jobs and organisations on LinkedIn and see what roles seem to get the most applicants or indeed what type of applicants they are getting.

A challenge that the group agreed on was that the external market for junior to mid-level roles in particular is moving faster on the salary levels than the internal, meaning that when we are trying to attract and recruit the person may expect a higher salary than that of more experienced team members internally.

Most individuals agreed that to a large extent the use of purely competency-based interviews was not used any more and more focus was being put on getting a variety of interview scenarios and questions to establish true team fit.

One tip was to ask the candidate how we would get the best of the individual in the upcoming interview.

It was discussed how to determine getting a good split of types of people and traits in a team to ensure there is diversification of thought, as well as stability. We agreed that it would be difficult to deliver a good team experience and therefore client experience if, as an example, all the team members were highly ambitious and wanted to move to their next opportunity. A balanced team is therefore the best composition.

The tips were:

  • Ensure that different individuals from the team were involved in the recruitment and interview to ensure different aspects were covered
  • Go through the individual expectations of opportunity in the company
  • Be transparent about the opportunities available both from a selling point of view to the candidate, but also so as not to create expectations that cannot be fulfilled once they start

The group discussed the importance of feedback and that most individuals actually want to get both the positive, as well as their development feedback, as that creates a sense of actually growing within their roles and traits.

Tips were:

  • To give as much feedback as possible in the moment rather than store it up for a Performance Review
  • To make the feedback tangible for example rather than saying “that was a great presentation!” to say “the way you delivered x part of the presentation created real impact with the audience, well done!”
  • Building skills across different teams to not only develop the team skills and therefore their opportunities but also create a multidisciplinary department and team which can de-risk the area should vacancies need to be filled; this would mean that we can take proper time to find the right person rather than quickly needing to fill the role

One of the impactful mottos from the group was to adopt a leadership style of retention along the lines of “the grass is not greener on the other side; you have to water YOUR grass”.

This was also accepted as a good motto to give to team members themselves to ensure they take responsibility for their own development and therefore ensuring that we can retain and develop those we want to keep with us.

Tackling underperformance and behavioural issues needs doing quickly as it is very demotivating for other team members to observe bad behaviour or performance not being dealt with and is a driver for good people to leave your company.

Key takeaways:

  • Be as transparent as possible at attraction stage to get the right level applying
  • Ensure that you benchmark internal full packages including benefits against the market periodically to be aware of the external conditions