Sourcing and Managing Talent Blog

Aug 28, 2016

Is Financial Services a career of choice for millennials? Did the financial crisis destroy FS as a desirable career?

These were just a few of the questions up for discussion during the latest Scottish Investment Operations (SIO) forum, as individuals across Financial Services along with an industry panel explored the issues and best practice in sourcing and managing talent for the sector.

There seemed to be agreement on an obvious need for the sector to do more to demystify careers, providing greater clarity to young people on pathways and professions early on at high school level. Skills Development Scotland’s revised Skills Investment Plan for the sector, which is due to be published shortly will also include this as one of the main themes. 

Best practice examples were shared amongst attendees such as the work the Glasgow Economic Leadership forum have been running. Each month an employer hosts a group of young people with their teachers and gives an insight into what the business does and the range of career opportunities on offer. These “financial services tours” have been very popular and are changing perceptions of careers in the sector.

Foundation Apprenticeships in Financial Services were cited as an excellent example of partnership between schools, colleges and employers which help young people to gain experience, skills and confidence through a weekly programme of college attendance and work experience spanning their final two years of high school.

Too many SME’s, not enough managers?

As the conversation, turned to managing talent, putting pay and reward to one side, career mobility and pathways were discussed as being important as is balance. 

There was a feeling in the room that the sector has stopped producing great managers hence the refocusing of SIO’s work to concentrate on building perspective and networks earlier in careers and encourage a peer to peer learning experience. SIO has been partnering with Glasgow Caledonian University on a programme called Global Operations Management. This brings together established and emerging managers from across the sector to consider the big themes affecting the sector led by an academic with insight into the subject matter. This was seen to be a positive step forward. 

The discussion closed with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The group felt positive steps were being taken to address recruitment bias and to enable employees to bring their whole self to work. The establishment of in-house networks covering LGBT, ethnicity and much more enabled people in organisations to feel they can identify with colleagues early on and build confidence. 

Vida Rudkin, Chair of SIO Forum and facilitator of the panel discussion summarized the discussion, “Everything comes down to our people. We need to ensure we have the right people and the right skills in the right location and always plan for the future i.e. attract the right people and give them options to meet their expectations”.

The next SIO forum, MiFID II, Are You Prepared, is taking place on 13th October and is open to SIO members. Register at

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