City firms are losing out to their European counterparts because they are too inflexible when hiring HR and other professionals.
“City based firms can enhance attraction and development by thinking more broadly and globally about sourcing new talent”, says Darren Wentworth, Partner.
“There is often a reluctance to recruit from outside of their sector and this means that great talent from technology, engineering or FMCG is overlooked and the opportunity to enrich their talent pool and overall breadth of experience is missed. If you recruit from your own sector you often bring in talent that understands the business but addresses challenges as they have always been addressed, rather than looking at it without the baggage of inherited knowledge and experience.”
Given the global spread of talent in financial and professional services failure to look overseas increases the risk of missing top talent.
A Deloitte University Press report, Human Capital Trends 2014, published on March 7 this year and based on a survey of over 2,500 organisations in over 90 countries, says: "Critical new skills are scarce - and their uneven distribution around the world is forcing companies to develop innovative new ways to find people, develop capabilities, and share expertise…
"Trends in leadership, talent acquisition, capability development, analytics, and HR transformation are all impacted by globalization. Companies that learn to leverage global talent markets while localizing their HR strategies will be poised for strong performance."
HR Directors may be deterred by the cost of relocating talent or the fact that overseas candidates may lack a full understanding of the unique City culture. But by not looking outside the City they are failing to get the best understanding of overseas markets - vital for global expansion. Technology and the ability to communicate and engage with external talent has never been easier and organisations that think creatively and globally can tap into new markets and talent pools.
European institutions are less concerned about recruiting out of sector and often embrace broader skill sets and experiences. “Talent is at the top of many CEO’s strategic plans and HR needs to work with and understand the business to ensure that the talent agenda is more closely aligned to these objectives. On the continent we see more HR professionals that have worked in the business, in front office, operations, sales etc and they move more freely in their careers.”
A broader approach adds value when it comes to acquiring and retaining talent, because HR staff now see themselves moving to New York, Asia or Europe after a spell in London. "They are attracted to companies who can offer international HR job opportunities and mobility as well as variety and challenge." says Wentworth.
"Recruiting talent with a wider understanding of business and other cultures will give UK City institutions the edge."
Darren Wentworth spoke exclusively to Media Planet concerning their 'War for Talent' feature. To read more of their articles please click here.