HR in Financial Services Breakfast Event

Author Samantha Howie
April 24, 2018

Maximum Management & Frazer Jones held their third consecutive HR in Finance breakfast roundtable at the Michelin starred restaurant, Ai Fiori, this Wednesday. 

With dynamic HR leaders joining us from notable financial and professional services firms, the morning was a success. Our vibrant, participant-lead discussion captured diverse perspectives across the industry as attendees openly shared their obstacles and successes. Topics ranged from strategic to tactical, including HR data and operations challenges to in depth discussions around the myriad HR impacts of today’s most complex cultural movements. Payroll oversight was repeatedly cited as a major challenge for most attendees, with skilled payroll practitioners emerging as the unsung heroes of the HR world. 

Diversity loomed large in the conversation, as  firms displayed a genuine desire to push the function beyond some of its typical iterations towards a truly embedded value, one that easily dovetails with employer branding efforts and candidate engagement in the market at large. Further, it was agreed that there is much work to do in driving both gender and ethnic diversity, particularly within the upper echelon of leadership, and also that the net effect of diverse teams is most often positive for the bottom line; it can ultimately contribute to a stronger work product and a compelling brand impact as well.

Continuing with the branding theme, the recruitment challenge of the occasional groan-inducing Glassdoor review was universally acknowledged (with groans!). Further to this point, we delved into how crucial, and even game-changing, a positive candidate experience can be in a tight talent market. Some firms noted challenges with counteroffers, while others reported that the new compensation legislation has added additional complexity to closing junior and midcareer candidates in particular, but that  has been generally innocuous.

We could not close without discussing the #MeToo movement and how it has pushed many firms  to reconsider standard HR trainings. The movement has irrefutably infused urgency in training corporate populations to maintain a safe, comfortable and compliant work environment. One participant noted the engagement impact of conducting these trainings in person rather than digitally, and tailoring the subject matter to relatable real-life scenarios. Another individual smartly pointed out that there is an untapped training opportunity to empower bystanders witnessing inappropriate behaviors and harassment to speak up. 

Our attendees repeatedly engaged each other in solutions-oriented ways around shared best practices and common concerns. For our part, we never tire of watching HR strategists in action, and by all accounts, they’ve never been more needed for businesses to thrive. Sincere thanks to those of you who attended, and it was our distinct pleasure to host and facilitate your discussion.   If you are a group, regional or global HR leader for a Financial Services organization and would like to be involved in future events, please contact us.