Improved Financial Candidate Screening

Recruiting financial candidates requires a discipline and diligence unlike most other industries. After all, these individuals must possess highly specific skills and knowledge, along with the usual ambition, determination, and trusty-worthiness considerable desirable in any applicant.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) feels so strongly that specific steps must be taken to vet financial candidates, it has issued official guidance on developing an effective pre-employment background screening process. The process serves, as an effective risk management tool because it gives management a degree of certainty that the information provided by the applicant is accurate.

While the FDIC’s guidelines are highly specific and focused on avoiding future litigation, here are some basic things to look for that will help identify the best candidates for the job:

1) Knowledge: Finance is an incredibly segmented industry. Just because someone has the requisite knowledge for a private equity job doesn’t mean they are automatically qualified for a banking position. More often than not, you will need to assess whether a candidate possesses very specific knowledge of particular financial instruments and products. Case in point: If the position in question involves credit derivatives (or fixed income securities or radical futures) and the candidate has no knowledge in that particular arena, they aren’t a good match for the job.

2) Career Goals: What is the candidate hoping to accomplish, both in the short- and long-term? Where are they looking to be in three, five, or 10 years? Will this position help them get there? If there seems to be alignment between the candidates’ goals and the company’s goals, it may be a good fit, but if it’s an obvious mismatch, you will be doing the company and the candidate a favor by not hiring them.

3) Accomplishments: It’s all too easy to get drawn in by someone by talks a good talk. Some people are simply great interviewees. They say all the right things, flash a bright shiny smile, and ooze enthusiasm and confidence. That doesn’t mean they can deliver results, however. It’s absolutely critical to review a candidate’s specific accomplishments to determine whether they have a track record of generating quantifiable results. Don’t merely accept a candidate’s resume or CV. Ask for a detailed list of accomplishments that demonstrates not only what results they have driven, but how they have supported their previous employers’ goals.

4) Network: When you hire someone, you are not only hiring the person sitting before you, but every single person or company they can bring to bear for the benefit of your business. Before making the decision to bring someone onboard. If the person you are looking to hire boasts a strong network of contacts, including recognizable people in the field, that’s a good sign. If you are uncomfortable asking about a candidate’s network, simply take a look at their LinkedIn profile.

Need some help identifying financial candidates? Contact Daley and Associates, the leader in Boston financial staffing. We offer superior recruiting and placement results, specializing in auditing and financial placement.

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