What kind of fresh graduates do employers in the financial sector prefer?
When recruiting new graduates, employers will look at their ability and their potential in the financial sector as well as their sensitivity to business.
To be more specific, they will examine whether the graduates come from top universities, whether their major is in a relevant field, their academic performance, public speaking skills as well as communicating and social skills. Among these criteria, the first three are compulsory while the latter two are regarded as “soft skills”, which are gaining increasing importance. The reason is that the financial services industry requires not only specialised knowledge and skills, but the ability to solve problems efficiently and a broad social network are equally important.
In financial services, there are many social events such as cocktail parties where you can meet senior managers and high-profile clients. Some financial institutions even ask graduate candidates to take part in such events so as to examine their manners and abilities in communicating with clients, executives and colleagues. Those whose abilities are broader are more likely to survive.
After the financial crisis, recruitment has become a challenge to the financial sector. As little as were three or four years ago, the situation would be that finance-major graduates mainly targeted professional financial institutions such as banks or the big four accounting firms. But in the last two years, graduates have no longer been that focused, as they also begin to consider other types of companies related to the financial sector, for example consulting firms. They also start to seek and develop a more diversified career plan. From employers’ point of view, in the old days they only considered people who graduated with finance-related majors. Today they look more extensively at graduates from different educational background in order to build up a diversified workforce and internal structure.
It is worth emphasizing that due to the uniqueness of the financial services industry, employers tend to require their employees to have a long-term and stable career plan as well as a diligent work ethic. In that sense, fresh graduates are asked to learn more in terms of how to think positive, start from the lowest level, being practical , and having a long-term passion for the work, as well as how to pursue self-improvement.