How Contracting Can End the Financial Industry Hiring Stand-Off

Financial firms are ready to hire but are frustrated by the available candidates, and the feeling seems to be mutual, according to a recent Workforce Management article.

The firms that are looking to hire say they may increase their staffs by up to 30 percent, according to the article.  But firm owners are discouraged by their candidate searches so far, saying that the entry level finance candidates lack professionalism and a passion for the industry, ask for too much compensation, and are not honest about their experience and skills. They are looking for individuals who will take ownership over their responsibilities and who are willing to prove themselves.

Meanwhile, candidates seem to be equally frustrated because they feel the employers don't know what they want and they take too long to get back them. And many of them are on the fence as to whether they should join an existing firm or go out on their own. There are pros and cons to both sides.  If they join a firm, they have built-in support and can get started more quickly but have to sacrifice some flexibility. Going it alone provides flexibility, but it can take awhile to become profitable.

Contracting could provide a solution for both parties in this conflict.  Firm owners can take the "try-before-you-buy" approach by bringing in entry-level candidates on a contract basis. If a contractor is unable to prove themselves, the firm can simply end the contract. For candidates just starting out, contracting can be a great happy medium between joining an existing firm and starting their own.  They have the flexibility to choose when they want to accept assignments but still enjoy the stability (regular paycheck, benefits, etc.) that comes with a regular, full-time position.

Last year, 12 percent of Top Echelon Contracting's contract placements were in the Finance & Accounting industry, so contracting has already proved to be a good solution for many candidates and financial firms.  If you work this niche or are thinking about delving into it, you may want to keep an eye on this trend and consider offering contract staffing services.

Debbie Fledderjohann is the President of Top Echelon Contracting, Inc.

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