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The Great Resignation: Challenges in Financial Recruitment

Written by: John Carson
Published on: Apr 19, 2022

job resignation
Photo credit: Charlie's/Adobe Stock

The last couple of years have been very hard for a lot of people around the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have struggled, some have closed never to return and many employees took to their home offices and juggled their professional life with their daily routines.

It was a career-turning point for a lot of people. Time to reflect. “Am I REALLY happy in this role?”

Turns out quite a few were not and decided to change jobs.

2021 was the year of the “Great Resignation” — a significant job market trend that’s seen around 3.5% of all workers in the U.S. leaving their jobs each month and 24% of all U.K. workers planning a career change in the next three to six months.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an incredible 4.4 million workers quit their jobs in September 2021. And whilst quitting is normally an expression of economic optimism, the record number of resignations in recent months is happening against a backdrop of uncertainty and unprecedented change.

The fact is that more people are voluntarily leaving their jobs than ever before, and it’s not just limited to sectors that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, like healthcare, hospitality and travel. The Great Resignation is a sign that the tides are turning more generally — people are leaving jobs that no longer serve them in pursuit of purpose and genuine job satisfaction.

But what does all of this mean for recruiting in the finance industry? How are employers trying to recruit the best talent from the vast pool of jobseekers looking to switch roles?

And what can you — the jobseeker — learn from all this to give you a competitive edge when searching for and applying for roles?

Wiley surveyed 200 finance professionals in the U.S., U.K. and Canada about their career plans and motivators for the coming 12 months.

Some key takeaways for jobseekers:

  • 50% of employees now work remotely, which means changing jobs is (almost) as easy as getting a new e-mail address. With the pandemic accelerating the move to remote working and little progress on career path programs, it’s no surprise that career progression and finances continue to be the driving force for career moves in 2022.
  • You’ve probably heard the saying that ‘people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers’, but the research shows that the opposite is true: people are more likely to stay in roles that offer the support and ongoing development opportunities that good management brings.
  • Specifically for financial professionals, the Great Resignation could turn out to be the recruiting opportunity of the decade. Millennials are looking to work from home more — and they will switch jobs to achieve that goal.

Overall, nearly half of finance professionals are considering leaving their jobs in the next 12 months. The groups most likely to quit their roles were Senior Managers (60%), Entry Level staff (52%) and Mid-Level Employees (51%).

One key aspect of the survey findings is that companies need to consider remote work because everyone else will. While work-from-home used to be a niche benefit — these days highly skilled office workers expect it as an option, at least in a hybrid capacity.

There’s a ton of insight to be gained from how financial employers plan to recruit jobseekers in 2022, so download the free e-book today and get the inside knowledge you need to find your next role in finance.

For more information on career paths within financial planning, check out CFP Board’s comprehensive Guide to Careers in Financial Planning.