Firms bank on contractors to ease financial talent crunch

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Financial services companies are increasingly turning to contractors as a way to combat the skills shortage crisis, a new study has found.

Research from recruiter Robert Half reveals that the current “war for talent” has created huge demand for flexible skills sets. The study claimed this change in approach marks a “significant shift” in the way businesses are recruiting staff, especially for accountancy roles.

The research said the shift was “vital” as the vast majority (97%) of financial services executives are struggling to source skilled professionals.

Neil Owen, director of Robert Half Financial Services, predicted the need for flexibility would continue to grow, as firms battle to fill specialised and niche roles. He also claimed businesses would bring in finance contractors from other industries in a bid to plug the gaps.

Mr Owen said: “Contract and interim managers are proving to be successful solutions for firms and as a result, senior executives are already leveraging these professionals while they assess longer-term volume levels. Some financial services companies are also considering bringing in finance professionals from other sectors, such as technology and communications, because of the requirement to understand ‘big data’ and data analytics.”

This opinion was backed by the fact that 48% of firms said they would consider taking on a candidate with non-traditional skills – provided they had the “right commercial acumen”. Some 17% would hire applicants with sufficient product knowledge, while 9% were looking for experience and competency.

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