This guest article is written by James Fleming who is the Founder and Managing Director of Jimmy Red Recruitment. Jimmy Red is a specialist recruitment firm servicing the Forex and Electronic Trading sectors on a global scale. We support the growth of leading Brokers, Technology Platforms, Service Providers and Start-ups by providing a highly professional and individually tailored recruitment service.
It’s a hugely subjective question, ask a top Institutional Sales person how long they would be out of work if they lost their job tomorrow and the answer could range from a matter of minutes to potentially several months. Ask a senior compliance professional the same question and I’m confident the answer would be days and not weeks….
Let’s go back to Black Thursday for a moment (sorry). As a specialist FX recruiter our immediate reaction matched that of rest of the industry, panic! It was clear that several top brokers would not survive and the market would be flooded with talent.
We’ve been operating in a candidate driven market (demand for skills outweighing supply) for the last couple of years which of course is the preferred environment for any recruiter, so we were facing the very real possibility that this may all be about to change.
The reality was that the SNB crisis actually created a ‘talent grab’ as opposed to a talent surplus and the weeks preceding the event were undoubtedly our busiest time since launch. Even from where we were sitting it was not obvious that this would in fact be the case.
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What did we learn from the above?
Well, progressive brokers were smart enough to move quickly even if there wasn’t an obvious requirement within the business. We learned that many candidates actually secured higher salaries even in the midst of a supposed crisis. And we were left in absolutely no doubt that there is still a shortage of talent specific to the FX space.
Senior Sales candidates with strong existing client networks were of course snapped up quickly and could even play prospective employers off one another to drive up their salary, a common occurrence when any strong candidate becomes available, but we were seeing this on mass at the time. Operational and mid-level personnel did face a slightly different challenge, but in the main quality people were re-hired by a competitor.
Solving that ‘demand vs supply’ problem is our biggest challenge on a daily basis. The sector is growing as technology evolves but the talent pool is not.Two major challenges faced by today’s brokers: staff retention, what are you doing to lock in your most valuable asset? The old adage that you should treat your staff the same way that you treat your best customer…are you? And secondly, what are you doing to attract new talent to the business? Is your in-house training strong enough to convert an accomplished candidate from another sector into a FX industry star?
We deal with individuals on a daily basis who have become disillusioned with their current employer for one reason or another. In many cases the employer only becomes aware of the issues when the candidate submits their resignation and by that time it’s generally too late to recover the situation. If you are an employer speak to your staff on a regular basis and make sure they feel both valued and challenged in the environment that you have created.
Your best people will always have options open to them within the FX sector even in supposed tough times so treat them well, develop their skills and make them an integral part of the future success of the business and we absolutely guarantee that this will be the most effective talent retention strategy.
Sometimes it’s not all about the money…..