A recent survey has revealed that 80 percent of financial services recruiters are deeply concerned about the ongoing skills gap in their industry, as hiring managers express growing apprehension over the scarcity of candidates with the requisite expertise to fill essential roles.

The financial services sector is facing an uphill battle in acquiring the skilled workforce it desperately needs.

Hiring managers in the financial services sector are struggling to identify qualified candidates for high-demand positions, especially in technology and specialised finance roles.

Supply significantly outweights demand

This has created a situation where supply significantly outweighs demand, leaving recruiters with limited options. Many are finding it financially unfeasible to train new recruits and are instead seeking experienced professionals who already possess the necessary skills.

One of the contributing factors to this skills gap is the industry’s diminishing appeal to recent graduates. The financial services sector has become less enticing to university graduates, further straining the industry’s ability to fill vacancies.

Separate data released in August painted a similarly bleak picture, with three-quarters of firms reporting open job positions, of which 65 percent were proving difficult to fill.

Derek Mackenzie, CEO at Investigo, part of The IN Group, emphasised the importance of addressing this issue in the financial services industry:

“The financial services industry is a vital driver of economic growth, and maintaining a robust talent pipeline should remain a top priority even in challenging times. Recruiting candidates with cutting-edge fintech skills, such as data science and machine learning, has consistently posed a challenge for UK businesses. These skills are essential for rapidly growing companies looking to stay competitive. Even in challenging times, banks and financial services organisations must collaborate with specialist providers to identify, train, and equip the next generation of talent to propel their businesses forward.”

Peter Healy, CEO of Efinancialcareers, shared insights into the current state of recruitment in the financial services sector:

“Financial services face a strained recruitment climate in 2023, with confidence levels significantly lower than in previous years. To address this, firms need to broaden their search for candidates with in-demand skills and strike a balance between technology and human insights to attract and retain top talent.”

The skills gap issue in the financial services industry is a pressing concern that could have long-lasting effects on the sector’s growth and innovation. As the industry grapples with this challenge, recruiters and businesses alike are under pressure to find innovative solutions to bridge this gap and ensure that they have access to the right talent to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.