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It seems that even in a recession, some companies are struggling to attract and retain talent – but not for the reasons you may think.

It makes sense that clients have become fussier in this tough economic climate (which reports suggest that we’re moving out of now – let’s hope they’re right.) With so many more candidates on the market, clients now have the upper hand and they want as much value as they can get. Whilst recruiting for trading / broking houses over the last few months, I’ve seen a growing trend for clients asking not just for professional and experienced candidates, but ones with their own transferable client lists. Because that way the candidate can hit the ground running and start generating revenue as soon as possible, can’t they?

Well, it’s not proving to be that straightforward. The problem seems to be that many agency brokers don’t have an in-house research department – a service that will look at market trends, what people are investing in, market prices and publishing research and advice on issues in this area. But many companies want just that – an agency that offers a full brokerage service. I recently had one candidate who was offered a job in this area and had their own client list that they could use in their new position. After talking to their clients about the new company, many were not happy that they wouldn’t be working with a company with its own in-house research department that could offer the fully incorporated package. Although the candidate ticked all the right boxes for the job, their new employer didn’t meet the criteria required by the candidate’s clients. Despite being offered above average commission and bonuses, the candidate ended up declining the position.

Organisations may think that financial rewards are enough to retain talent in a recession but it seems that this remains a secondary concern. The bottom line is without the best service offering, companies are losing out on the best talent – and with talk about the upturn increasing, this is something that they cannot afford to do.

 Entry by Maurice Christie of the Euro London banking and finance team

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