If you're looking for a job in banking, or a financial career of any sort you'll know there's a lot of competition out there. In 2007 a lot of the big banks have cut back on top recruitment of top level staff, an effect that has filtered down to all steps on the financial career ladder. However there's still jobs available for the right candidate- whether graduate or trainee- right through to director level specialists and getting on the books of a reputable and specialist banking and financial recruitment agency is the best way to ensure your new or change of career in finance or banking is as successful (and easy) as possible. Below are some pointers on choosing a good agency.
Are they specialists?
Your search for a new job will likely start online and you'll soon become aware there's no shortage of job boards and virtual recruitment agencies out there claiming to specialise in all sectors of recruitment- but do they genuinely know the financial sector, and more importantly know about getting the best placements in banks and finance houses in the UK, Europe or Internationally? The first thing to do is talk to an agent- you'll soon get a feel for what they know and where their priorities lie.
Are they committed to you?
Do you have dedicated recruitment specialist working on your behalf, someone you can pick up the phone and talk to, turn to for advice on interviewing or when it comes to choosing the job that's right for you? Check whether you will have one point of contact- usually smaller, more specialist agencies will be better for this than the big multi-sector recruiters.
Can they get you a job?
At the end of the day this is what you care about- getting your dream job which will push your banking or financial career forward. You need an agency with access to the top positions at the top banks and financial firms, who can speak directly to their recruitment teams and recommend you for the right positions. A good financial recruitment agency will be able to demonstrate their track record of placing candidates at the top banks, just ask.
Once you've got a job offer what do they do?
A good financial recruitment agency will look to line you up with several interviews for jobs you are suitable for. If the agencies have done their job properly they should know the sort of role you are best suited too and so your success rate at the interview stage should be higher than if you are blindly promoting yourself. Hopefully you will have a number of job offers pretty soon- the agency then has the job of negotiating to get you the best employment package from your prospective employers and also advising you on what the vacancy will be best for your career.
Don't forget, when you're looking for a new job or change of career in the banking, leasing, asset finance or any financial sector an agency is a great place to start. But also remember the agency works for you, they should value you and your skills and work hard to ensure you get the career you want. If not, show them the door! Good luck in your hunt for a better job in finance.