A breakdown of the most in-demand skills for finance professionals

Posting date: 02 February 2021

It’s no secret that financial services can be a demanding career path. It’s a broad industry with a range of different specialisms, including planning, advising and asset management. A successful career in finance requires discipline, education and well-developed skills. With so much variety, it’s important to scrutinise which career path matches your skill set. Finance professionals need to prepare themselves for the future and always look to upskill at every opportunity to stay relevant in a competitive job market. If you’re committed to a career in finance, here are the skills you need to master.

 

Analysis


Finance professionals must have excellent analytical skills. Regardless of the role, employers will always be looking for evidence of analytical ability in different applications. Finance analysts need to be able to understand large volumes of data and find a solution to various problems, such as finding out the ideal equity investment. To solve such problems, finance professionals need to be able to analyse reports, relevant data points and pricing information. Then there’s also the interpersonal skills needed to communicate this information with finance managers to ensure decisions can be made. The ability to communicate findings effectively is the key to success as a finance professional.

 

Data management


Data has become increasingly important for businesses when it comes to improving forecasts, making strategic decisions, and reducing costs. A lack of sufficient data management can lead to data quality problems and inconsistent findings that can affect a business’ bottom line. Therefore, finance professionals who understand how to utilise and manage data remain high in-demand. As finance teams evolve, they need to be able to adapt and be confident using cloud-based software to manage data. With many financial institutions moving away from traditional spreadsheets, professionals looking to grow their career must understand the benefits of streamlined data management. Data in the cloud saves time and provides companies with much more agility. The growth of
digital technology in the financial sector means that the next generation of finance professionals must be more data-driven than ever before.

 

Critical-thinking


It's important that finance professionals possess critical-thinking skills. In the volatile finance world, companies need to continue making big investments to remain competitive. As a result, professionals who are able to think critically will be an asset. Critical thinking skills are highly desired at any company, as they can be applied to any situation that calls for analysis and planning. In finance, the ability to evaluate facts and information to form a judgement has become crucial, especially with the rise of emerging trends like big data, AI, and
blockchain, all of which have transformed procedures. Finance professionals that master critical thinking are able to find solutions and manage different challenges much more efficiently.

 

Technical accounting

Throughout the course of a working day, finance professionals will use a range of technical skills, such as preparing statements and recording transactions. These day-to-day tasks are very important for business operations, so professionals must have a strong understanding of all the different phases of accounting. And since the cross-border finance market is in a strong position in Switzerland, the demand for technical accounting skills is only going to grow in the future. Talented accountants who are proficient in verifying balances and analysing cash flows will be highly sought after.

 

Are you looking to grow your finance career?


The world of finance is always changing, so professionals within this industry must keep developing their skills. At Swisslinx, we have an experienced team of consultants who have the knowledge to meet the demands of our clients. We recruit for roles at all levels within investment banking, asset management and wealth management. We’re well-positioned to deliver a strategic recruitment service to companies in the finance sector and we’re dedicated to helping our candidates grow their careers. If you’re looking to secure your next role in finance, contact us today or take a look at our job page for more information.

 

The importance of skill-based recruitment

Skill-based recruiting has become all the more important in the modern world of work. While experience will always be valuable, assessing candidates based on skills and holistic competencies, rather than their last job title can pave the way for exceptional talent. Over the years, Switzerland has faced skill shortages in many different fields, so companies must take a skill-based approach to recruitment. Skill-based recruitment places the recruiter in the driver’s seat. It means pursuing all the relevant information to match candidates’ skills with the requirements of the job. Below, we’ve outlined the key benefits of recruiting for skills.   Transferrable skills   Skill-based hiring enables recruiters to find candidates with core expertise that can be applied in a variety of different environments. While candidates with years of direct experience may look like an ideal choice for a role, there’s a chance they might not be as adaptable in a new business. Core skills like problem-solving, interpersonal skills and technical competencies are more likely to be transferrable to other industries, increasing the chances of you make an excellent hire. Simply put, focusing on core skills and personality can be much more beneficial for businesses that are looking to grow, and maintain a clearly defined culture. However, screening candidates for skill and talent rather than previous experience means recruiters will need to pay extra attention to people’s cover letters and CVs. Thanks to recruitment technology, most applications are automatically filtered, helping the recruiter save time and find the ones that match the predefined criteria.   Add Diversity   One of the key benefits of skill-based recruitment is that it can add greater diversity to the workplace. Individuals from different backgrounds and diverse skill sets can add different talents, and experiences to the working environment, which can benefit the organisation. When you focus strictly on candidates with a set amount of experience, you risk missing out on individuals who are otherwise strong candidates. While it can be risky to invest in a candidate who’s less proven, they can bring a diversity of thought across the company with their skill set. Using a skill-based approach combined with “blind hiring” also removes any unconscious bias, enabling hiring managers to make more informed decisions, resulting in a much more diverse workforce.   Focus on potential   When you seek candidates with specialist skills, it allows you to focus more on their potential. New skills and competencies can always be taught whereas highly experienced candidates might have a well-established work style that may not be suited to certain types of companies. We’re now entering an era where professionals are constantly changing career paths, and where the younger generations are starting to dominate the workforce. What younger generations may lack in experience, many of them make up in attitude and digital skills. Taking a skills-based approach to recruitment allows you to expand your talent pool and find potentially great candidates that you may have previously missed.   However, companies must establish systems and internal capabilities that allow for skill-based hiring. This means hiring managers must adjust their mindset and use more skill-based assessments when recruiting, with more discussions about the most critical skills. In this way, businesses can be more organised and match candidates with the appropriate roles.    How can Swisslinx help your business?   Swisslinx has a highly experienced team of consultants who are dedicated to providing the best recruitment service to clients and candidates. We take the time to understand your requirements and then deliver tailored recruitment solutions. Our team recruits the best professionals into a wide range of sectors, including financial services, digital and technology, life sciences, as well as engineering. If you would like more information on how we can assist with your recruitment, contact us today.

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How to be successful in the final round interview

As a candidate, the final round interview is the last opportunity to show why you’re the best person for the role. What happens in the first interview can be dramatically different from the final round, so that’s why it’s all the more important to prepare thoroughly and expect to be asked some challenging questions. Hiring managers do not often make final round interviews for candidates they’re not serious about. Therefore, when you’re invited to the final round, the hiring manager already knows that you have the skills for the job. What they’re going to be looking for is how you present yourself under pressure and whether you’re a suitable fit culturally for the organisation. Here’s a swift guide for how to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in the final round interview and securing a job offer.    Review the company and position   Once you’ve made it to the final round, you need to make sure you completely understand the position and the company. The final round may be much longer and involve more people. This means that professionals should review the job specifications again beforehand and be prepared for in-depth questions. At this stage, hiring managers want to determine fit and whether or not the candidate is a team-player. Companies will also use a final round interview to learn how you manage deadlines and juggle workloads. Hiring in a pandemic is no easy task, so companies will likely be paying extra attention to detail and focusing on the candidates who show the most potential. This means it’s important that you thoroughly research the company and come prepared with what you like about the company. Having that extra preparation will increase your chances of being offered a role.    Share your knowledge and expertise   While many final round interviews will be based on how you fit into the company or the team, hiring managers will still want to verify your technical skills and competencies. So, it’s crucial that you effectively share your knowledge and expertise during the interview, and quantify wherever possible. This means discussing your key accomplishments and how they were achieved, as well as any notable skills relevant to the role. For example, you might have excellent time management skills, so you will need to explain how these skills have helped you perform. Whether it’s through project management software or your strategic planning, you must show the unique qualities you bring to a company. Also, always show confidence and evidence of all your skills and experience.   Ask the right questions   In the early rounds of interviews, it’s important to ask thoughtful questions, but in the final stage, you’re going to need to show you’ve thought more seriously about what it would be like to work at the company. Therefore, professionals in the final round should ask questions about what the first month on the job would be like and if there will be any training, as well as what the performance expectations will be when you join. These type of questions show hiring managers that you’re already engaged and eager to be a part of the company.   Show your commitment and passion   In the final round, hiring managers will want to ensure candidates are interested in staying for a long period. Arguably one of the best ways to show you’re a committed professional is by discussing your long-term career plans, and how it’s connected to the role you're interviewing for. Hiring managers want to find candidates who have a strong work ethic and have the potential to be high performing. This means you need to demonstrate a passion for the industry and that you’re genuinely interested in this specific field. For a company, the final round interview is all about evaluating a candidate’s characteristics and attitude, so make sure you tell stories of how you solve problems and why you enjoy your work, which will no doubt help you stand out from other candidates.   Are you looking to advance your career?   At Swisslinx, we have a motivated and friendly team of recruitment consultants who are dedicated to building great relationships with clients and candidates. We specialise in recruiting for a varied range of sectors, including financial services, digital and technology, healthcare and natural resources. Our team works to the highest standards and we’re committed to delivering an exceptional recruitment service on a daily basis. If you would like more information on how we can help your career and even prepare for your next role, contact our team today.

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