If your business is looking to attract the best, it’s critical you address a key candidate demand head on; “how would I progress within this company?”
As demand for talent in Payments continues to far outstrip supply, employers are always on the lookout for ways to make their job opportunities stand out from the crowd. And, when salary and benefits packages are already max-ed out, what next?
One area we believe is too often overlooked is career development. Almost every mid- or senior-level candidate we speak to will ask about progression opportunities, yet it’s rare that employers offer an adequate response.
In fact, if employers could clearly articulate and demonstrate their commitment to career development, they would undoubtedly earn themselves a significant competitive advantage in today’s tough talent market.
Why Candidates Seek Career Progression
“Mid-tier professionals are asking constantly about career progression,” explains Principal Consultant, Kerry Gillitt. “Those that are qualified and in their second to fourth role post qualification are keenly aware of their future growth potential.”
Senior Consultant Francesca Valley agrees, adding that “candidates don’t want to leave a position that they have already put in time to go to a company that doesn’t offer advancement and promotions and raises.”
It’s not just about pay. Professionals are also on the look out for opportunities where they can fulfil career ambitions. “For example,” says Gillitt “compliance officers are constantly looking for exposure to exciting new jurisdictions.”
At the C-Level, ambitions are generally greater still. Gillitt’s understands that “senior executives are seeking opportunities to take a business, grow it and then reap the rewards of a sale.”
How To Use Career Progression As A Talent Attraction Tool
“Companies who offer clear career progression are undoubtedly more attractive to candidates than those who don’t,” says Valley.
The basic first step is to ensure that messaging within employer branding, job adverts and outreach includes clarity around the business’ commitment to career progression. Surprisingly few employers achieve even this much, instead focusing solely on specific roles and immediate requirements.
What makes candidates really pay attention is evidence. Examples include real-life case studies – current employees who’ve grown into senior roles – and detailed policies relating to career pathways.
Candidates are interested to know specific timeframes when they can expect to advance from the role they’re applying to, onwards and upwards. Will their role be reviewed in 6 months, 12, or at an unspecified time in the future?
“Career advancement should be specifically mentioned within job adverts,” advises Valley. “If applicable, it should also be added in the offer letter or benefits package, recognizing time dedicated to company and merit-based progression.”
The Wider Benefits Of Clear Career Progression
Talent attraction is far from the only benefit to be earned from a commitment to career progression.
Payment companies are increasingly aware that retention and progression of existing employees will be critical if business growth ambitions are to be achieved. Specialist expertise is highly valuable, and companies are recognising that it pays to invest in developing internal talent.
“There are clear benefits for those training from within as opposed to hiring new,” suggests Gillitt. “With the market as it is, career-progression is a conversation that will continue for a long time to come.” It will be the employers who can retain and also develop their staff who win in today’s talent market.
Even at the attraction stage, though, being upfront and detailed about career progression opportunities provides a definite opportunity to stand out within a highly competitive job market.
To discuss your talent attraction strategies, and how to reach the best specialist candidates, connect with Headcount today
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