Traditional recruitment models need to change if more women are to be hired into senior positions in financial services, the founder of The Return Hub has claimed.
Speaking on the latest FTAdviser Fireside Chat, Dominie Moss, who set up The Return Hub in 2016 after seeing a need to help more women back into the workplace, said it was important for companies to think differently about where they look for candidates.
According to Moss, traditional recruitment models are "broken", and put up too many barriers which affect women in particular from making a return to financial services.
She said that because most recruiters tend to pull together shortlists from people already working in similar roles at competitors, and CVs with career gaps often get screened out, many candidates with great skills are finding the barriers too hard to cut through.
This particularly affects talented women, who may have taken a two- to three-year career break and may not be able to even get their CV in front of the right people as a result.
Moss said: "Traditional recruitment in financial services is fishing in a pool that is approximately 80 per cent male, so you are going to get the results that reflect the make-up of the talent pool.
"If organisations want to have a different outcome, they need to have a different strategy. You can't shake an apple tree and demand oranges - you have to go to a different tree. You need a different approach and strategy, and top-down buy in."
She said this was where The Return Hub could help, by giving employers ways of expanding the talent pool in which they are searching, as well as helping candidates get themselves noticed.
"Employers should say to recruiters that they do want to see someone with a career gap", she added. "None of this is rocket science... but the pace of change has been slow."
Her comments came as The Return Hub won Trailblazing Company of the Year (Small Firm) in the FTAdviser Diversity In Finance Awards 2021.
The Return Hub has been filling gaps in the recruitment market by placing (predominantly) mid-senior level professional women who want to relaunch or transfer their careers with corporate employers in the financial services sector.
The Return Hub also campaigns to promote to employers the benefits hiring from this under-recognised group of returners.
Moss said The Return Hub has been addressing the gender pay gap and the under-representation of women in financial services by advising on and helping implement strategies that companies can use to target, assess, hire and support diverse returning talent.
In addition, The Return Hub trains hiring mangers on how to attract/retain women; has developed a hiring managers toolkit to help them with the interview process; and runs pro-bono events for academic institutions, professional bodies and other women’s network groups.