Fans of apocalyptic literature will be familiar with terms such as 'pandemic', 'lockdown' and 'distancing' but these are the lived reality for nearly everyone on earth in 2020.
With no idea of when or if second or third waves will hit, or whether localised lockdowns in the UK have to become nationwide once again, many company bosses will be forgiven for having put several of their growth plans on hold this year.
Nobody would expect companies to continue with their hiring and organic growth - and yet we have read of many companies in financial services doing just that, as well as forging ahead with strategic acquisitions.
Are these the exceptional few? And is there really an appetite for people to join the financial services industry at this point in time, especially when the UK has officially entered the worst economic recession in living memory.
Put simply, companies committing to hiring do not need to be the exceptions: any company can take advantage of the technology and government-backed incentives on offer to help prepare for future growth.
Moreover, there is plenty of appetite for jobs in financial services. In July, CV Library, an independent job board, revealed that applications for finance jobs soared in June, rising by a massive 49.5 per cent, compared to the previous month and by 1.7 per cent year-on-year.
Alongside this, there were 184.2 per cent more applicants battling it out for every job than there was a year ago. This is despite pay dropping by 6.9 per cent month-on-month.
Clearly, people want to join financial services companies, and companies want to hire and retain the best possible people - especially in an economic downturn. Good investments in great people make for genuine and generous growth.
This guide will discuss some of the ways companies can hire and train staff remotely; how the government's KickStart scheme could be used by advice firms to help get your business onto a solid footing; how to avoid bias with remote interviewing and thereby meet the Financial Conduct Authority's desired conduct outcomes in terms of diversity and inclusion; and what sort of skills to look for in candidates in this 'new normal' period.
This guide qualifies for an estimated 60 minutes' worth of CPD.
Contributors to this guide: Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society; Helena Bogdanovski, head of talent acquisition for Foster Denovo; Ian McKenna, director and founder of FTRC; Shaun Godfrey, head of marketing and engagement for St James's Place Academy; Leigh Tarleton, director and IFA for Beaufort St Helen's;Elena Orsini, head of HR at Kleinwort Hambros; Gill White, learning and assessment director for the Chartered Insurance Institute; Caren Thomas, interim HR consultant for the Chartered Insurance Institute and Personal Finance Society.
Simoney Kyriakou is editor of Financial Adviser