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Financial Services Firms Getting Better at Hiring for Cultural Fit – But Still Room for Progress


Employers across financial services are at risk of making a ‘bad’ hire due to an ongoing need for improvements in cultural fit assessments, according to a survey by Sterling and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

In a poll carried out in a joint webinar featuring global background screening specialist and FSCS Chief People Officer David Blackburn, Sterling found that 55% of respondents assessed applicants for cultural fit occasionally or not at all. While there are a number of firms ensuring that candidates are screened for alignment with corporate values, those still failing to include this in all assessment processes are risking making the wrong hire.

Steve Smith, Managing Director EMEA at Sterling, explained:

“I’ve no doubt that these figures are better than they were a few years ago as the industry increasingly recognises the impact of cultural fit on the workplace. However, while we may have made some progress, there’s still room for improvement when we consider that 22% are doing little or nothing at all, and a further 33% only occasionally screening for cultural fit.

“The biggest concern with this information is that those who aren’t being assessed for visions or values could potentially disrupt the team dynamic in a firm and negatively impact motivation. There is also of course the possible financial impact that a ‘bad’ hire can have on a firm – with the significant recruitment and onboarding costs being lost for those individuals who don’t match the culture and swiftly exit the company.”