Survey results revealed: Sectorism

October 29th 2014 | Posted by phil scott

Eight in ten finance professionals tied to their sectors

A new UK-wide survey has revealed that more than eight in ten finance professionals have felt stuck within one particular industry, as employers opt for specific skills sets.

The FD Recruit workplace survey, which quizzed finance directors in and out of work from across the UK, found that a majority of professionals felt that the industry they began in had defined their whole career.

Just short of two-thirds of respondents (62%) said that they had failed to make a career move because they had been defined by their previous roles, whilst a further 18% said that they had been dissuaded from trying because they felt there was little chance of success.

Phil Scott, director of the survey’s creator FD Recruit, said: “Recruitment is not an easy process, getting the right candidate for a high-ranking role takes a significant investment of time and resources on the part of the employer. Therefore, they want to find as close to a ‘sure thing’ as is possible.

“A vast majority of employers will take an individual with experience in their specific sector, as they consider it less of a gamble and the candidate’s accrued knowledge means the learning curve is not as steep compared to bringing in an individual from outside the industry.”

The situation is potentially self-perpetuating. With a fifth of individuals unlikely to even attempt a change in industry, and with such large numbers experiencing rejection when trying, candidates become less likely to apply for roles in other sectors.

Similarly, if employers request time-served individuals from their recruitment agencies and HR teams, then those are the candidates they will be given. Anything outside of this could make an agency look like they don’t have the breadth and depth of candidates, or that they have ignored the brief.

Scott added: “There is a case to be made that a candidate from another industry can bring with them a fresh approach and new ideas. But what we see is that when two CVs are side by side, when all else is equal, the candidate who already knows the industry will get the nod because they are already tried, tested and proven.”