Finance sector admits top talent could now shun City jobs

The finance sector’s image has been scarred, and it could be years before it becomes attractive to applicants again, a leading HR professional has warned.

Maria Bentley, global head of HR for investment bank UBS, said the sector’s role in the economic crisis would keep job applications down for some time.

“It’s true our sector is not very popular right now, and that may continue for several years,” she told Personnel Today at an event hosted by consultancy SHL last week. “We need to handle ourselves well and ensure we are part of the solution in order to repair our industry.”

Bentley conceded that some banks could take advantage of fewer job openings to cut back on programmes often used to attract talent, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes.

“There may be a danger of organisations turning back the clock [in terms of] demand for CSR and social partnerships as people are just happy to have a job,” she said.

Peter Redshaw, research vice-president at advisory firm Gartner, said many graduates would look at safer career choices rather than banking.

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