Standing out in risk recruitment

Standing out in risk recruitment

The competition to hire the brightest risk talent in commodities is extremely high in today’s market, and we see enormous pressure on firms to stand out from the crowd and attract the best candidates. Often companies can fall into the trap of treating risk recruitment as hiring for a support function, and as such fail to put enough energy in to truly marketing their roles.

If firms want to attract the most commercial, market-savvy risk professionals, they need to put thought into building a risk brand in the market. We see the most successful organisations spending real time and effort on getting their name out there in risk management, having appreciated that demand currently far outstrips the supply of top-rate talent. What’s more, that supply is shrinking rather than growing, as a proportion of high-achieving risk managers increasingly opts to move into front office roles off the back of their commercial knowhow.

The only way to get the best risk experts to join a firm today is to appreciate that the career path has changed, and some of the bright and ambitious risk professionals are not looking to work in risk forever. By accepting that, however critical the risk role you are recruiting for may be to your organisation, it may be a stepping stone to greater things for the best candidate, it can be much easier to make the right hire. Again, the firms attracting the top-rate candidates are doing so by making a virtue of this reality, and selling to potential hires their track record of developing risk professionals and – if they want them – moving them into front-office roles.

Winning over the brightest stars in commodity risk is about making clear that your organisation offers more career development opportunities than the next one, which means selling a career proposition rather than simply a standard risk role.

Commodities firms are asking a lot more of their risk professionals these days, and while the very best are rising to the challenge, the number of senior experts with the commercial approach that businesses crave is small. Some – though far from all – of those will want to migrate to the front office over time. Others simply want to reap the benefits of the appreciating value that they add to the organisation, and their greater influence over the bottom line.

We see some of the top CROs in the market now commanding salaries that compete with those of the commercial teams, in recognition of their integral role in business growth. There is a growing value to be created by risk teams, and at the top of the ladder it is now an extremely lucrative career.

But not all organisations are yet alive to that shift; for those still thinking about risk roles as second-rate reporting jobs, it is time to wake up to the level of competition in the market. If seeking to hire risk professionals that can act as business partners to the commercial team and facilitate a solutions-orientated approach, employers need to up their game.

by Eddie Le Rouxview my profile

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