Banking Candidate Attraction – How to Get the Perfect Match

Banking Candidate Attraction – How to Get the Perfect Match

by Mark Nancarrow in career
Banking and finance roles in the Middle East are on the rise, as this sector enjoys sizeable economic growth. Higher US interest rates, which dictate the UAE currency rate, have been in place since 2016 to protect lenders – this has meant that in 2019, the profits for the most significant four banks in the UAE were up 16% year on year. 
This economic growth is excellent news for banking candidates, as there is an increased demand for banking talent to fill critical roles. The UAE Central Bank revealed that 40,000 new jobs were created in the country’s private sector in the second quarter of 2019, bringing the total number of workers in this sector to 5.1 million. 

With more jobs than ever available in IT and banking roles, this has meant that it has never been more critical for employers to ensure they are hiring the right staff to take advantage of this period of growth. 

With an increased demand for banking talent, and more candidates attracted to applying for these roles, how can you as an employer ensure you make the right hire, the first time around? 

Continually working with candidates means that I inherently understand the qualities that candidates need to possess to be successful in banking roles, and likewise, my extensive recruiting knowledge means that I know what banking hiring managers need to look out for to make the right choice for their organisation. 

The following are my expert tips on how to get the perfect match when you are screening and interviewing candidates for your UAE banking organisation this year. 

The Job Description 

Let me start with this point, as it is probably the most critical, and it is the place where plenty of company’s fail to get started on the right track. 

It’s a candidate-led job market out there. Only the very best job descriptions will attract the most talented banking candidates. 
Your job posting should- 
  • Attract and interest the right candidates with an attractive and honest description of the role. 
  • It should portray a positive image of your company and highlight your competitive salary and perks (more on this later). 
  • Be clear around the legislation surrounding Emiratisation and who can legally be considered for the role.  

Once you have got the job description right, when screening candidates, you should consider the following points to make sure you get the right candidate match for your company.  

Recognise Candidate Potential 

Banking, and especially banking tech roles, are in increasingly high demand - this means that there is often a shortage of candidates who have all of the skills and expertise that an organisation is looking for at one time.  

If your recruiting process states that your Investment Banking Associate must have three years experience in an investment banking analyst role, but you interview a great candidate with only two years’ experience; think about flexing your policy to accommodate candidates who show real potential. 

While work experience is essential, you should think about the future of your team; and look at each candidate’s potential over a longer time frame. A less experienced candidate with high drive and ambition can add real value to your company. 

Different roles and levels within these positions will call for a close review of the salary package that you will be offering, which brings me on to my next point.  

Offer the Right Package 

You might be thinking what is the ‘right’ salary to offer my banking candidates? 

The salary will differ depending on the role, an IT project manager should not expect to be offered the same as an insurance CIO, but for every position, ensure your salary is competitive – at least in line with your competitors.  

Remember that offering a higher salary will attract a higher calibre of candidate, so think about providing as much as you can when you want the highest level of banking candidates. 

While your salary must be competitive, additionally, company perks are becoming a big part of the remuneration package too. Some of the most popular corporate extras include health insurance, generous holiday packages, work from home opportunities and even free food in the office.  

If you are looking to hire graduates - your hiring process should be mindful of the fact that starting salaries for banking and finance graduates are around 10% higher than other sectors in general. 

Offer Career Progression 

A recent LinkedIn survey highlighted the fact that one of the most critical factors in attracting candidates is the level of training and development that is offered by the employer, and 68% of employees said that they prefer to learn at work.  

In the interview, highlight career progression and learning opportunities that will be available to your banking candidate, both for their personal development and to increase their earning potential. 

Offering your best banking candidates the things that I have outlined here will establish you as the employer that they want to say ‘yes’ to developing their career with. 


If you have struggled in finding high-value banking candidates to drive your company forward, talk to us today. We can work with you to develop a recruiting process that consistently attracts top-quality candidates to your organisation, which we know is a key issue for UAE banking companies in the current economic climate.  



About Flow

The Middle East is a dynamic and growing market where identifying top talent and world-class professionals for the financial services and technology industry is highly competitive. 
Flow provides an executive search service led by industry experts, geared to any level of role within the Financial Services and Technology Industries. This service is driven by innovative, established and proven research teams who customise each requirement from our clients.    

Importantly at Flow, we meet with all our candidates face to face to gain an understanding of their requirements, ensuring we guide them in finding their ideal role.    

To find out more get in contact with one of our team today.  
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