Trends in in graduate recruitment in Banking, Insurance and Financial Management

Discover the latest in employment trends in the ever-popular and growing financial sector

Despite being one of the hardest hit industries because of the economic crisis, the Banking, Insurance and Financial management sector is rebounding strongly in terms of graduate recruitment according to the Graduate Recruitment and Employability Survey (2013-14), conducted by AHECS.

60% of employers surveyed see their company increasing their graduate intake in 2015; none of them see it decreasing.

Nonetheless, the competition for places amongst graduates will remain competitive. “I believe the competition for strong business graduates will intensify as it is a very aggressive market we are in”, says one leading employer surveyed.

With the increased competition, employers are placing more stringent requirements on those looking for a job. In terms of types of graduates, the field is restricted to those who study Commerce and Business Studies, with only 20% of employers saying they have recruited from Arts and Humanities backgrounds or Engineering disciplines. Graduates from other degree programmes have generally not been recruited.


This highlights the two dominating criteria that employers in this sector are looking for; a relevant degree and a strong academic record. Other positive attributes include work experience, but it is considered less relevant than the other two.

In terms of employability skills, business and customer awareness was identified as absolutely essential to be developed in advance of applying for a position as, among other things, it will allow for good communication with customers.

Given the nature of the industry, application of numeracy and problem solving are also rated highly while self management was identified as lacking amongst several recruits hired in recent years.

Employers also outlined several recommendations for aspiring applicants. They said recruits need to develop their IT skills during their time in college especially in Excel, Pivot Tables and V Lookup even if it is not taught as part of the course.

“There will probably be more demand for graduates with data analytical skills and also European and Asian languages – based on current developments and the continuing globalisation of the industry”, predicted one employer.

Other recommendations employers outlined were to have strong attention to detail. They said today’s work environment is fast paced, which makes it difficult, but taking your time and proofing reading everything is essential. This should be reflected in your academic work.

They also said new graduates should never be afraid to ask questions and emphasised how important it is to develop their business acumen by seeking a mentor if possible or doing unpaid work experience, which is invaluable for developing areas like business etiquette, something which graduate recruits tend to lack.

Download the AHECS Graduate Recruitment and Employability Survey 2013 here