In the rapidly evolving landscape of fintech, accurately evaluating a candidate's potential during the interview process is crucial for building high-performing teams. Gartner’s ‘The 9 Future of Work Trends in 2023’ shared that as many as “56% of candidates report applying for jobs outside their current area of expertise”, with indicators that this will climb further. For applicants, finding a new job isn’t only about whether they can do the job but how they can learn on the job and where they will be able to grow their careers. According to the Boston Consulting Group's report, ‘Global Fintech 2023 Reimagining the Future of Finance’, “annual fintech revenues are expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2030.” The report also highlights “almost 80% of adults in the world are still either underbanked or unbanked”, indicating a significant opportunity for financial inclusion and growth of “disruptor models.”
Based on the current demand and the way people are applying for and keeping their roles, fintechs can greatly benefit by improving their hiring process and investing in their staff for a longer period of time. The move away from previous experience or skills matching will become evermore important.
According to Gartner's report on ‘The 9 Future of Work Trends in 2023’, the top trend is ‘quiet hiring’. This term plays off the recent phenomenon of ‘quiet quitting’, where many employees disengage and become less productive. The ‘quiet hiring’ trend describes a “focus on internal talent mobility” as well as “stretch and upskilling opportunities” to meet “organizational needs.” For this to be possible, the hiring focus must avoid asking comfort questions that only prove past experiences. The report said, “It’s more urgent than ever to rethink outdated assumptions about qualifications” and move towards assessments of potential and adaptability on top of your more traditional methods of skill assessments.
To bring in talent that hasn't directly performed the exact job before, it is important to assess their potential to learn and adapt quickly. Leda Glyptis, Chief Client Officer of 10X Banking, a fintech banking platform, believes in asking, “Tell me about something new you have learned?” She says, “It’s an extremely telling question. It is a question, that really gives you a glimpse of the person and how they engage with the process of learning and the vulnerability of that process when they don’t have to.”
When considering growth Sophie Theen, COO of the Payment Orchestration Platform, Paydock suggested, “What skills do you possess that can be applied beyond the role you are applying for?” Sophie’s focus is on long-term fit. She works with her hiring managers to build “performance profiles” and not job descriptions. She says a “performance profile captures goals, success criteria, and next level up” to allow for “as much future planning as possible for managers and their teams.”
Value fit and passion alongside tangible skill sets and work ethic all give hiring managers confidence in their new hire. Adam Bryant writing for the New York Times, highlighted the importance of ‘sharing a meal’ and how it “reveals all sorts of clues about someone.” In his article ‘How to Hire the Right Person’, he poses some questions to help in observation, “are they polite to the servers? Do they barrel through the restaurant or let others go first?” Seeing behaviors in play can help drive value fit assessment.
The team at Vizypay, who specialize in simplifying credit card payments, are experts at hiring people to grow into roles and building great career paths. In a recent conversation with Shannon Mccann, Director of Marketing, she said, “you can learn a lot about someone by understanding what is important to them, what they’re passionate about like their family, hobbies, pets, etc. At VizyPay, we don’t hire people based on their resumes, so it wouldn’t be productive to spend time discussing their fintech background.”
Similarly, in talks with the compliance fintech, SteelEye, both their Global Head of Marketing, Emmy Granstrom, and Global Head of People and Culture, Alicia Ariffin, agreed on assessing candidates based on passion, values, and cultural fit. Alicia said, “I like to ask about people’s greatest achievement.” Emmy seeks out enthusiasm and asks, "Tell me about something you have worked on that you are proud of and why." Candidates who take initiative, communicate clearly and show commitment in their answers often have greater potential for growth and advancement.
Monica Eaton, CEO and Founder of Chargebacks911, a fintech dedicated to chargeback remediation, believes that the route of assessing potential can be found in how people handle setbacks. She asks in interview,“What is a challenge you have overcome in the last 12 months that you are proud of?” She gains valuable insights into how people have dealt with situations and what they learn from them to apply in the future.
In agreement, Davinder Walia, Global Director of Genesis Global asks in interview, “Can you describe a situation where you had to take initiative to solve a problem or make a decision? How did you approach it, and what was the outcome?” Genesis is an application development platform for financial markets and problem solving is key to their success. For Davinder, how something is done is the important thing. The levels of ownership help her assess the behaviors that person might have in the role and any signs of leadership potential.
Planning and goal-setting allow for greater levels of assessment too. Devina Paul the CFO of the crypto wallet platform, Zumo, says, “I will always ask about how they will immerse themselves in the business and what their first 100 days will look like.” She went on to discuss the importance of having, in her case, a CFO with a “good balance of technical understanding and strategic vision.”
Effectively assessing a candidate's potential in a fintech interview requires a holistic approach that goes beyond evaluating technical skills and experience. By considering value fit, work ethic, transferable skills, and the ability to adapt and grow, recruiters and hiring managers can reduce the chances of making a bad hire and build teams of talented professionals who are primed for success in the ever-evolving fintech landscape.
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