8 reasons why you should take a chance on new talent

Posted 19 March 2024 by Hayley Rabbets

“We need new talent in our industry.” This is a statement I see or hear on a weekly (if not daily) basis. And I absolutely agree, which is why I spend so much of my time trying to do something about it!

At The Verve Foundation our We Are Change initiative is designed to bring brand new people into the profession. Thanks to our amazing sponsors, we’re able to cover the cost of a level 4 Diploma for 10 people per cohort. Not only that, but we run regular workshops to teach them all about the industry itself, from the roles available right through to unboxing the insane amount of jargon we’ve picked up. We have regular one-to-one mentoring sessions to work through their goals.

We even help them to find a job at the end of their time on the programme… but this is where we get to a big ole stumbling block – nobody seems to want to bring new talent into their organisations.

“But we need new talent in the industry” I hear you cry! And the cycle begins again.

We’ve recently partnered with the lovely people at Antony George recruitment to help us solve this predicament. The last thing we want to do is nurture this talent (and they’re very talented people) just to wave goodbye to them once they get their Diploma and leave them to attempt to find a role themselves without any support at all. So, this felt like a really natural step for us and one I’m confident will help our students secure their place in the sector.

This partnership, however, doesn’t solve the issue that very few firms seem to want to bring new people in. All is does is pass that problem onto Antony George (soz guys!) so, I wanted to address this and give my thoughts on why I so vehemently believe that people without experience can bring a whole raft of benefits to anyone willing to give them a chance.

1. Fresh eyes

Someone walking into a new company for the first time will always bring a new perspective with them. People with experience will bring their views on what works best, but those with backgrounds in other areas will bring something new altogether. They’re often able to see things in a different way and give feedback without bias. There’s no “this is how we’ve always done it” with a fresh pair of eyes.

2. Innovation

The industry is in desperate need of innovation. We’re notoriously slow to move with the times and I believe there’s no better injection of innovation than from those who are new to it; those who have suggestions on how to make improvements, ideas to bring new features in and often the added bonus of youth on their side to know how to implement them. I’m making myself sound like a grandma, I’m not, I’ve just been hanging around the industry for longer than I care to think about!

3. Passion

How many people do you know who ‘fell into the industry’? Well, me for one! I had literally no interest in finance, I simply took a reception job all those years ago and never wanted to leave. The people who are coming into the industry are there because they have chosen to be. We’re always going on about how we need to promote the industry, make it attractive to the younger generation, but what’s the point in doing that when they can’t get a foot in the door? Every single one of our students has been selected for a place on our programme because they have demonstrated a passion for the profession that I bet a great deal of people already there don’t have.

4. Drive

This one is simple. If anyone has the determination to get through RO1 with zero experience, let alone the whole Diploma, they have a real fire in their belly to push them through to where they want to be. They are driven to do these exams and learn as much about the industry as possible, to be able to get their dream job. I would challenge anyone already here to get through RO1 now. I’m sorry compliance peeps, but it’s boring as heck!

5. Dedication

It takes roughly two years for our students to get through their exams and, in all honesty, we’ve lost people along the way. Those who make it all the way through clearly show that they are dedicated. They want to ensure they make the most of the opportunity they’ve been given and stay with us for a number of years to make sure of it. I’ve seen students go through some rough situations in their personal lives but have pushed on and made it to the end.

6. Competency

Loads of people get their Diploma right? But imagine how much more difficult that is to achieve when you aren’t working in the industry to apply everything you’re learning. We’ve had people working in industries from hairdressing to HR, doing their day jobs and studying alongside it. The level of understanding they have, to get through their exams, is quite frankly outstanding. They’re taking in this alien language and making sense of it to the point that they are achieving qualifications in an industry they don’t even work in. Impressive stuff!

7. Diversity

“Male, pale, stale” there, I said it. Another statement I regularly see. We’re slowly seeing a change in this, but it is exactly that – slooooow. One of our goals within the Foundation is to bring diversity to an industry that has notoriously not embraced this in the past. We do this by ensuring we’re giving opportunities to those who would otherwise struggle to get a foot through the door. Having a diverse team brings a whole range of ideas, experiences, backgrounds and talents, helping to shape both the ethos of a company and ultimately, a positive experience for clients.

8. Sacrifice

A great deal of our students are people who have come to us as career changers. Those who are seeking a better future for themselves, who want to help people with their finances and are willing to make sacrifices to achieve their dream. Most of these people will be willing to sacrifice well-paid jobs to take an entry-level role, to get to where they want to be. They’ll give up their time to study, years of their lives to achieve their Diploma without any guarantee that they’ll be able to get a job at the end of it.

Someone who has done that not only deserves a chance to gain experience (how do you get experience in the first place if nobody’s willing to give you a chance?) but if we’re real about this, deserves more than an entry-level wage. As well as encouraging firms to take new talent on, I also urge them to think about what they’re offering. If we continue to only offer entry-level roles to those without experience, we’re simply putting barriers in front of exceptional people who are going to bring a whole raft of benefits to those willing to take them on.

I’m not looking at everything through rose-tinted glasses, I absolutely understand the time and resource it takes to train new people, having spent a large portion of my career in operations and management, but I hope this demonstrates the reasons why it can be a huge benefit.

I can promise you that the investment of time is well and truly worth it, to bring a new dimension to your business and help give our industry the chance to make leaps and bounds towards the change we desperately need to ensure it thrives, long into the future.

How many people reading this were given a chance by someone in the past? Who took that chance, recognised how lucky they were to get it, and worked hard to show their gratitude? I was one of those people given a chance and I’ve strived every day to do my best with it, to learn everything I can and to start giving back to the profession I love by doing the same for others. Who’s with me?

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Hayley Rabbets

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Hayley Rabbets