Posted about 5 years ago

Solving a Banking Employer Branding Mystery


Solving a Banking Employer Branding Mystery


A top-tier banking brand faced a difficult but common recruitment problem when hiring senior level staff for its Equities Compliance Advisory department. Every time the recruiting team made an offer to a candidate, it was turned down. Candidates were consistently accepting either a counteroffer or an offer from another competitor bank. Oliver James Associates was engaged to solve the problem. After an initial meeting with senior management, we needed to investigate every possible root cause of their problem.


We decided to perform a piece of in-depth market research that identified:

  • The perception of the Bank’s Equities business in the market

  • The perception of the Bank’s Equities Compliance Advisory department in the market

  • A benchmark of the current basic salary levels for Equities Compliance Advisory senior managers

  • A benchmark of the current total compensation/bonus levels for Equities Compliance Advisory senior managers

We quickly identified the problem this bank faced:

  • There was a lack of sell on reasons to join this bank, and the hiring managers were approaching interviews from a ‘you prove to us that you are qualified to work here’ perspective – this was in contrast to other firms who were pushing the selling points of their organisations hard

  • There was also a ‘playing down’ of bonus expectations, whereas rival firms where being more ‘realistic’ and selling better on the total compensation prospects of working for them


The bank was then able to make some adjustments:

  • Our client was able to change the mix of senior managers involved in the interview process, and ensure that candidates always had at least one interview with a senior manager who had exceptional charisma and ability to sell the bank

  • Our client was able to stop playing down the bonus expectations, and instead started talking about real-life examples of what current staff had been receiving

  • Following these adjustments we were able to source a suitable candidate who joined the department and became a valuable member of the team very quickly

“Oliver James Associates was instrumental in assisting us with a recent piece of departmental research. They are a firm of specialists who will push the extra mile to achieve their objectives.

They have impressed me to the extent that they are now firmly established as one of our preferred recruitment partners for the foreseeable future.”

Head of Compliance Advisory, Top Tier Bank