Breaking Barriers – The Rise of Women In Fintech

| 3 minutes

In the ever-evolving landscape of finance and technology, one undeniable truth emerges: diversity drives innovation. As the Fintech industry continues its upward trajectory, addressing and bridging the gender gap grows more urgent. Fortunately, strides are being made to shatter stereotypes and pave the way for a more inclusive future.

Despite its booming success, Fintech has combated a glaring gender disparity. Women comprise only 4% of CEOs, 18% of executive committee members, and 7.7% of entrepreneurs. However, within these figures lies a potential for positive change — a collective commitment to improvement.

Historically entrenched biases and stereotypes have hindered women’s progress, creating barriers to entry and advancement. However, the tide is turning as companies increasingly recognize the value of diverse perspectives. Companies are starting to see the benefits of workplace diversity when evaluating profitability, productivity, employee recruitment and retention, job satisfaction and performance, and innovation and creativity.

“10% of salespeople are women and more than 75%  of our clients request to see a diverse range of candidates as a key part of working together,” says Kate Sharland, Co-Founder and Client Director at Finiti. 

“We continue to see a gap in industry experience at leadership level between male and female candidates, which we are continually trying to address and change for the future,” explains Sharland.  

Finiti’s clients, in particular, are driving this change. With a heightened emphasis on diversity and inclusion, they are insistent on interviewing and inclined to hire female and diverse candidates. This shift in client preferences not only reflects a moral imperative but also a recognition of the benefits that diverse teams bring to the table. 

Another contributing factor to the gender gap in Fintech is the disproportionate representation of women in STEM subjects. While strides have been made to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology, there is still much work to be done. Initiatives aimed at fostering interest in STEM among young girls and providing support and mentorship to women in tech are crucial steps in addressing this imbalance.

Additionally, the issue extends beyond recruitment to venture capital funding. Male-led startups often receive preferential treatment, perpetuating a cycle of male dominance in entrepreneurship. However, as awareness grows around the importance of diversity in driving innovation and profitability, investors are increasingly recognizing the value of female-led ventures.

The path to gender parity in Fintech may be paved with challenges, but the momentum is undeniably building. By dismantling systemic barriers, championing diversity, and fostering an inclusive culture, we can unlock the full potential of the industry. As we look at successful women like Cristina Junqueira, Co-Founder of Nubank, and Emilie Choi, President and COO of Coinbase, let us find motivation in our futures and remain committed to creating a more equitable and vibrant fintech ecosystem for all. Together, we can transform barriers into bridges and pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow.

 If you are interested in supporting female talent in the fintech industry, some organizations advocate for policies to translate awareness into tangible change. Female Innovators Lab and 100 Women in Finance are great resources.

At Finiti, we are proud to be a women-owned and led business. Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are fundamental principles that guide us and shape us into who we are. Our commitment to championing female talent and empowering women in Fintech is unwavering.

If you are looking to grow your Fintech sales team, get in touch with us.

Smart Job Hunting: How to Recognise Red Flags in the Hiring Process

| 5 minutes

When you’re looking for a new job, it’s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself to make a great impression with potential employers. 

But when it’s done well, the recruitment process can and should be a two-way street. 

Changing jobs is a big upheaval, and it’s important to make the right move. Almost a third of employees have quit a job within the first six months at some point in their career. 

But how can you tell whether you’re stepping up to your dream role or into a nightmare before you hand in your notice and sign on the dotted line?

Here are eight red flags to watch out for. 

  1. A Chaotic recruitment process 

Last-minute interview requests, rescheduling, or a hiring process that seems either rushed or very slow are all potential red flags. 

An interview process takes time and effort, and you want to see that reflected back in a structured, proportionate recruitment process.

Put this to the test by asking for details of the recruitment process and timings. Employers that are focused on finding great people will invest time in planning out the process upfront. 

  1. A lack of communication 

The way a company communicates before you’re part of the team gives a good idea what they’ll be like to work for. 

A shocking 75% of job hunters have been ghosted by a potential employer or their agency – even after an interview. 

Clear, friendly, and timely communication, as well as a dedicated point of contact throughout the process is a good sign. 

  1. A vague job description

Almost three-quarters of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, but only 36% of candidates agree. Many employers don’t provide a job description at all. 

Hiring Managers or recruiters should be able to really clearly explain the role and its responsibilities, going beyond the published job description to paint a picture of what the role and company are like. 

In startups, a CEO or founder is often the one defining these roles and in many instances, there may be an element of the unknown for a new strategic hire or new team. As recruiters, our background can help to solidify what’s required and that finer detail. 

Delving into role nuances, immediate priorities, and cultural fit is essential for both hiring managers / recruiters and candidates. This clarity facilitates informed decisions, fosters trust, and aligns expectations for a successful partnership.

This allows both sides to figure out if you’re a good fit, avoiding wasting valuable time if not.

  1. No interest in your motivations 

The recruitment process is about much more than whether someone can do the job. It’s about finding a great fit, and 57% of candidates see a lack of shared values as a deal breaker. 

If a potential employer isn’t asking about why you want a new job and what you’re looking for from the move, that’s a red flag. 

Understanding a candidate’s motivations provides insight into their alignment with the company’s mission and culture. Ignoring this aspect can lead to mismatches down the line.

Effective recruitment involves mutual understanding and alignment of the opportunity to grow. Employers should demonstrate genuine interest in candidates’ career aspirations, ensuring a symbiotic relationship where both parties can thrive. 

  1. Reluctance to talk about pay and benefits

Only around 12% of job listings in the US include the salary, so it’s important that potential employers are happy to have an open, transparent conversation about remuneration once you’re in the recruitment process. 

This is especially true for sales roles, where different types of bonus structure can significantly impact the final take-home. 

  1. Not being open to questions 

Not making time for or half-hearted answers to candidate questions is a red flag. Getting different answers from different people can also be a warning sign. 

If a company makes time to listen to you and answer your questions as a candidate, it’s a good sign they’ll do the same with their employees. 

  1. An unprepared interviewer

Interviews are a time-consuming part of the recruitment process with candidates investing an average of 5-10 hours in prep time alone. 

There’s nothing worse than an interviewer that’s still reading your CV as you answer their first question or someone who doesn’t seem to know what questions they want to ask. 

If an interviewer hasn’t had time to read your CV and think about what they want to ask you specifically, it’s a sign that they might be interviewing too many candidates focusing on quantity rather than quality or simply not prioritising the recruitment process.

  1. Too many interviews

Whether it’s lots of people on the panel or just many, many rounds of interviews, an inflated recruitment process is a red flag. 

For senior roles, there’s typically three interview rounds, occasionally four if it’s a close call between two similar candidates. 

Wanting sign-off from lots of stakeholders could indicate a lack of autonomy within the company or indecision around the role and what they’re looking for. 

Look for an employer that’s respectful of your time with a clear idea of what makes a great candidate for their business. 

Red flags or not, sometimes it all comes down to something you can’t quite put your finger on. Are you excited by the role? Did you get that energy back from the employer? Is there chemistry?

At Finiti, we prioritise not just filling roles but ensuring the right fit for both candidates and clients. We take the time to advise clients on the recruitment process while deeply understanding a candidate’s real motivations and drivers for seeking a new role, ensuring these align with the opportunities presented.

As the only specialist Fintech sales recruiters, we often place candidates multiple times throughout their careers, and there’s a real sense of matchmaking behind successful recruitment. Our expertise lies not just in matching skills but in understanding the dynamics of the Fintech industry and the unique attributes that lead to long-term success.

Whether you’re on the hunt for your perfect match now or want to be part of our talent network for future opportunities, get in touch

Secrets to a Successful Sales Recruitment Process

| 4 minutes

On paper, most recruitment processes look pretty similar: create a job description, attract candidates, go through a series of interviews to figure out who’s the best fit. 

But what seems like a simple process, can easily go wrong. Underestimating the recruitment process can lead to a bad hire, high turnover, and a lot of wasted time and money. 

Here’s how to go beyond the fundamentals of the sales recruitment process to boost your chances of finding the perfect new hire.  

Thinking time

The most important part of the hiring process starts before you’ve even written a job description. 

As well as defining the role and recruitment process in detail, invest time thinking about skills gaps and perspectives you’re missing in your team. 

Think about the types of challenges and ways of working that your new team member will need to enjoy, as well as any shared values you want to see. 

Having that clarity before you start the process will enable you to recognise the perfect person when you meet them, leading to faster, better decision making. 

Research the market 

Before going live with your vacancy, spend time understanding how your role, salary, and job title compare to the rest of the market. 

Not only is it a useful sense check, it will also help you understand how you can present and differentiate your organisation in order to attract top talent. 

Job ads that emphasise work-life balance, for example, have increased by 65%, with vacancies that mention culture, flexibility, and wellbeing receiving three times more views and twice as many applications, according to data from LinkedIn

Set aside enough time 

Recruitment is time consuming, and HR Directors spend about a month (27.59 days) recruiting for open positions. 

From reviewing CVs to arranging convenient interview times, make sure you and any other key stakeholders set aside enough time to manage the recruitment process successfully.

If that’s not possible, look for a trusted recruitment partner with expertise in your sector to ensure you can focus only on the most promising people and that candidates have a positive experience that protects your employer brand. 

Target passive candidates

If you’re relying on exactly the right person finding your job listing at exactly the right time for them, you’re going to be severely limiting the pool of potential candidates and missing out on talking to people who could be a great fit. 

Across the workforce, passive candidates make up 37% of the US job market, rising to 45% in the UK. Engaging passive candidates is especially important when you’re hiring for senior roles where there’s less turnover. 

Reaching out to passive candidates is time intensive, so allow extra time in the recruitment process for outreach and work with employees and specialist recruiters to tap into existing networks. 

Be prepared to act quickly

Top candidates will quickly find themselves in multiple recruitment processes, and leaving too long between rounds or taking a long time to make a decision risks losing out to competing firms. 

Half of all candidates have turned down a job offer because the recruitment process was too long, with as many as two-thirds of employers saying they missed out on their top candidate because they moved too slowly. 

If you talk to someone that ticks all the boxes and you’re already imagining them in your next team meeting, make that offer quickly to avoid missing out. 

Though the stages of the recruitment process are simple, getting it right can be hard and a bad hire is a serious drain on energy, time, and budgets. 

From defining who you’re looking for to reaching out to passive candidates, you’ll need to ring fence enough time throughout the recruitment process to give you the best chance of finding your ideal candidate. 

We’ve invested 20 years in understanding the market and building a network of top Fintech talent, getting to know the people behind the CVs and the culture behind the companies. Then we find the perfect match. 

Fintech sales hiring is what we do, what we know, and what we love. Find out more about how we create efficient, successful recruitment processes that help your business grow. 

Nurturing Talent Even in Goodbyes: Finiti’s Guide to Positive Candidate Exits

| 5 minutes

In the rush of finding that perfect candidate and the busy back-and-forth about contracts and start dates, it can be easy to overlook a really important part of the recruitment process: unsuccessful candidates. 

Every aspect of the recruitment process is a reflection of your brand – both as a business and as an employer. 

Though someone may not have been the perfect fit this time, a positive exit makes sure candidates only have good things to say to other job hunters and peers, leaving the door open for a positive return tomorrow. 

Here’s how to build your talent pipeline by handling goodbyes with grace and empathy. 

Insightful Constructive Feedback 

One of the biggest questions a candidate is left with after a rejection is “why?”. But few businesses provide an answer: 94% of candidates say they’d like interview feedback, but only 41% have actually received it. 

Mitigate potential concerns from the legal team by keeping feedback factual, constructive, and forward looking. Communicating any feedback in writing can also help avoid miscommunication and give candidates time to reflect before responding. 

Timely and Transparent Communication

Hiring is a time-consuming process, particularly when you’re inundated with applications. 

Increasingly, that means communication slips. The latest Talent Board report found that over a third of candidates were waiting several months or more to hear about next steps, a 48% rise from 2021. 

Whether it’s good news or bad news, responding to candidates quickly goes a long way towards building a positive employer brand. 

Personable Rejection Messages

Words matter, especially when you’re communicating something you know will be disappointing. 

This isn’t a job for ChatGPT. Make sure the messages you send are warm and personable. Although it might just be one of hundreds of template-based rejection emails for you, it’s a big deal to hopeful candidates. 

If you’re using templates, work with your brand or marketing team to spend time crafting ones that convey the key information and fit with your employer brand. 

It’s their last point of contact with you, so make sure they leave the process with a positive impression. 

Encouraging Future Applications

Be clear that just because someone wasn’t right for this particular role, you’d still consider them for future opportunities. 

Show you really mean it by including a link to your current vacancies page; you could even consider starting an email list to alert them to new opportunities with your organisation. 

Not only are you leaving that candidate with a positive impression, you’re building a talent pipeline of candidates you know are interested in working for you. 

Networking Opportunities and Resources

Whether it’s an online event that you’re hosting or a course you know is particularly useful for your team, consider sharing ways a candidate could usefully progress their industry knowledge to make them an even stronger candidate next time. 

Not only will this attention to detail set you apart from other potential employers, it also shows that you’re invested in your team’s learning and development – even before they’ve started. 

Rejection in Context

Rather than thinking about an unsuccessful candidate in isolation, put it in the wider context of the value of building and maintaining your employer brand. 

A positive employer brand can speed up the hiring process, decrease your average cost per hire by 50%, and significantly boost the number of strong candidates applying for your roles. 

If your team is short on time, find a recruitment partner that’s able to ensure candidates have a positive experience. 

Remember, candidates often won’t differentiate between internal recruitment managers and external recruiters, so make sure you work with someone that knows your industry and business to leave a positive last impression. 

From curating a short list to handling goodbyes, Finiti Search is the only recruitment company specialising in Fintech sales roles. 

We get to know candidates and companies inside out in order to find the perfect match. Learn more about our talent network or get in touch with the team today about your vacancy. 

Strategies for Maximising Job Packages: Navigating Salary Constraints

| 5 minutes

You’ve done it. You’ve found that next big hire for your Sales Team. They’re perfect for the role. Job done, right? 

Finding the right person isn’t the end of the recruitment process. Before you start planning their induction and forwarding meeting invites, there’s still the delicate process of finalising the job package. 

But what happens when you don’t have any wiggle room on salary? 

Here’s our five top tips for taking a more holistic approach to job packages that can make all the difference between losing top talent and making sure they sign on the dotted line. 

  1. Unlocking hidden benefits 

When there’s a lot to communicate in a job spec, benefits are often the first thing to get condensed or cut. 

Two-thirds say benefits are as important if not more important than salary, with a similar percentage saying benefits will be a key priority when applying for their next role.  

Whether it’s tangible benefits, like healthcare or an on-site gym, or culture-based benefits, like team events and remote working, make sure you communicate the full breadth of benefits the job package includes. 

  1. Tailoring bonus structures

There might not be any stretch when it comes to base salary, but there are many different bonus structures out there that can help attract and retain top sales talent. 

Think about which activities drive sales for your business and get creative with a tiered bonus structure. You could also add in activity-based bonuses for the initial few months to make sure the candidate’s take-home gets a boost right from the start. 

What’s great about generous bonus structures is that when they win, so do you. 

  1. Negotiating equity and stock options 

An alternative to a bigger salary in the short term is to offer new starters a stake in the company. 

The exact amount you’re able to offer depends on a number of factors, with the average equity share in startups hovering around 1%

Offering equity or stocks shows that you’re committed to both them as a team member and to the company’s growth in the long-term, even if the short term salary might not be what they had in mind. 

  1. Customising benefit packages

There’s much more to a job package than just the salary; the right benefits can be the deciding factor between two similar offers, even when the other salary is higher. 

Over four in ten employees don’t think their current company’s benefit package meets their needs, and half even say they’d accept a pay reduction for a more tailored benefits package. 

To use this strategy effectively, talk to the candidate to find out what they really value. If they have young kids at home, flexible working might be the benefit that wins them over, or if their family is overseas the ability to work from a different timezone for a month a year might suit them best. 

Take the time to understand the things beyond salary that matter to a candidate and create a benefits package that’s perfectly tailored to what works for them. This shows that you’re being as flexible as possible in the areas where you do have stretch. 

  1. Emphasising career growth opportunities

If you’re talking salaries with a candidate, chances are they like you as much as you like them. They’re picturing themselves as part of the team – they’re invested. 

Capitalise on that interest and a great mutual fit by painting a picture of what their long-term career with you could look like. 

Progression could mean a promotion, but it can include other learning perks too. A huge 86% say that they’d change jobs if another company offered more opportunities for development. 

Where possible, share examples of others who’ve joined your business at the same level and have progressed, as well as how you support learning and development throughout your business.  

Communicating your offer

Articulating the full range of what you offer as an employer is crucial to navigating that tricky final stage of the recruitment process. 

Taking a clear, proactive approach to understanding a candidate’s expectations at the start of a process can also avoid losing time or, even worse, a successful candidate at the final hurdle. 

We’ve been curating our network of top Fintech sales talent for twenty years, often placing top talent multiple times throughout their career. 

To learn more about how we ensure a smooth, successful recruitment process by getting to know candidates and their expectations, get in touch with the team at Finiti for a friendly chat.  

Fintech Valuations: Navigating a changing landscape

| 5 minutes

Sky-high valuations are so 2021. Faced with soaring interest rates and cautious investors, the overnight Fintech unicorn is back to being a myth.

 Fintech firms are facing a new reality, and with it new valuations that cause headaches, create challenges, and present new opportunities. 

The Decline in Fintech Valuations

According to analysts at Jefferies Group, listed Fintech firms saw their valuations plummet by 70% in 2022. 

Even the biggest names aren’t immune. In early 2021, payments giant Stripe achieved a funding valuation of $95 billion, but its secondary market valuation has since dropped by 73% to $52.5 billion

Cautious investors, cooling valuations

The changing valuations in the Fintech industry reflect the uncertain economic conditions. As interest rates rise and the global economy remains unsteady, investors are becoming more cautious and reevaluating their strategies. 

Combined with the high-profile collapse of Crypto Exchange FTX and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March, investor confidence in Fintech has cooled and so have the valuations. 

Disaster or recalibration? 

At first glance, it seems like bad news for Fintech. If valuations are down, does that mean Fintech’s heyday is over already? 

Industry thought leaders and some investors see it differently, framing today’s lower valuations as a much needed recalibration. 

At the end of September the European Investment Fund (EIF) held a VC event in Luxembourg. They made it clear that they see the valuations of 2020 and 2021 as the issue – anomalies – and today’s valuations have got things back on track. 

New valuations, new opportunities

Decreasing valuations open up opportunities for traditional banks to enter the Fintech space through strategic acquisitions. 

JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. lender, jumped on the Fintech acquisition opportunity early, acquiring Renovite Technologies Inc, a cloud-based payments technology company, in September 2022. 

Traditional banking institutions have seen the demand for more innovative financial services. They’ve seen which startups have flourished, and now they have a chance to snap them up at a bargain rate. 

Bucking the trend

Like every good trend, there are some exceptions. HR and payroll-focused firms have seen their valuations hold or even increase. 

Despite the collapse of their banking partner, Rippling’s $11.25 billion 2022 valuation held steady in their recent $500M series E funding round.

HR-tech unicorn Gusto saw their valuation increase by 5% to £10 billion, and remote-working focused Deel remains one to watch as long as they continue to prioritise compliance.  

Their resilience is down to their focus in an area associated with business efficiency. As companies prioritise digital transformation and remote work, the demand for streamlined HR and payroll services has increased. 

For Fintech firms that can identify market trends and position themselves in resilient, growing sectors, overnight success could still be a dream come true. 

Building the team

Building the right team to navigate a changing market, fluctuating valuations, and even possible acquisitions is hard. 

Creating a sustainable revenue pipeline is key to achieving that all-important growth and maintaining valuations. 

We only recruit in one sector, for one type of role: Fintech sales. With our talent network, we know the top fintech talent personally, taking the time to match preferences and personalities as well as job specs. 

To tell us about a sales leader recruitment brief or just to chat to us about the shape of your Sales division, get in touch with the Finiti Search team.