Taking time off from the industry has always been a hurdle for fund professionals looking to re-enter the workforce, but asset managers in APAC are now introducing initiatives to help bring out-of-work staff back into the game through reigniting their careers and providing training for them to take on entirely new roles. Bryan Law, principal consultant of Investment Management and Corporate & Investment banking at Selby Jennings, spoke with Ignites Asia recently on this subject.
Currently Employed vs Career Break
It is not uncommon for workers to take breaks after having children and it remains a challenge for fund professionals in many APAC markets who have taken breaks from their careers to secure employment again. In most cases, this applies to women who have had to leave their jobs for family-oriented reasons.
“The main challenge being that time away from the funds’ industry suggests candidates being out of touch with markets, especially when it comes to roles that are more relationship-focused or client-facing”, Law says.
“For a lot of clients that we work with, they are concerned with candidates' track records for the last two to three years,” he adds.“ Fund firms generally still prefer to hire candidates who are currently employed.”
Lack of Talent
Although fund firms prefer to hire candidates who are currently employed, the market does not have enough talent. To fight for hiring conventions, fund firms are now helping the workforce to tackle re-entering the market.
Schroders – Three-month returner program
Schroders launched a three-month returner program in the early half of 2020, aiming to provide people with an opportunity to receive training and support for their return back into the workforce in different departments.
Programs with such goals can be mutually beneficial, helping those who need reintroduction into the market and the working rhythm, while also providing organisations with seasoned talent.
“The three-month programme proved, yes, I can still re-learn things, I can still do something that I’ve never done before, despite my age and despite my previous experiences,” Elvina Rahmasari, Singapore-based regulatory reporting specialist at Schroders, states.
Fidelity – Target individuals with investment experience
U.S. fund house Fidelity’s initiative is targeting individuals like so with investment experience.
The six-month programme began in May, with candidates applying from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China and Australia for roles in the firm’s regional multi-asset, product development, equities research, fixed-income and sustainable investing teams.
Fidelity has been focused on deepening its capabilities in these areas, and the population of experienced fund workers currently on a career break is an “untapped pool of candidates”, according to Paras Anand, Fidelity’s Singapore-based chief investment officer.
“A crucial challenge for investment-related roles being that; the longer an individual is out of the market the more their track record becomes less relevant,” said Law. “However, these returner programmes could also be cost-effective for fund firms, as many of them could leverage the gaps in work history to give a lower base salary”, added by Law.
For those individuals that are currently taking leave from the workforce, we suggest they stay up to date with the market and its movements. As well as adequately arming themselves with current market updates to ease their way into conversations with hiring managers when they decide to reenter the job market.
The Talent War Has Just Begun
For organisations looking to find talent, we suggest giving this returning workforce targeted lenience and exercising patience for future returns. With similar programs, firms could potentially attract numerous individuals that have industry experience, the willingness to learn new things and have demonstrated a certain level of intellectual prowess.
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To find out more about Bryan Law's Ignites Asia interview, please visit Ignites Asia