07/15/2013 10:33 am ET Updated Sep 14, 2013

Reduce Finance Industry Unemployment: Stop Making the Wrong Hires

When it comes to the overall job climate, even the smallest upswing in job creation and voluntary turnover can encourage a wave of optimism for both employers and job seekers. This is especially true for the financial activities sector, which suffered some of the most severe job loss during the recession.

Fortunately, today the unemployment rate in the financial activities sector currently stands at a mere 4.4 percent, compared to the 7.6 percent unemployment rate for the entire United States. Employers are beginning to expand payrolls, which requires the best recruiting and hiring measures to ensure only the most well-matched candidates are hired. Candidates who fit the role and the company culture will thrive at your company and have a positive impact on your company's growth.

Employees are a company's greatest asset -- we've heard this statement time and time again. Talented, passionate and dedicated employees bring increased levels of productivity, ultimately driving more profitability to the bottom line. In turn, higher levels of income and cash flow enable companies to continue investing in their core business and expanding their workforce.

Find the best talent to make your business thrive and contribute to an improved employment environment in financial services with these tips:

1. Nurture and engage your talent communities. The Web is buzzing with potential job candidates, but if you're not engaging them, you're likely to miss out on finding well-matched employees to fill your positions. More effective retention-based hiring is established through a strong interaction with potential finance candidates before the hiring process even begins.

Developing this type of productive conversation can be a challenge without a centralized location for potential, current, and previous candidates to interact with your employer brand. Your talent communities are a place where you can interact directly and figure out which candidates are the right fit earlier in the recruiting and hiring process.

Create a hub where two-way conversation between your company and your target audience of potential candidates can take place. Building a nurturing and engaging environment involves choosing the right online platform for your community. It must be equally effective as an outlet for reaching the type of candidates you're looking for, as well as acting as a means for driving conversation, sharing news and trends, and driving buzz around job opportunities.

Both American Express and McGraw Hill Financial utilize talent communities as a mechanism for recruiting within the finance industry.

2. Step up candidate evaluation methods. When you're rushing to fill a position or just plain failing to evaluate potential candidates, you run the risk of bringing on an employee who may not have the skills, experience, or overall fit for the company.

Improving your evaluation methods will increase your chances of landing candidates who are the right fit for your role on the first try, allowing your company to grow and to continue to hire. Ensuring you make the right hire every time starts with looking beyond cover letters, resumes, and even referrals.

Step up by utilizing new ways to screen and test your candidate's real aptitude, like basic personality tests to screen for the appropriate soft skills. If they're on par, set up a panel-style interview with a variety of different employees and managers they will be in contact with regularly in their position. Seal the deal by giving them a timed assignment -- something they could encounter regularly in the role their applying for -- and see how they perform.

3. Find new ways to promote your roles online. How and where you promote your job openings matters in terms of landing well-matched candidates. Posting to generalist job sites or just to your company website isn't going to entice or engage talented and experienced finance candidates -- and it also isn't going to be enough to fight unemployment. Thoroughly impacting the job market as a whole comes down to truly selling the roles you're offering up.

Too many employers try to spice up their job listings to ensure they're enticing, but end up drawing in candidates who either can't take the pressure of the role or simply don't have enough experience to get the job done. Get rid of generic and misleading job descriptions to ensure you're thoroughly promoting the role in the correct light, which will work to draw in candidates better matched for your requirements.

Find the right balance between transparently selling the positive aspects of the position, while also laying requirements necessary for long-term success. A candidate may be a match in terms of their background, but they may not be prepared to handle the fast-pace nature of the position.

4. Develop a presence in your niche. Drawing in talent that's the right fit for your company starts with putting a name to a face. While the hiring world is increasingly driven through the power of online employer branding and interaction, having a strong offline presence within the finance industry will put you ahead of competitors when it comes to landing employees that meet your needs.

Build your employer brand offline by ensuring your company is a regular attendee of industry events, conferences, seminars, and even cocktail hours. Your presence will help you to put a name to a face in terms of actively displaying what your company is all about -- specifically, your company culture. This will position your employer brand in the minds of both passive and active job seekers within the finance industry.

Making more right-fit hires doesn't just work to improve your company, it also benefits the entire finance industry by impacting the growth of your company and ensuring you continue to bring on more employees. Let your improved search for better matched job candidates keep the negative job climate behind us.

How are you working to drive down unemployment in the finance industry?

Skiddy von Stade is the founder and CEO of OneWire, the premier destination for employers to connect with high quality finance talent. Connect with Skiddy and OneWire on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.