Emotional intelligence and character are qualities we look for
Wendy Walton, head of global private client services at BDO says the younger generation have the ability to make seasoned professionals see things from a fresh perspective.
Tell us how you manage your young professionals at BDO.
Attracting young talent is crucial to future-proofing our business. Feedback from the business, as well as our clients, is that young people are hungry to learn, keen to impress and their enthusiasm has a ripple effect across the team. Our new team members get clear objectives and responsibilities from day one to kick-start their personal development, plus they have ‘buddies’ and counselling managers to help them navigate their early stage careers.
What other strategies do you implement to attract young talent?
The ‘war for talent’ continues so having an inclusive and empowering culture is an attractive feature for ambitious young professionals. We also think it is essentials that everyone has an equal chance of accessing the profession based on merit and not background, and we have recently reviewed our entrance criteria for graduates and school leavers to reflect that.
What can help career progression?
We work in a relationship-based industry so having character, emotional intelligence and the ability to build trust is crucial to success.
What can seasoned professionals learn from the younger generation?
No matter how long you have worked in the industry or how well you think you understand the market’s need, young people have the ability to make you see things from a different perspective. The impact of new technology on our profession is huge. Advisers need to have a digital mind-set, think innovatively and provide clients with genuine solutions (and not products). These are new skills for many, but they are in demand by the market. This is where many young professionals can stand out.”