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  • Writer's pictureJulia Cooper

How UK Financial Services Companies Manage High-Volume Seasonal Hiring

Here’s what Uk financial firms need to know about planning for candidate screenings during times of increased hiring volume.

Like many other industries, the UK financial services sector, which includes business and retail banking, investment banking, and fund management, experiences peaks and troughs in its hiring volumes throughout the year. Background screening in the UK financial services market is heavily regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), so when peak hiring season comes around, it is imperative that the quality and delivery of services is not compromised. Partnering with a screening provider that can support your business during these busy periods can help to avoid unnecessary delays in your candidate onboarding process and minimize the risks associated with getting it wrong.

As each academic year finishes, there is an annual surge in recruitment activity for UK financial services companies, as thousands of students apply for graduate roles and summer internships. For an industry that’s highly regulated and closely scrutinized, this can present a challenge – each potential new hire must be vetted to meet the company’s regulatory requirements, as well as help employers feel more confident in their hiring decisions. So how can financial services companies manage these high-volume seasonal hiring patterns and avoid delays in onboarding their new graduate and student intakes?

Maintain the integrity of your hiring process during seasonal peaks

Financial services companies in the UK typically increase their hiring volumes between March and September as their seasonal hiring programs take place. The planning for these hires often begins months in advance, and a key element of that process is the candidate screening.

During peak hiring periods, financial services institutions may have thousands of candidates in the mix, with many companies often ordering more than double the number of candidate background checks per month than they would during a typical “off-peak” month. This all goes to underline the critical need to identify a background screening provider that can meet the requirements of financial services organizations during this seasonal demand.

What to look for in a background screening provider

Pallas Consultants has been supporting customers in the UK financial services sector for decades and is experienced at managing and delivering on the seasonal needs of our customers. Each year, we fulfill a range of background checks throughout the course of a graduate season, including identity information checks, criminal background services, education verification services, and global credit searches, as well as sector-specific checks for regulated hires. As you plan for your financial firm’s next major seasonal hiring surge, here are some things you may want to look for in a background screening partner:

Operational capacity – Can the screening provider handle the volumes of candidate screening your organization requires throughout the year? If you’re an enterprise-level company planning to onboard thousands of new hires in the upcoming quarter, partnering with a provider that can effectively manage that throughput can help to avoid unnecessary delays in the onboarding process.

Flexibility – Can the screening provider handle large volumes of candidates from customers all around the world? Are they able to scale up during peak hiring periods and manage large volumes of work? This level of flexibility can be invaluable to customers, who may experience an unexpected surge in applications or find themselves needing to fill more positions than they had initially anticipated.

Planning experience– Is the screening provider taking the time to understand the specific needs of your company? They should be asking questions such as: What is your seasonal program going to look like? What kind of hiring volumes are you anticipating? When are your candidates due to start, and by when will you have identified the candidates you wish to screen?

At Pallas Consultants, we engage with our customers at the start of their onboarding process to establish hiring timelines. We work with many financial services organizations that are concurrently going through the hiring process, so we’re able to anticipate how many background screenings we may need to conduct at any given time. However, even with that knowledge, our customer conversations are critical – they help us to identify any outliers that customers may not have anticipated so we can plan accordingly.

With knowledge gleaned from our extensive history of supporting organizations of all sizes, we map out a strategy that clearly defines delivery dates for both parties. Each customer knows when cases need to be started and files presented and is given an expectation of when those cases will be completed. Whether they are a small local firm or an international bank with a global workforce, customers want to rest assured that their deliverables will be executed quickly and efficiently.

Identifying a background screening provider that can help you manage your candidate vetting – whether by the dozen or by thousands – can help you feel more confident in your hiring decisions. With Pallas Consultants, our customers get the operational capacity, flexibility, and the planning experience that are essential to a successful candidate screening program.


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