As we spend more time working on how to implement our policies into practice it is really enlightening and thought provoking.

I’ve thought for a long time that the barriers to entry into Financial Services are getting higher, sometimes even a degree isn’t good enough, the type, level and where it was obtained could easily prevent a promising candidate from realising their potential.

But now I realise there are a lot of other barriers to entry which are less obvious. Think how excited a college leaver would be finding out they’ve got their first job in FS and how quickly that could be followed by anxiety about how they will afford to pay for, travel, new ‘appropriate’ work clothes and food, all before they get their first months wages.

The barriers don’t stop there either, we tend to think of progression as upwards and as such often people don’t get the opportunity to develop skills in other areas of an organisation. It takes all kinds of skills and people to run a successful business and it encourages a broader range of perspectives. It is also very costly to hire ‘the finished article’ in to the many varied positions required.

What could we do differently?

We at Custom Credit are looking at ways to address some of these challenges and pull down these barriers, so once we are in full hiring mode we will be looking at a wider pool of candidates. For example working with schools and colleges on apprenticeship schemes and homeless charities to try and identify people with the drive and ambition to succeed but maybe feel they are not suited to more traditional routes to entry and give them a ‘turning point’.

We have have also reached out to local bus services and have discovered that Brighton & Hove buses offer free travel for the first 4 weeks of employment to all new starters, as long as the company has signed up to the scheme which of course we will do.

We will not have a dress code as such and will offer new employees some Custom Credit branded clothing as part of their ‘welcome pack’ along with some vouchers to help with lunches etc when they first join.

All colleagues will have a progression plan and an opportunity to learn about other parts of the business so they can work towards their goals and can ‘progress’ in different directions and learn new skills.

We think that these practices will lead to happier colleagues, that more directly represents and champions our customers. It will cost us less in recruitment fees and lead to colleagues that understand the company as a whole and the value that they and their role contributes in the company’s success.

These ideas will develop over time and we are hopeful be added to via a ‘Colleague Council’ as we grow, but we feel it’s a good start and will prove to be the right thing for our customers, our colleagues and our company.