- Asset management firm BlackRock is looking to hire liberal arts graduates along with science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors, reports Business Insider. The firm plans to hire people with "soft skills," such as humanities and social science graduates.
- Matthew Breitfelder, BlackRock's chief talent officer, cites diversity as more important now than ever. Speaking at Singularity University's Exponential Finance conference in New York, Breitfelder said that hiring people with different skills and perspectives can help solve the new problems now confronting financial companies.
- According to Business Insider, robots at financial firms are taking over everyday tasks, such as portfolio-building, leaving more time for customer service and problem-solving to financial professionals.
While the stereotype claiming that STEM professionals don't have "soft skills" is largely false, hiring a diverse staff can bring invaluable experiences and perspectives to the workplace.
All employers need workers with good people skills, which is critical in customer-focused organizations. It's not surprising that financial firms would expand their recruitment targets to include candidates with humanities and social science backgrounds. Automation has eliminated many of the "backoffice" roles in finance, meaning the roles that are left are human-centric and require good communication skills. For a company to separate itself from the pack, good customer service will be key — and that requires excellent employees.
Recruiting for soft skills can also lead to improved leaderships within the company, too. More employees are opting to work for "empathetic" employers, which requires having leaders that are especially good at communication and understanding. Recruiting upfront for those with "empathetic" skills is an investment in the long-term.