Versique Unicorn Candidate - Find the Unicorn Candidate or Train for Potential? - Versique

Find the Unicorn Candidate or Train for Potential?

by Mary Lydon

Despite the pandemic and the economic uncertainty we experienced in 2020, demand for talented candidates remains very strong in certain industries, especially in Commercial Banking.

The recovering economy and the expected growth in banking are all indicators that the competition for quality talent in commercial banking is going to be intense.

Lack of Specialized Talent/Training in Commercial Banking

The pipeline for developing talent in commercial banking has been weak for a number of years. Long ago, many banks in the Twin Cities had robust training programs. But those internal programs have been sharply curtailed. Many bankers have accounting or finance backgrounds, but almost nobody comes out of school with a banking degree. Consequently, most new graduates require additional training.

Still, there continues to be a reluctance to hire candidates that are not a perfect fit for a specific opening. Companies strive to hire candidates that require little to no training, and they are often not willing to invest time and resources in developing a new employee that demonstrates great potential to be a top performer.

What This Means for Banks Who Need Talent

This combination: a lack of candidates who fit a rigid profile, and reluctance to train promising job seekers can result in several long term problems for employers:

  • Burnout: When a job vacancy exists for a period of time, other employees take up the slack by completing the tasks related to the open position while at the same time doing their own job. This may result in increased job stress, low morale, and retention issues.
  • Increased retirement: Employers are in a fix when key employees choose to retire. Who will fill the void if employers are reluctant to hire “less than perfect” candidates? Employers must find a way to provide key talent with training and mentoring to fill vacancies from retiring baby boomers.

A Little Training Goes a Long Way

Clearly, some roles require unique skills. The employee in that role has to have the tools to do the job and do it well. And here, a little training can go a long way. Many employers are making hires with a long-term perspective: with the right amount of training, many candidates can quickly adapt and excel in new assignments.

Our advice is to give consideration to internal and external candidates that show great potential without undue attention to precise experience. In addition, it is prudent to create an environment where all employees have access to the knowledge and experience of seasoned professionals either through in-house training or mentoring programs.


If your commercial banking firm is looking for promising candidates, we can help. Contact the Banking and Financial Services Team at Versique. We can quickly deliver the key talent you need. Contact us today!

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