How sustainable finance and impact investing professionals can walk, not just talk during hiring processes

Published 5 hours ago

Proposed by Acre

By George Roberts

Investment management and financial services are historically white, masculine, and sometimes outdated. Therefore, building diverse teams in a consistently unequal industry requires a new approach to recruitment.

Attracting a diverse candidate pool and establishing a fair and inclusive selection process is not always easy, but it is a prerequisite for a diverse and inclusive organization. Greater diversity among sustainable investing teams is not just about the sustainability professionals who practice what they preach, but diversity of thought also leads to better performance. Venture capital firms that increased their proportion of female hires by 10% saw a 9.7% increase in profitable exits.[1] More inclusive companies also make decisions faster, implement them faster and execute them better.[2]

Acre recently partnered with Inthallo in its search for an investment analyst. Inthallo suggested innovative new approaches to the search and selection process that gave Acre the freedom to be experimental in screening and interviewing, as well as the timing of candidate introductions.

Overcoming decades of inequality is not something that can be solved by part of the market in a short period of time, but by best practices agreed upon by key stakeholders. This article shares some of the key findings from the research and selection process with Inthallo with the aim of starting a conversation and building consensus in the field of sustainable finance and impact investing.

Application accessibility

Something seemingly obvious but often overlooked is the need to make the application and selection process as accessible as possible. In order to engage candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, the initial phase asked candidates to answer three 250-word cover letter questions, allowing those outside the industry equity research to demonstrate their skills in business analysis and their interest in impact investing. Applicants were offered 72-hour windows to respond, so those with prior commitments were not disadvantaged. Both Acre and Inthallo then scored these questions using a format that ensured equality in candidate assessment and efficiency in the selection process. This evaluation method makes it possible to ensure that 50% of the candidates questioned come from non-equity research, and therefore atypical.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Disclosures

Voluntary disclosures of DEI data through anonymous forms quantify the diversity (or not!) of talent pools, allowing hiring managers to compare characteristics of a shortlist and the broader market. When searching, there are three key DEI data points; At market, longlist, and shortlist levels, tracking KPIs at these levels flags areas for improvement while a search is in progress. Market-level data also highlights industry-wide areas of improvement, allowing a company to correct these imbalances by hiring more diverse talent at an earlier stage in their careers and providing evidence to support market-level initiatives.

2021 EDI Survey for Sustainable Finance and Impact Investing Professionals

To help deepen our understanding and develop a baseline understanding of the current state of equity, diversity and inclusion within the sustainable finance market, we have launched a first-of-its-kind survey . Please contact George or another team member to discuss our findings.

[1] https://hbr.org/2018/07/the-other-diversity-dividend

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/09/09/the-benefits-of-creating-a-diverse-workforce/?sh=2d7094e5140b

George is a consultant within the Sustainable Finance and Impact Investing team. He helps Acre find exceptional talent in the sustainable and impact investing industry. He has experience working with a range of asset managers, consultants, NGOs, hedge funds and private equity firms to find people who have the necessary basic investment skills as well as expertise. in the area of ​​sustainability/impact.

About Acre

At Acre, we work with the most ambitious companies with the potential to bring about real change; from those just starting out to those well on their way to creating a legacy.

Our 18 years of experience in sustainability recruitment, combined with our extensive global network, enables us to deliver talent solutions designed to bring about this change.

With our unique behavioral assessment technology, we understand the types of people, skills and behaviors needed to create impact. We can also develop these qualities within your existing teams.

We find talented people and develop their skills to ensure they have real impact in ambitious and progressive organisations.

Acre. Preparing businesses for tomorrow.

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Acre

Acre

About Acre

At Acre, we work with the most ambitious companies with the potential to bring about real change; from those just starting out to those well on their way to creating a legacy.

Our 18 years of experience in sustainability recruitment, combined with our extensive global network, enables us to deliver talent solutions designed to bring about this change.

With our unique behavioral assessment technology, we understand the types of people, skills and behaviors needed to create impact. We can also develop these qualities within your existing teams.

We find talented people and develop their skills to ensure they have real impact in ambitious and progressive organisations.

Acre. Preparing businesses for tomorrow.

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