Heather Hammond on CNN International’s “Quest Means Business”


CNN | July 14, 2017

Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Heather Hammond, appeared on CNN International’s “Quest Means Business." She shared the findings from our research, “Career Crossroads: The Talent Migration from Finance to Tech.” The video can be viewed below.


ASHER: Welcome back everybody, so, it is ties off and T-shirts on for Goldman Sachs, the bank actually, get this, wants to attract more tech talent. So, it actually relaxed the dress code to more like this for computer engineers. This came shortly after a study that actually shows that half - half! - of all employees in the finance sector want to leave their current jobs. Some people just say that Wall Street is having to recognize it is no longer just about the money, now employees actually care much more about culture and fit.

Who knew? Heather Hammond is one of the authors of the study by advisory firm Russell Reynolds. She joins us live. So, Heather, give us your take on this. What can Wall Street learn from Silicon Valley, do you think?

HEATHER HAMMOND, RUSSELL REYNOLDS ASSOCIATES: Zain, there are a lot of lessons that I think Wall Street can learn from Silicon Valley. First of all, having a mission driven culture, where employees can rally around a common goal, a common mission is hugely important, and something that I think technology firms do much better than Wall Street firms these days. As everyone knows, flexibility matters a lot in today's world. I think the finance world has come a long way in trying to garner more flexibility for employees, but it is something that technology does really well.

And then finally, fostering an environment and a culture of inclusion has become so important across all aspects of the employee base.

ASHER: Is it a pipe dream though, you know, we talk about relaxing the dress code for computer engineers, but is it a pipe dream that people who work on Wall Street are going to have a perfect work-life balance and a relaxed environment? Is that realistic in the short term?

HAMMOND: You know, I think it is, you know, when I think back to many of the drivers were 10 or 20 years ago of why individuals went into Wall Street, it was really driven by compensation and an inflated sense of compensation. Today you have seen the technology companies and finance companies have really narrowed the gap in the delta between the compensation parameter. And so, finance firms have become incredibly attuned to caring much more about inclusion and culture and mission. And at Russell Reynolds, we spent quite a bit of time advising our clients on how to address those issues directly through talent, through retention.

ASHER: I I'm going to speak anecdotally, because a lot of people that I know who are in my age group that I went to the University with talk about the fact that they want to go into finance to make money and then after about 10, 12 years or so, they end up leaving to do something they are much more passionate about. Is that specific to my generation? Is that a new trend? What are your thoughts?

HAMMOND: It is interesting, the study definitely focused on individuals who are coming out of their MBA three to ten years out. But frankly, as part of the focus group that we worked with, there were a number of individuals who were much more tenured in their career, who also care about culture and flexibility. And so, I think millennials frankly have taught a lot of lessons to senior leadership about more than just compensation and more about culture overall.

ASHER: There is, by the way, more to life than making money. Who knew? Heather Hammond live for us there. Thank you so much, appreciate that.

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Heather Hammond on CNN International’s “Quest Means Business”