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COMPANIES in the financial services sector are missing out on top talent because their recruitment consultants are failing to think 'outside the box'.

Jonny Cainer, founding director of recruitment agency Marketing Professionals UK, has criticised the entrenched methods used by many agencies. He says that too many recruiters fail to spot transferable skills in candidates and only propose those with same sector experience to clients.

"Many companies don't even get to interview highly talented people simply because their recruitment agency has failed to exercise a little creativity and intelligence," says Cainer.

"Time and again we see extremely talented candidates who have been trying to break into a different sector for years but to no avail. More often than not, they have extensive experience and skills to take with them but have been knocked back by recruitment consultants who are scared of presenting a 'non-typical' candidate for interview."

Cainer admits that client companies are often equally to blame for being too cautious and insisting on same sector experience.

"They need to take a more progressive approach and realize that people from different sectors often have very valuable experience on which to draw. Quite often, people from a different sector have fresh new ideas and can bring a dynamic new impetus to tired marketing departments.

"Same sector experience should not be viewed as a prerequisite of doing a good job."