Banks Face Talent Woes
December 29, 2021
By: Kate Drew
Banks and Talent
When we talk about embracing technology in financial services, we’re usually focused on systems and modules and integrations — and all that other fun stuff. Rarely, do we get into the human capital that is needed to implement technology successfully. This issue has long plagued even the most progressive institutions, as technology talent is notoriously expensive and challenging to attract. And it continues to be a real problem for many providers — in fact, according to Deloitte’s Financial Services Global Outlook Survey 2021, the top areas in which bank executives find it hard to acquire talent are technical fields, including artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and data science. This is extremely problematic, given these areas are only going to grow more important.
Part of the issue is that many institutions are not used to hiring technology talent, especially as so many have outsourced such aspects for decades. But now, it’s becoming clear that advanced technologies are going to be an important pillar of financial services in the future, and the ability to support these developments will be critical to survival. That means figuring out how to acquire the necessary talent is key. Moreover, there are even newer frontiers the survey didn’t ask about that banks should be considering — like cryptocurrency, for example. As things continue to evolve, being able to pull in those who understand new and emerging areas will not only be important but could also create competitive advantages for businesses overall.
This isn’t just about technology, though — talent talk is everywhere these days. The “Great Resignation” is sparing no industry as it winds its way through all corners of the workforce. And banking is no exception. So, while acquiring technology talent may not be a new problem, it’s now set against the backdrop of a much wider issue. The institutions that are able to navigate this environment successfully will be those that think hard about what is needed to attract specific talent as well as workers generally. For many people today, it’s about culture. For the typical human worker, that might be flexibility, while for a software developer, it could also mean an openness to new ideas or the freedom to experiment when building new things. Understanding those nuances is what enables organizations to catch people’s attention in a meaningful way.
Overall, this is about thinking through what kind of people you need in your institution, how to reach them, and most importantly, how to create a culture that supports them. There is no doubt that talent (both technology related and generally) is going to continue to be a challenge in financial services and elsewhere. Overcoming this challenge is going take a fierce commitment to people and their needs.
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