According to data from eFinancialCareers.com, the leading global financial careers website, over 1 in 3 (35%) of their online roles are technology related. The importance of tech and online transactions, especially during the pandemic, cannot be overstated, with banks having to ensure that they have a robust digital infrastructure in place to cope with customer demands.
Banks, as indeed for many other organisations across many industry sectors, are struggling to identify and find the right talent, people with the experience and background in sought after skills areas such as AI, data analytics and cybersecurity. Experience of distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital systems that record, process and validate transactions, is also in demand.
One of the big challenges facing banks is fending off the competition in the war for talent, particularly from the big tech ‘FANGAM’ (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google, Amazon and Microsoft) players and fintech companies. These organisations are always top of the list for techies given the prestige of having their names on your CV, their entrepreneurial and innovative cultures and of course exposure to high level, cutting-edge projects.
A recent report by the same careers website explored some of the ways in which banks can steal a march on the competition and attract top talent. So what are the areas to focus on? Perhaps unsurprisingly efficiency and the streamlining of the recruitment was found to be key – no one wants to be put through endless rounds of interviews, or having to wait an eternity before an offer is tabled. Diversity should also be a business imperative to attract people from a wider talent pool but for it to mean anything, banks must provide an inclusive environment where people feel valued and appreciated.
Another important aspect for banks is to promote their brands, the technologies being used and any partnerships with tech firms. Candidates want to hear about any digital or tech developments and the types of assignment they’ll be working on, especially if it’s a new project that will be launched. Being honest and authentic is key to attracting the right talent as is communicating a clear strategy and plan of action regarding people, processes and tech. Being able to collaborate with experts from other functions and also knowing how their role affects the end user and makes lives easier for customers are also key selling points.
One of the other big draws is flexible working. While a complete remote model may not be feasible, expecting candidates to work from the office full time is likely to deter applications. Candidates at the very least would expect some form of hybrid arrangement where they can work from home some of the time. It is essential that banks communicate this in their advertising and job descriptions, as candidates are looking a better work-life balance. Even dress code matters – techies would be used to wearing casual clothes.
Career progression and internal opportunities, whether at home or abroad, the variety of work, impact on customers, competitive salaries, the working environment, training and development, are all important factors that could sway candidates. Global banks have plenty to offer but they must do more to promote themselves if they are to attract the best talent.