Despite a slowdown in the global economy, the banking and financial services industry (BFSI) continues to be viewed as an attractive sector for job seekers
For instance, last year, Goldman Sachs reportedly processed a record number of intern applications and received 300 candidates for each of its open roles on average. Similarly, JP Morgan Chase and other large financial institutions attract a large number of applicants for a small number of roles.
What is so appealing about the sector? One obvious answer is compensation. Banker bonuses are notoriously outsized compared with those in other sectors. But what else matters to financial services professionals? According to Randstad’s 2023 Workmonitor research, financial services talent say their employer’s purpose and values, opportunities to learn and grow, and a good work-life balance more closely align with their expectations than workers from other major industries. This diverse set of needs offers insights into how banks and insurers can more effectively compete for talent beyond escalating salaries.
While 94% of BFSI talent say pay is an important consideration in their choice of an employer, other factors also play an important part in their decision-making. Remote and hybrid working is valued by 81%, while flexibility of hours is even more desired at 85%. Working in high-pressure roles, as is often the case for the sector, means employees value having time away. A large majority (85%) say having a sufficient number of annual leave days is important to them.
Although banks and insurers offer a strong employee value proposition (EVP) to attract talent, they continue to face long-term headwinds in their search for unique skills. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs report, 35% of financial services firms globally believe that talent scarcity will worsen by 2027, and 48% of insurance and pension management firms hold the same view. Even as financial services firms conduct layoffs, they’re still pressed to attract top talent to meet their company goals.
This challenge is exacerbated by a number of factors, including the rapid digitalization of the sector, which is driving demand for experienced and skilled professionals with deep knowledge of fintech. The resulting skills gap is forcing many institutions to not only free up budget to offer greater incentives, but to also increase learning and development investments. At the same time, competition for talent has increased, with many organizations concerned about retention. In fact, according to Randstad’s Workmonitor data, 53% of banking and financial services professionals say they are confident they would quickly find another job if they were to lose theirs — a figure higher than the 50% for all sectors.
So how can institutions attract and retain the talent they need to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving business, one in which technology is transforming how business is being conducted? Consider the following three actions you can take, based on our Workmonitor research data.
1. Strike a better work-life balance.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of BFSI talent say they won’t accept a job if it negatively affects this balance. Since the start of the pandemic, banks and insurers have adopted their way of working to remote and flexible schedules, but many are now pressuring employees to return to offices.
Others see a continuation of remote policies as a way to keep staff happy and engaged. Companies will need to carefully monitor feedback from candidates and employees on flexibility and work-life balance expectations. As the global economic outlook begins to improve, successfully winning desirable talent may hinge on remote work policies and healthy work schedules.
2. Emphasize meaningful work.
A majority (59%) of BFSI talent say their job provides a sense of purpose to their lives, which is slightly higher than the global average (57%). BFSI companies should consider how to better promote the positive societal impact of their work on activities such as environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) contributions. Not only is this good for attracting talent but also for business outcomes.
3. Drive transformation through DEI commitments.
In recent years, banks and other institutions have stepped up efforts to nurture more inclusive workforces, instill a greater sense of belonging and open more doors to management positions. This is an important consideration for talent. Half of those in BFSI surveyed by Randstad say they won’t accept a job from an organization that isn’t making a proactive effort to improve diversity and equity. Set clear goals and plans to support your diverse workforce organization-wide, especially at the highest levels.
With more transformational changes expected in the banking and financial services industry over the next several years, the demand for specialized skills will remain. Attracting and retaining this talent will require companies to offer more than just a compelling compensation package to be regarded as an employer of choice.
“The path to client and talent centricity is at a point of no return. Companies who treat their people with the same inclusivity, passion and attention as their clients will survive the next 20 years. The rest are not too big to fail.” — Francesca Campalani, global head of Talent Marketing, Randstad Enterprise