Some economies may be rebounding, but a study from Oxford Economics entitled Workforce 2020 shows companies across the financial services industry don’t necessarily understand the importance or impact on human resources (HR) and the rest of the business.
Risk 2: Growing skills gap
Under 50 percent of executive respondents to this survey say their company has a culture of continuous learning. Access to the right technologies is a problem for some financial services organizations. While 47 percent of financial services employees receive ample training on workplace technology, only 33 percent have access to the latest innovations like analytics and cloud. In three years, only 27 percent of employees expect proficiency in cloud and 47 percent expect to gain skills in analytics.
There’s also a gap between understanding the changing workforce and being prepared to address people’s needs. For example, 80 percent of financial services companies say they are increasingly using contingent, intermittent, seasonal or consultant employees, the highest of any industry. Yet only 47 percent say this requires increasing investment in training.
Risk 3: Dearth of fact-based insights
While the financial industry may be among the most advanced in using new technologies, this survey reveals problems in applying collected information to support talent. Just 38 percent of financial services executives say they use quantifiable metrics and benchmarking for workforce development, and 35 percent say they know how to extract meaningful insights from data. For example, some financial services companies may not fully understand what their employees really want from them. Sixty-eight percent of employees say competitive compensation is among the most important benefits to them but only 40 percent of companies say they provide it.
Making Human Resources strategic to the business
Managing talent risk in today’s financial services industry requires fact-based decision-making, leadership development and aligning workforce strategies with business goals. Like every industry, building a successful talent strategy in financial services begins with an awareness of what is happening in the workforce. This changes HR’s role.
“It is very difficult for companies to recognize the talent they need to succeed,” says George Murphy, senior vice president of total rewards, HR technology, and operations at Lincoln Financial Group, the big, Philadelphia-based insurer. “One of the major roles that HR can play is helping to see what types of roles and talent are needed to be successful in five years.”
No industry will ever be risk-free, but by strategically aligning HR with the business, financial services organizations will be better equipped to win in the war for top talent as economies continue to improve.
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