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Financial institutions are facing unprecedented challenges in the battle for talent. Not only are workforces rapidly aging—with nearly 400,000 employees expected to retire from the insurance industry over the next few years—but the Great Resignation isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Over the past few months, multiple outlets have reported an increasingly tight labor market, employees looking for better opportunities, and employers scrambling to retain top talent. The difficulties of the past couple years seem to have pushed employees to rethink their career goals and life priorities, with many seeking better pay and benefits, remote work options, and more meaningful work.
But as experienced employees with invaluable institutional knowledge retire in droves and innovative top talent find new growth opportunities, unprepared financial institutions are going to be left holding the bag.
Attracting Top IT Talent
Attracting, nurturing, and retaining top IT talent in the financial services industry is a multi-pronged process. Compensation, benefits, and a flexible work environment aside, employee engagement requires enterprise-wide effort. Bright young employees who aren’t actively engaged in their work will soon seek out new roles. But what is the right angle for attracting the next generation of top tech talent in the financial services sector?
Developing a strong, forward-looking stance on innovative technologies—such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence—could be a great place to start. Younger employees and applicants are digital natives, and they expect the same degree (or higher) of technological maturity from their workplaces as they do from Amazon or Uber Eats.
With the added pressure of the Great Resignation, financial institutions that start embracing technologies of the future may carve out the necessary advantage over their peers when competing for top talent.
Investing in Innovation
As outlined in my brief, Snapshot: Quantum and Insurance Update 2021-Q2, investor interest in quantum has never been greater, with key industry players including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and AXA investing in quantum R&D and hiring dedicated personnel. Firms integrating quantum into their near-term IT strategy roadmaps will likely benefit from first-mover advantage when it comes to ensuring data security and maintaining customer trust—as well as enticing top-tier tech candidates.
Growth opportunities for financial services providers embracing quantum and AI range from hyper-targeted marketing to better fraud detection and mitigation. Perhaps most importantly, building a reputation of innovation by embracing quantum and AI can slow or even cease the drain of top IT talent while simultaneously attracting new employees.
Upskilling employees isn’t a new concept, but the way in which firms upskill workers can be. The development of a dedicated, innovation-centric curriculum or growth path for promising top talent must be supported by the entire enterprise. Firms can offer high-potential employees access to external quantum and AI courses and training opportunities from leading tech companies and universities. Upskilled workers can then share new knowledge and insights with their colleagues.
This knowledge sharing across teams helps create a culture of innovation, enhancing the experience of all employees. Upskilled employees who feel engaged in the workplace are also more likely to attract similarly driven individuals to join the workforce.
Top tech candidates are more likely to go where they feel they’ll reach their full potential—perhaps at a company that demonstrates dedication to bringing the financial services industry into the future through innovative new technologies and offering best-in-class growth, education, and advancement opportunities.
For more on quantum readiness, strategy, and technology vendors, check out my recent report: Quantum Technology and Insurance.