Bank Execs Shun Remote Work

Bank Execs Shun Remote Work

November 3, 2022

By: Kate Drew

Banks and Remote Work

As we discussed in our last research snapshot, US banks are facing serious challenges in obtaining the talent they need for the future, especially when it comes to roles in areas like technology and innovation. Yet, few are looking at creative ways to overcome those hurdles. One area we mentioned as a potential avenue for success is exploring other markets for the right workers and enabling them to join in a remote capacity. This strategy gives institutions an opportunity to expand into additional talent pools and access those who may be qualified but were previously out of reach due to location. However, most bank executives are reluctant to embrace this idea — in fact, according to IntraFi Network’s Q2 2022 Bank Executive Business Outlook Survey, (the same study we covered in last week’s analysis), 59% of respondents said remote workers are not a viable option to fill their positions.

This outright rejection is likely a mistake – here’s why:

  • Better access. Expanding beyond local markets enables banks to access workers with different kinds of experience, which can be extremely valuable when trying to hire for technical or complex roles that require specific skillsets and might be hard to come by. For instance, there may not be many product developers in your region, but if you widen your search to coastal areas or cities, you’ll likely be able to find more suitable candidates.
  • Boosting attractiveness. In-demand talent wants flexibility. And, according to Keith Daly, director of banking and fintech search at Travillian, there’s a growing opportunity out there for banks to win talent with the right messaging. “We’re entering a phase of turbulence in the technology market, and many employees at previously high-flying startups are now looking for stability,” he said. “That means banks can scoop up talent if they can provide the right environment.”

These two advantages are very powerful when combined with each other. In fact, a number of banks we’ve spoken with recently that have pursued such a strategy stress how helpful it’s been not only in attracting necessary talent but also in helping to build a culture that is adaptable and forward-thinking. That’s probably in large part because expanding your talent pool has the added benefit of creating diversity of thought in your organization, simply because you’ve got more people with varied backgrounds working there. So, while it may be easy as an institution to look at remote work and say, “Not for us,” — of course, remote employment setups come with a whole host of their own challenges — it’s probably worth looking at this possibility a bit more holistically, as dismissing it entirely could mean leaving demonstrable benefits on the table. At the very least, we should commit to giving it some real thought.