More Talent Challenges at US Banks

More Talent Challenges at US Banks

October 27, 2022

By: Kate Drew

Banks and Talent

Attracting qualified talent remains a real issue for US banks today. In fact, according to IntraFi Network’s Q2 2022 Bank Executive Business Outlook Survey, a whopping 60% of executives say they are having trouble finding employees who are qualified for open positions. Part of this could be down to the way the workforce has shifted in recent times — many people are looking for flexibility, and there continues to be more options for workers than employers, including working for companies out of state or even juggling multiple jobs at once. Another part, meanwhile, likely has to do with the kind of talent banks need to keep up with an evolving industry, including technical hires in areas like technology and analytics, which can be notoriously difficult to win over.

The combination of these two factors is leading to a perfect storm in which the country’s financial institutions are competing for talent that is exceedingly hard to attain. And, unfortunately, even with layoffs ramping simultaneously within the technology sector, the dynamics of this may not change anytime soon, as advanced roles in technology and development remain in high demand and require very particular skillsets. Moreover, even less technical talent that falls under certain innovation umbrellas, such as Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS), may well be applicable in this regard, as it is also limited. As a result, this is leaving traditional banks in a little bit of a pickle when it comes to efforts to stay relevant and gear up for the future — to be sure, only 12% of respondents to the survey reported no difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified staff.

Getting around this problem is going to require creativity and a willingness to think outside of the box. Notably, despite a large majority saying they are struggling on talent, only about a third of executives said they have increased flexibility for work schedules and locations to retain and attract qualified employees. Clearly, there is a gap here between the difficulties banks are facing and the steps they are taking to overcome those challenges. A large portion (66%) of respondents also said their bank had increased compensation, but workers today don’t care only about money. There is so much more that goes into the choices they are making that speak more to flexibility and understanding from their employer or potential employer.

As such, for institutions looking to up their game on the talent front, it’s time to think through how you can attract workers in ways other than higher compensation. That could mean things like flexible work hours, but it might also mean looking for workers in other states who are able to do their job remotely. Through that latter lens, this new environment actually represents an opportunity for banks to look for talent in places they never have before, opening up entire new pools and possibilities. It’s all about thinking about things differently. In short, stop throwing money at the problem. The most successful companies out there aren’t thinking about work that way. In fact, some are even starting to use flexibility to reduce talent costs. The goal is to approach talent the way you should be approaching everything else: thoughtfully and with intention.