With the rise of mobile banking, online trading, and robo-advising, the financial services industry has become almost unrecognizable from what it was 20 years ago. Customers have come to expect more engagement and technical expertise from their financial partners.
In response, the available workforce is changing almost as rapidly as the industry itself. As millennials enter the workforce
, they are influencing perceptions about work, life, and how to balance the two. This expanding community of professionals who value the freedom and flexibility of working as independent contractors, rather than the security offered by the more traditional office environment, is revolutionizing the financial services talent pool.
A Perfect Hiring Storm
While a shakeup of the status quo often leads to innovation—which is great news for consumers—it also poses a challenge to traditional firms needing to meet hiring objectives in a new world. Incumbent organizations face two major problems here:
1. Gap in Skills
First, there is a widening skills gap. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, currently 5.5 million job openings
exist in the United States alone. But the shortage of highly skilled workers is a global problem. Simply not enough people with the necessary skills are available to fill the number of open jobs.
As a result of this skills shortage, leaders are forced to delay or cancel strategic initiatives. The inability to execute on such projects creates a cycle of shrinking profits and threats to growth, which serves to further widen the gap.
2. Increased Competition
The second problem that traditional financial services firms face is an increasingly competitive hiring market. The industry has been flooded by startups with the ability to offer prospects greater workplace flexibility.
The average company lifespan on the S&P 500 index is 20 years
, down from a 33-year average in 1965, according to an Innosight corporate longevity study. And with a solid majority of CFOs expecting to increase wages
in order to find or retain needed skilled workers, it's clear they are feeling the talent crunch.
These two problems combine to create a perfect storm for companies looking to hire highly skilled individuals to meet their needs. Today’s top professionals have more career opportunities than ever before, and they have their pick of employers.
Closing the Talent Gap
Given this challenge, how can firms compete for, win over, and retain the best talent? The short answer is that they need to be as flexible and agile as startups, while touting their key offerings.
The good news is that online talent marketplaces give traditional enterprises new life. Offering more flexibility than standard human resources departments, digital on-demand platforms enable financial services corporations to post their project needs, interact with potential contractors in real time, and review bids from several talented hand-picked experts
. In a matter of days, the right consultant can be there to handle the company's latest initiatives.
Rather than fighting the constantly changing technology and evolving consumer demands, enterprises that find innovative ways to go with the flow and embrace the future of work will be the ones to stay ahead of the hiring curve.
Is your business in the forefront of change? Learn more strategies for bridging the widening talent gap by downloading our white paper below.