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The Pulse Of The Workforce: Financial Services

The financial services industry is a complex and dynamic sector; one that has faced significant challenges over the years. It has also undergone significant changes, particularly in the way businesses operate and interact with their customers. Advances in technology have brought about new opportunities and challenges, and there is a growing need for businesses to be more innovative, agile, and customer-centric.

The talent landscape in the financial services sector is also evolving, with changing workforce demographics and increasing competition for top talent. Employers need to adapt to these changes and develop strategies to attract and retain the best talent.

How FS Workers Are Feeling

The Beamery Talent Index (Seventh Edition) surveyed workers in the UK, US and Nordics to understand how they felt about their jobs and employers. The study found that 44% of Financial Services (FS) sector respondents were quite happy at their current organization, while 20% said they were extremely happy. Only 8% were quite unhappy and 2% were extremely unhappy.

However, the survey also revealed that 34% of FS respondents had been laid off or made redundant in the past year, leaving many feeling uncertain about their future. A significant number (43%) expressed concerns about being made redundant at their current company due to the current economic climate. Of those who were concerned, 25% felt there had been a lack of transparency from senior management, and 25% felt their workload had significantly dropped over the course of 2022.

Despite these concerns, 72% of FS respondents were confident that they would be able to find a new job in the current environment, with a third saying they would expect to secure one within three months.

Indeed, 55% of FS respondents (vs 51% overall) told us they were considering leaving their job in the next 12 months. So how can you retain and engage people in this industry?

What People Want: Flexibility & Transparency

56% of people in this Talent Index study said they had left a job in the past due to unhappiness/unfulfillment at the company, and later gone on to regret it. This was 59% amongst the FS sector. It should be possible to hold on to talented employees with the right policies and platforms in place.

28% of FS respondents in the Talent Index survey cited flexible or remote working options as one of the top four most important elements in choosing to apply for a role, while 46% cited work/life balance.

However, 30% of respondents said that it was currently mandated that they worked in the office every day of the week, with only 11% saying they were completely free to work where they please. Are employers really listening to the needs of their workforce?

As well as exploring remote or hybrid working options, FS employers should consider implementing policies that promote work/life balance, such as flexible working hours, parental leave, and mental health support.

When it comes to applying for a new role, 31% of respondents in the FS sector across the three regions said it was essential to know the pay range of the role, and they would not apply without this information. Another 44% said they would be much more likely to apply for the position if this information was provided. Transparency is one way to ensure that external talent applies for roles at your company, and employees see routes to progression.  

Opportunities for Learning & Mobility

In terms of learning and development, 63% of FS respondents said they would be interested in learning new skills at their current workplace, but only 29% were actually doing so. Of those who were doing (or considering) non-mandatory training, 42% said it was to advance their skill set, and 33% said it was a personal challenge they’d set for themselves.

Is your organization set up to offer upskilling, reskilling or talent mobility opportunities? Only 26% of respondents said their organization had plenty of plans/processes in place that give employees the opportunity to learn new skills, while 14% said they offered little, or nothing at all, in that regard.

Encouraging talent mobility is one of the best ways to ensure better retention and engagement rates, but it can feel daunting. An AI-powered Talent Marketplace is one good solution: it finds the opportunities that best match the skills people have, and can recommend paths to development where there are skills gaps. 

A Winning Culture

The study also found that a significant number of organizations are not creating a culture of inclusion, with 26% of respondents saying they felt in some ways discriminated against in their current organization. Of those who felt discriminated against, 27% said it was due to their race, while 25% said it was due to their gender.

Diversity is something that many companies focus on only at the recruitment stage: but of course, ensuring DE&I permeates the organization, and that there are equitable processes in place throughout the talent lifecycle, is vital in retaining and engaging staff members.  

Overall, companies in the financial services sector should strive to create a workplace that values and supports their employees. By offering flexibility, transparency, learning and development opportunities, and promoting a culture of inclusion and diversity, they can attract and retain top talent in this competitive industry.

Read the Beamery Talent Index here.