Developments in financial services sector require new skills

Financial services organisations are in the centre of a perfect storm. They are confronted with countless challenges, yet these challenges also create opportunities for competitive repositioning. In this context retention of the right people is essential.

Financial services organisations deal with, among other aspects, critical customers and fast-moving FinTech start-ups that challenge longstanding business models. In addition, they are confronted with continuous pressure from the financial regulators and internal pressure to keep costs minimal, society demands that they operate with agility and they also have to rebuild trust.

‘Yet these challenges also create a marketplace that offers immense opportunities for competitive repositioning’, say Robert Charlier and Jessica Molina of PwC. ‘The ways an organisation engages, develops, rewards and retains human capital is critical in tackling the challenges and capitalising on the opportunities.’

New skills

This also follows from the PwC report ‘The power to perform: human capital 2020 and beyond’. The huge disruptions within the financial services sector – technological, regulatory and political – and rapidly shifting customer expectations require a different type of employee who has new skills and an innovative and agile mindset. A financial services organisation therefore has to find new ways of attracting, motivating and organisation its people.


 1.                                                 2.                                         3.

1. New skills – 2. An innovative and agile mind-set – 3. New ways of attracting, motivating and organising your people.

Way forward: road map to the future

How do financial institutions ensure they have the talent to succeed in the future? There are seven priorities in the report:

  1. Build trust and purpose.
  2. Develop dynamic workforce models to plan for the workforce of the future.
  3. Create digital ‘talent exchanges’.
  4. Rethink learning and the development of skills.
  5. Digitise the workplace to boost productivity.
  6. Build human capital analytics into priority business decisions.
  7. Redesign compensation models – reward the real contribution to business value

New ways of engaging and connecting with tomorrow’s workforce

The current developments also require new ways of attracting, engaging and retaining people. ‘Technology transforms the way people seek out jobs, judge organisations and the way in which they are evaluated by potential employers’, Charlier says. ‘Employers may for example think of the use of gamification for recruitment, but also of creating a job market place where supply, demand and reviews come together’, says Molina.

The report also addresses other ways to connect people:

  • Earlier engagement with candidates and development of job ready skills through closer partnerships between employers and education providers, which results in a better alignment with the competences that are relevant for the private sector.
  • The digitally connected workforce: technology enables collaborating remotely – in virtual teams.
  • Working alongside artificial intelligence as part of a hybrid human and robotic workforce.

Social values, purpose and trust

By 2020, 60% of financial services CEOs believe that top talent will want to work for organisations with social values that are aligned to their own. Yet the Edelman Trust Barometer shows that financial services is the least trusted sector. So how can FS organisations rebuild trust and reassert its value to society to ensure they are fit for the future?

‘All this demands a radical rethink of the human capital strategy that takes into account market developments’, says Molina. ‘And a fresh look on the roles and responsibilities of HR to ensure financial institutions will be successful in the new playing field.’

If you would like to discuss the challenges and solutions addressed in this report, please contact your PwC Advisor, or to Robert Charlier +31(0)88 792 7432, or Jessica Molina +31 (0)88 792 7462.