’The goal is also to minimise the tedious, repetitive and mundane tasks that lead to staff disengagement,’ says chief executive

By Jon Guy 

There are new warnings that the UK is set to lose its place as a global financial services centre if it does not solve the thorny issue of how best to attract new talent.

Jon Guy

Jon Guy

As the country’s risk environment undergoes dynamic change, the issue of attracting talent has reared its head again after besetting the industry for decades.

Research by purchase to payment provider Yooz found that higher wage demands, driven by higher inflations and rising interest rates has become the biggest concern for managers of financial services firms of all sizes when it comes to recruitment.

The firm’s State of Automation in Finance report, published earlier this summer (6 June 2023), found that 41% UK finance leaders saw wage demands as the biggest challenge for recruitment.

Finding the right skills and qualifications was listed as the biggest challenge by 38% of respondents, while market competition was highlighted by 29%.

Overall, 84% of UK finance leaders said they were concerned with the availability of skilled talent, while 20% said they wre extremely concerned.

Well documented problems

Yooz chief executive Laurent Charpentier warned: “The problems associated with attracting the younger generation into the finance industry are well documented.

”Whilst UK finance leaders are acutely aware of rising salary demands, they are also aware that more money is not a universal remedy for talent retention.”

However, it seems financial services firms are looking at new ways to attract staff over and above their salary.

In Yooz’ report, 49% of UK finance leaders said they were utilising flexible working to retain and attract industry talent, with a further 38% using remote working. However, the third most popular measure at 28% was implementing bonuses, with increased salaries just below at 27%.

Charpentier warned: “Clearly, better technology is vital if companies are to maximise the productivity of employees who prefer flexible working, but the goal is also to minimise the tedious, repetitive and mundane tasks that lead to staff disengagement.”

Technology, flexible working and salary are all well and good, but the industry is still failing in a vital field – how it brands what it does to those who it is seeking to attract. All too often staff at all levels of a firm say that they were not seeking a career in insurance and that they “fell into it”.

Increasingly, the feedback from the next generation is that they want a job that makes a difference.

A career in an industry without which the world as we know it would cease to function – and one with the power to drive real change in society’s most pressing issues – shouldn’t be hard to sell to young talent potential staff, should it?