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What is banks’ talent strategy?

Today’s graduates are looking for a personalized career experience. They want interesting and meaningful work that ignites their passions, and an open and engaging corporate culture. For most new hires, investment banks today just don’t tick those boxes. The talent acquisition problem is particularly acute for large banks. In 2013, 12% of US graduates saw banking and capital markets as a top industry to work for.

This has dropped to 7% in 2016, according to recent Accenture research. It’s not just young professionals who are staying away. Many of the keenest minds in finance are shying away from an industry that isn’t seeing historic profitability, is struggling to rebuild its public reputation, and is facing tightening regulatory restrictions.

If banks want to use digital technologies to enable human performance and win the competition for talent, they need to:

Conduct strategic workforce planning. As machines take over certain tasks, consider which human capabilities can beaugmented, where human capabilities are needed most, and how people can be reskilled to perform more valuable work.
Create an “always-learning” organization. Digital transformation requires multi-skilled generalists who are flexible and learn quickly. Revise existing training and coaching programs, and individual performance criteria, to reflect principles of collaboration and continuous learning.
Use performance management as a development tool. Incorporate coaching and feedback—not only from managers, but also from other employees and even smart machines— to help people learn, experiment and constantly improve.
Transform managers into machine collaborators who excel in judgment work. Revisit and realign talent sourcing, development and reward strategies. Refocus leader attention from issuing commands to orchestrating networks that push decision-making to the edges of the organization.
Build a culture of trust. Managers need to trust the data that machines provide and collaborate with machines to execute work. Be transparent in communications and involve people at all levels in the organization to co-create change.

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