Betting on BFSI to Drive Employment in the Next Decade

In a world full of tech disruption employers need to re-evaluate the structure of people’s supply chain

Gone are the days of nationalized banks, now with an increase in privatization, disinvestment, and mergers there is a state of heightened competition among banks. The last couple of years have seen a complete revamping in the way our country banks with an increase in retail investors and a surge in demand for insurance which bodes well for the BFSI sector.  In growth terms, this has led to increased opportunities to extend credit and recovery of NBFCs. The launch of the digital rupee by RBI has given blockchain technology a big boost in India. All these factors will precipitate a massive increase in the workforce with 1.6 million jobs being added just this year. The rise of blockchain technology, FinTech, rapid digitalization, and cyber security has made it necessary for employers to focus on their people supply chain. To maintain a competitive edge, employers must invest in the right training for its people to emerge victorious in the war for top talent. Implementing the following suggestions will help the BFSI industry maintain a healthy employee supply chain:

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Tech-savvy profiles: BFSI firms are moving heavily towards digitized and tech-driven infrastructure, and disruptive technologies such as IoT, Big Data Analytics, AI/ML, Cloud Technology, Robotic Process Automation, and Agile. The deployment of tech-savvy profiles has to be part of the long-term talent management strategies of the company. FinTech firms are gradually integrating with payment banks for the widespread use of financial inclusion. Since Blockchain has a promising future, a substantial rise in the demand for blockchain engineers, AI/ML professionals, business analysts, Risk management, cloud computing, and cyber security experts will be seen. The talent management strategies of organizations must invest in hiring future workers who possess robust technical and sector-specific competencies along with soft skills.

Layers in staffing: Employers need to build a few layers in their staffing model to ensure the presence of core employees to maintain the long-term vision of the company. The first rung of employees would comprise the core team that would be essential for taking the work forward. The second level of employees could include apprentices who will learn on the job and can ideally be absorbed as core members as their skills develop. This would help to reduce attrition arising from a mismatch of skills and expectations. The third rung of employees could be those with fixed-term contracts, followed by freelancers and other workers to make up the fourth and fifth layers. These employees would be hired for short-term assignments or to fill the gap until core employees are trained with the requisite skills.

Training and retraining: In the last couple of years, learning on the job has become more important. Goal-based training sessions with a continuous cycle of learning will give employees a competitive edge, especially in the area of risk management and cybersecurity where the regulations and norms are ever-changing with the introduction of newer asset classes and the increasing popularity of existing asset classes.  

Retention and Hiring: The practice of richly funded FinTech startups offering massive pay hikes to prospective employees along with stock options has made it imperative for traditional companies to reinvent the way they look at hiring and retention of employees. The focus must be on retaining top employees rather than looking for new talent at the end of each appraisal cycle. Organizations must recalibrate their workforce planning to create a pipeline of talent which will help to reduce the challenges involved in acquiring new employees. It is necessary that companies recognize the value of employees and chart out a career path for each employee in their workforce plan. This will indicate to the employee community that the organization values them as an asset and is willing to invest in their career growth.

Fresher hiring: This is especially important for FinTech roles primarily related to the blockchain where there is a deviation from the standard BFSI roles and any lateral hires from other companies would need to be retrained from scratch which would amount to teaching an old dog new tricks. Hiring freshers and training them would seem to be the smarter way to go for such disruptive roles. Even for traditional banking companies, there would be a 10-15% addition of new roles which would mostly require training or retraining which would be suitable for freshers. The most crucial part of recruiting these freshers is keeping in touch with college placement cells and recruiters regularly. 

The next decade is going to be a mega hiring period for BFSI and the winners of this decade need to keep a close eye on their people supply chains and be proactive rather than reactive about making changes. Traditional employers would need to reevaluate their people supply chain and employee retention and hiring policies to survive the talent war. Keeping abreast with the new trends in technology and workforce management has become essential because the ones who win the war for talent will be the ones who walk away with the lion’s share of the pie.

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