Competencies & talent recruitment
Build a map of skill profiles to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a bank’s knowledge environment and the main gaps to fill in.
Introduce the implementation of a structured change management process.
Improve job rotation practice, to help incentives for knowledge exchange and to build multi-skill professional profiles (e.g. through structured job rotation).
Improve employee’s skills and competencies via training initiatives focusing on the conduct of a digital/online business in order to guide customers through online product and services.
Strengthen a collaborative work environment suitable for knowledge exchange and innovation.
Investigate social structures inside the bank (using for example social network analysis methodologies) to understand and map how knowledge flows through processes and organisational silos.
Adapt personnel management skills to provide a professional home-base for employees within a more flexible (place/time/content) work environment. Foster impact assessment of regulation on the employment relationship and have the employer’s voice considered.
Promote IT skills and competencies via internationally recognised certifications, university careers, and internships within the banking industry.
Competencies & talent recruitment
Digitalisation of the world of work is no longer a vision but a reality in full swing.
It should also be the case for digital-ready personnel management.
Surveys among bank employees in Member States demonstrate the high awareness of the upcoming changes and a positive attitude towards these developments. A clear majority of employees rate that opportunities outweigh the risks. Employees constitute a solid basis on which to build this new and even more digitalised world of banking.
Opportunities for employers and employees
• Digitalisation will guarantee that banks will continue to require highly skilled personnel and provide jobs that are both challenging and rewarding. This is not only evidenced by the need for a high level of IT-knowledge but also of general knowledge among customer service staff. Flexibility and ability to learn and adapt to change will continue to characterise bank employees. And, in more and more areas interdisciplinary knowledge will be a crucial factor (e.g. customer service, compliance, risk, etc.).
• The development of digital skills can be considered as central in paving the way to digital banking success. This means that the diffusion of an open digital culture inside the bank could help improve services and develop new business ideas.
• A key point is related to the area of talent management: business innovation is often the fruit of fresh thinking and new approaches. Banking organisation around digital services should encourage a process of wide-ranging ideas, involving different professional profiles and skills.
• A new scenario is arising: in the area of knowledge management utilisation of “swarm intelligence” offers new opportunities (i.e. most knowledge can be found within a community rather than in a book or a single person’s mind; and with the new technologies people in groups can work simultaneously on the same subject and be more efficient).
• Increased opportunities for even more flexible working conditions: working from home regardless of country and time, part-time job, etc. This includes enhanced opportunities to align working life with private life through increased flexibility.
• Technology continues to increase job opportunities for all skilled people, including those with special challenges (e.g. with disabilities).
Barriers for employers and employees
• Work across borders, time zones and cultures will continue to increase. Likewise, the number of teams coming from various educational backgrounds. The convention of work performance being concurrent with physical presence will become less the norm. Banks as employers will have to continue to develop and update their personnel management, including relations with employee representatives at all levels, to match the changes and challenges that digitalisation will bring. One of these levels is the European Sectoral Social Dialogue for the Banking Sector12.
• As a result of digitilisation, future work in the banking sector will be increasingly mobile, spread out in multiple physical locations and carried out in virtual teams. This requires new working methods and skills. Consequently, this generates learning needs for leadership and management, shifting focus away from traditional managerial duties and conservative leadership culture to coaching leadership combining training and leadership. Management skills will also have to adapt to the changing environment and diverse employee mentalities, especially those of digitally expert employees.
• At management level more efficient decision-making structures are required (i.e. rapid prototyping to foster creative ideas, fast decisions and parallel development of products and services). Boundary management (between working life and private life) will require digital ready policies and knowledge management will need to be developed so that knowledge is acquired by the organisation as a whole rather than by one person only. Indeed, knowledge management should become a core component of personnel management, as knowledge is often tacit, unstructured and difficult to formalise.
• What is more, diverse employee groups (with respect to skills, age, culture etc.) will provide further challenges. Digitalisation will offer job opportunities in banking for career changers, especially those with superior knowledge in statistics, mathematics, data-analysis, artificial intelligence/robotics etc.
• In order to take advantage of new technological paradigms (Big Data, Cloud Computing, etc.), it is important to understand which skills are required and where expertise can be found. Strong technological skills are not sufficient, it is also fundamental to develop other skill profiles, such as business understanding, deep analytic skill, risk and cost awareness, and many others. In line with the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs13, a study on digital skills in the workplace was launched in March 2015 by the European Commission. This initiative will allow social partners in just a few months to obtain a picture on the digital skill needs for the workforce. The study is expected to produce an estimate of the proportion of jobs in the EU that require digital skills. It will also include a set of job profiles exemplifying occupations for which recent developments in ICT and/or its use have caused a major change.
• The consequences of a more demanding work environment (speed of transactions, constant need to keep up with technology/product changes, increased availability of employees through various communication channels) have to be mitigated in so far as they have a negative impact on work performance and health.
“Helping customers understand their money and the organisation’s proposition will instil a level of control and confidence.”
director of research at Forrester
The Digitalisation process is key to enabling competent customers to manage money, keep track of finances, plan ahead, and stay up to date on financial matters. Interactive and easy to use online resources and tools help consumers to obtain information (i.e. financial products comparing tools), to budget (i.e. budget calculators), to borrow (i.e. debt tests, loan calculators), and to plan (i.e. financial “healthcheck” and pension calculators)..
In 2015, the European Banking Federation (EBF) launched its first edition of the yearly European Money Week14, the aim being to raise awareness on the importance of financial education across Europe. Raising awareness on the importance of financial education in the digital environment will be part of future editions.
Opportunities for banks and customers
• Banks actively support all customers including non-digital, analogue-minded clients who find it difficult to embrace new digital services and online banking. For example, several banks teach elderly people about the “Internet environment” and help them to access and use online banking services, proposing special teams of employees available to support clients and help them with digital services and internet questions.
• Financial education programmes (available online) also constitute a useful tool developed by banks. They should be developed further to help new customers to adapt or to manage their finances. More financially competent customers will be able to pick and choose easily between products, and customers, generally, will be able to access and understand new products proposed through digital channels. This development will contribute to better financial inclusion.
• Some banks in certain countries have been active in designing and implementing financial education programmes both for children and adults, developing content, methodology and tools. Some educational programmes designed by banks target children more especially. For example, the school programmes launched are based on a digital and interactive approach in line with the ICT Pedagogy. They are aimed at promoting cooperation between private and public bodies to facilitate experience sharing and to optimise resources. Demo and educational games are available to heighten digital and financial culture. Digital competency should be developed in Europe and consumers encouraged to explore the digital world and the part banking plays in it.
• By increasing efforts in this area, banks will be able to contribute to customers’ ability to access and use digital products, ensuring they are used as intended, and the full benefits of digitalisation, realised. Digitalisation will increase trust among customers in digital banking services and improve reputation and attractiveness of the sector by highlighting trustworthiness. Banks could benefit from a wider cooperation as these issues have a broader social dimension and are relevant for many other stakeholders, both private and public. It is a win-win situation, for banks, customers and public authorities who aim at having more digitally integrated clients and at preventing social exclusion.
Launch, with the EU and international authorities, initiatives to promote digital financial expertise in society as a whole.
Improve digital skills and financial literacy among children, starting with school programmes.
Raise awareness on benefits of digital products and services and cybercrime risks.
Start partnerships with other interested parties in this area to initiate forward-looking discussion on the benefits of digital financial education.
Barriers to the development of more digital programmes
• The main risk here lies with customers being left behind the banks’ quest for more digitalisation. Dealing with customers lacking the necessary financial know-how can represent a risk as they are potentially less able to make solid, enlightened financial decisions and more likely to run into financial problems. Banks will need to accompany their customers in embracing new digital services.
• Another important risk is that of fraud and cybercrime, not least for a public lacking understanding of how to use authentication methods and digital services in general.
12 European Sectoral Social Dialogue for the Banking Sector: the Social Partners have agreed on joint texts that deal – among others - with skills in the wake of digitalisation (IT-Employability, 2002) and with Lifelong Learning 2002 (to be followed up on 6. November 2015).
13 Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs.
14 European Money Week: it is a joint initiative by European banking associations that aims to raise public awareness on financial literacy and improving financial education for students from elementary and secondary schools. The week consists of a series of events in the participating countries and at a European level.