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Lack of key skill sets is the biggest barrier preventing firms in the finance sector from growing.
That was one of the key findings from PwC’s latest Annual Global CEO Survey, which polled 410 financial services (FS) CEOs across 62 countries.
The survey found 70% of respondents were worried about the shortage of talent in their industry, a big jump from the already 59% high of last year.
The report attributed the lack of talent in the sector to more complex regulation and increasing competition from new entrants. Due to such factors, it added firms are not just competing for seasoned FS professionals but now also have a rising demand for more diverse and hybrid types of talent.
“The key challenge FS CEOs globally are faced with is in how to attract, train and retrain people who for example, combine digital and FS skills – few as yet possess such hybrid capabilities,” Jon Terry, PwC’s global FS HR consulting leader, said.
“The sudden demand for more people in areas such as risk and compliance has created an inevitable shortage. In tandem, the image of FS has been eroded, making it harder to compete with other industries in attracting people with prized skills. It is telling that 62% of FS CEOs see lack of trust as a threat to growth, even higher than last year.”
The survey also pointed out 78% of FS CEOs now look for a much broader range of skills when hiring than they did in the past, with 58% saying they have a strategy in place to promote diversity and inclusiveness. A further 20% said they planned to adopt one.
The report also delved onto the factors which could possibly overcome the talent shortage in the industry.
Almost all (90%) of FS CEOs believed that greater talent diversity would improve their ability to attract talent. 85% of FS CEOs believed it would enhance performance whilst 79% said it would improve their ability to innovate.
“Almost half of the FS CEOs surveyed by PwC say they plan to enter into a new joint venture or strategic alliance over the coming year. Nearly 40% see this as a way to access new and emerging technologies, in tandem a means to acquire the talent required, bypassing recruitment,” the report stated.