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How to Attract the World's Best Fintech Talent

Posted on August 2020

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Technology and finance have always gone hand-in-hand, and the sector is no stranger to huge technological disruption. Money is virtual, cash has transformed into cards and the internet has created a fluid economy. However, in the past decade, technological development has hit lightning speed, and the newly emerged fintech sector has an enviable talent pool of those with both complex technical and analytical skills combined with sound knowledge of financial markets.   

Tens of billions are being invested in the global fintech sector and producing great fintech talent who can bring an entrepreneurial ‘startup mindset’ to more traditional firms, including the agility and creativity to adapt to fast-evolving products and provide intelligent solutions quickly.

Suddenly larger banks and financial institutions are in direct competition with far smaller companies, who can quickly adapt to new technologies, such as AI and chatbots. Successful fintech companies also reward their talent with fast career progression, flexible working and the opportunity to work on innovative products. 

There are already large global skills shortages in fintech talent, and this is set to get worse, especially with disruptions such as Brexit and COVID-19. Fintech candidates are now in demand across the financial sector, and more traditional companies are struggling to secure the innovative fintech talent needed to stay on top. 

Thinking Like A Tech Company - What Is Your EVP

When positioning your company and job descriptions to attract the best fintech talent available, it is best to break down what would motivate brilliant talent to work for you. 

Draw up an EVP - or employer value proposition - and work with senior management to consider your overall purpose and mission. Established financial institutions may not hold the culture of constant disruption and innovation which lives in fintech startups, but there is also appeal to be found in knowing the mission and spirit which drives your company - and the essence which makes it so successful.

As you look at your EVP, also focus on what your firm does which provides meaningful change within the sector. What makes you truly different? Traditional or long-established companies should focus on their credibility and legacy to attract talent. 

Questions to ask yourself when creating an EVP include:

  • Why should a candidate choose to work for you over any other business?

  • Why does the world’s best talent belong in your company?

  • What makes your firm a unique place to work for?

Work On Building A Faster Recruitment Cycle

The first move to make in a talent war is to make sure you have the systems in place to hire in-demand employees as fast as possible. 

Reducing your time-to-hire is a practical solution to help your firm net the world’s best fintech talent. Dedicating more time to recruitment, including keeping up clear and punctual communication, making decisions quickly and consulting with specialist recruitment agencies will help you speed up your hiring process.

Brilliant candidates will not wait a month to get called into an interview. Solutions include video interviews or using an all-day interview and assessment structure where several stakeholders can talk to applicants over the course of a day. These ‘marathon interviews’ are demanding but lead to faster hires.

If you want to find the right talent for your roles, you need to act fast. The fintech skills shortage means the best fintech talent will not be short of opportunities and offers if they are waiting too long to hear from your company. 

Build An Aspirational Culture

Building a company culture from the ground up to account for fintech talent may be an impossibility, but it works to look at some of those leading motivators which will make your culture appealing to those who developed their skills within the fintech sector. 

This may include introducing new benefits company-wide which will attract fintech specialists. The most important ace in the pack here is providing flexible working. Talented millennial workers have seen the value in working when they are most productive as individuals, rather than the traditional 9-5. Though this may not be entirely possible, offering options such as working from home is a key benefit for attracting the best fintech talent. 

Company culture also comes from the workplace. As your company pivots towards fintech, adjustments to the workplace can make it more appealing to global fintech talent. Google-style open offices with plenty of amenities and opportunities for training are hugely appealing to fintech talent. An office can be a place employees look forward to coming to, rather than the place they dread to visit.  

Retain Through A Focus On Innovation

Attracting the world’s best fintech talent is only half the battle. As the skills shortage continues, you will also need to focus on retaining fintech employees. 

A focus on innovation - investing more in emerging technology and updating legacy systems will help you retain those employees who are thinking about how finances will work in the future. 

Offer high performers visits to international conferences, and allow top employees opportunities to build up their skill portfolio. 

Unusual ideas will also entice innovative talent, such as allowing workers to change their job role more fluidly and giving workers a higher level of autonomy. Develop fintech-focused training programmes which help gain cutting-edge insight. We can see this strategy in action in Singapore, where the AMTD Group, Xiaomi Finance, Singapore Management University (SMU) and the Institute of Systems Science at the National University of Singapore (NUS-ISS) have launched a joint initiative. The Digital Finance Leadership Programme caters for senior finance and regulatory leaders, fintech entrepreneurs and policymakers.

Do you need support in finding your next fintech hire? Contact the Selby Jennings team today.

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