Tuesday, December 6, 2022

People in Payments: Attracting and empowering tomorrow’s talent

Is strategic talent acquisition a board level imperative in your organisation?

It’s a question worth considering as companies benefit the most when the Talent agenda gets equal billing at the top table alongside technology, innovation, and commercial strategy. In the ever evolving and innovative payments sector, new expertise and experience combinations are in high demand to attract new investment, successfully navigate through complexity, and execute on market opportunity.

The Payments sector has evolved into a borderless global career opportunity and competition for talent within the sector is accelerating to a point where we at times see more demand than availability. There has also been the impact of what is being referred to as ‘The Great Resignation’, a period that has seen a huge growth in resignations linked to Covid risks in the workplace, new opportunities created by work-from-home, and a desire to change professional lives driven by a global pandemic.

How to successfully attract and secure Talent has become a concern for many organisations. For workers, employees want to feel recognised and rewarded for the work they do, be given flexibility in where and how they work, and to see that their employer is invested in the same things they value and believe in.

Over the past 2 years and driven largely by the impact of the pandemic, traditional channels for securing Talent have needed to evolve, with the role that executive search, contingent recruiters and internal Talent acquisition teams play needing to change. The move to virtual interviewing, leveraging psychometric assessments and network references have all played a part in ensuring the right candidate is hired. These channels must also bring a depth of payments sector knowledge and connectivity to be able to clearly understand and articulate the key role requirements, as well as represent an organisation’s culture, vision, and values.

So how do we attract tomorrow’s talent?

Creating a visible brand and culture that stands out in the market is critical for success. Your organisation may be well recognised for its innovation, technical solutions, and service, but does it also have a recognised reputation as a good employer with a clear mission that places employee and social responsibility high on the agenda? Organisations can sometimes overlook the opportunity to communicate their ‘employer culture’ beyond the borders of their careers page or web site. For example, a company’s senior leadership have an incredible opportunity to become more visible brand ambassadors in the public domain.

We all buy from people we know and trust, so proactively increasing the visibility and voice of your leadership across digital channels – websites, LinkedIn etc – has the potential to bean important differentiator.

Message consistently and if your message evolves, ensure your core values, worker incentives, and cultural characteristics remain intact. The goal is to have a visible and consistent digital presence and messaging to all the communities you are seeking to influence; your company’s reputation among sector professionals should mirror the digital profile you are promoting. A willingness to comment, provide content, and speak about social and industry matters that define your brand will bring opportunities to raise your company profile and provide a fuller picture of what you have to offer.

What are the opportunities for attracting talent across sectors and geographies?

Given the speed of growth within the Payments and FinTech, organisations are attracting talent from different sectors and geographies, targeting an increasingly global Talent pool. There can be significant benefit in exploring a borderless search, for example, increasing diversity and bringing a broader set of experiences and perspectives into your organisation. When seeking to identify Talent from new areas, it is beneficial to partner with an executive search or recruitment organisation that has both market and sector familiarity and can quickly bring a ready formed network of candidate potentials to the interview process.

Your EVP (Employee Value Proposition).

Creating a strong EVP linked to your brand is an important strategy for attracting Talent in a competitive recruitment market, it is the foundation of your employer brand. A well created EVP can become as recognisable as the company logo and done well sets a clear and intentional tone to motivate your current employee base as well as resonating with future Talent. The EVP sends a consistent and motivational message about the experience of working for your organisation and highlights the unique experience you offer.

The importance of your network.

Experience informs us that we are most likely to identify an ideal candidate for a position through a personal contact or network. Having a trusted source recommend or refer potential candidates is a highly effective and successful route to filling positions within an organisation. Leverage both internal employee referral schemes and intentionally exploring your own networks.

Talent retention.

With an increased competition for Talent, the requirement to retain top performers has become an imperative to help maintain stability, momentum, and morale. Increasing employee engagement, providing a sense of work family, and fostering a close and positive connection between manager and subordinate will deliver positive outcomes. ‘Relationship = Retention’, if you are a people manager, invest time with each direct report ensuring they are engaged and feel valued.

The Greenings CEO survey highlighted three key retention themes:

  1. Work hard to make sure that your best people continue to feel valued and challenged. Invest in their development through training, mentoring and executive sponsorship.
  2. Prioritise giving top talent new stretch challenges and personal growth objectives to make sure they remain engaged.
  3. Actively promote a top-down culture of recognition and reward.

The need to attract innovative, creative future potential and retain our employee base has never been more important. Investment in providing an easy to access window to your employer brand, and creating a positive workplace identity will bring its rewards.

Simon Stokes Biography

Simon Stokes is Senior Partner at Greenings, leading the international expansion of Executive Search and Talent Services into the Payments and FinTech sector. Previously holding global commercial leadership positions within the Financial Services and Technology sectors, Simon is an advocate for increasing employee diversity, being a speaker and mentor with Money 20/20’s RiseUp programme.