Article: From tech to talent: Decoding hiring & learning trends in the BFSI sector in the age of AI

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From tech to talent: Decoding hiring & learning trends in the BFSI sector in the age of AI

The BFSI sector is poised for remarkable growth and innovation over the next decade. We decode how the hiring and learning functions are evolving to support this massive transformation.
From tech to talent: Decoding hiring & learning trends in the BFSI sector in the age of AI

The strides made by India in increasing public access to the formal banking system over the past decade have been impressive. From 59% of households in 2011, over 99% of households now avail themselves of banking services according to research by People Research on India's Consumer Economy (PRICE). This sharp rise has resulted in the BFSI sector becoming one of the largest employers in the country, with over 1.5 million people working in it, as revealed by a study conducted by BFSI Sector Skill Council of India. Today, the industry is grappling with changing customer expectations, evolving technology and maturing talent. To understand how these changes affect on-ground organisational policies, we have summarised a few vital hiring and learning trends in India’s BFSI domain over the past year, as well as taking inputs from Talent leaders working as part of banks based in Pakistan and Singapore.

TA, skill requirements and EVP in BFSI: An evolving landscape

Growing demand, changing competencies and disruptive technologies have created a unique cocktail of conditions in the BFSI sector:

Increased demand for tech talent

Besides the traditional functions of sales and finance, there is a growing demand for tech-driven talent in the sector. It’s important to note that the demand for technology expertise isn’t limited to software development but encompasses different competencies, such as cybersecurity, UI/UX development, AI/ML engineering, digital marketing and data analytics. This is expected as there has been an increase in the use of AI and ML in the BFSI landscape, most prominently in fraud detection, KYC verification, sales and marketing processes. It’s essential to note that BFSI employers are also increasingly using AI tools to screen candidates while hiring.

George also shared, “LinkedIn Talent Solutions has been instrumental in achieving our hiring goals. They provide valuable data insights, helping us identify and attract top talent. The integration of AI in these platforms enhances candidate matching, making the recruitment process more efficient and effective. Further, in a sector where continuous skill enhancement is crucial, AI helps identify skill gaps and strengths, enabling tailored training programs. Platforms like LinkedIn Learning, with which we have partnered, offer over 250 topics, many of which are designed to upskill employees in specialised areas. We have a programme named Aspire which is a key component of LinkedIn Learning, designed for employees seeking fast-track promotions to higher roles. Several of our employees’ successful completion of Six Sigma training through these platforms is a testament to the efficacy of AI-driven learning tools.”

Renewed focus on diversity

According to research by Instahyre, women constitute around 20% of the workforce in the BFSI sector and are even less represented in leadership roles. In comparison to other industries, BFSI has a dismal representation of gender diversity and equality. Unsurprisingly, 85% of CEOs leading BFSI companies believe they need to promote inclusion and diversity to enhance business performance. This points to an urgent need to prioritise attracting diverse candidates to increase gender and generational representation in the BFSI sector.

New-age EVP and hiring strategies

The demand for entry-level positions has increased by 24% compared to last year, and this growth is driven in tier-II and tier-III cities in India in large part, according to a recent study by TeamLease Services. While this can be attributed to favourable economic conditions that drive the need for more employees to handle a growing customer base, it has also increased demand for skills development and training programmes. This has forced many employers to rework their employee value proposition, making it location-specific, career-oriented and lucrative. Interestingly, the research also highlighted how social media recruitment has emerged as a powerful tool in the industry, as 91% of employers reported using it.

Workforce planning and human capital development in the BFSI industry

Here’s a quick look at some of the most recent and prominent learning and workforce training trends:

Upskilling and cross-skilling programmes are on the rise

Training programmes focused on sales, customer service, and compliance have traditionally been an integral part of the overall L&D function in the BFSI industry. Now, new-age competencies such as digital skills, data analysis, AI and cybersecurity are increasingly becoming part of these programmes. To meet the growing demand for specialised skills and roles, many BFSI organisations encourage employees with financial expertise to develop digital skills that enable them to work more efficiently. This has led to many upskilling and cross-skilling programmes designed with an AI-first approach.

Focus on soft skills

At the crossroads of significant industry-level transformations, employers expect a variety of soft skills in addition to technical competencies. These include innovation, analytical thinking, problem-solving and communication, as these capabilities can help employees improve overall workflows and effectively support customers. There is also an increasing focus on honing customer management, cooperation, critical thinking, and networking skills so employees can adapt to changing customer and business needs.

Personalisation and gamification of learning

There is an increasing practice of personalising and gamifying learning through interactive story-telling simulations, scenario-based learning, instant AI-driven feedback and virtual classrooms. Long and complex training modules are converted into interactive, engaging learning experiences geared toward maximum retention. Employers are also making the extra effort to provide employees with the knowledge and resources they require for career development to motivate them further. Digital platforms have also made it easier to track learning engagement, measure knowledge retention and gather real-time user retention, making it easier to improve training programmes.

Keeping employees at the centre of AI-driven HR and business processes 

Given the rapid pace of changes that the BFSI sector has experienced over the last few years, business leaders, HR professionals and TA leaders need to work collaboratively in order to design modern workplace policies that attract, retain, develop and encourage talent. If you haven’t already considered it, analyse how gen AI tools can enhance your business workflows and efficiency, both in the short and long term and pilot small programmes. Similarly, reimagine crucial workplace policies related to hiring, flexibility, training and performance management that determine the employee experience. Remove obsolete barriers and silos between different functions to fuse your people and business goals strategically.

The transformations that are currently underway are likely to unlock appealing benefits and potential for the BFSI sector. In such a scenario, it’s essential to create policies, frameworks and work processes with people at their core so that you develop an unshakable connection with your workforce. Building flexible workplaces, uplifting organisational cultures and transparent performance management systems can help rebrand your EVP to make it more attractive to diverse talent. Similarly, staying on top of hiring, learning and employee engagement trends can help you design positive workplace experiences.

We are only beginning to witness the power of AI in different business verticals, and BAU processes have changed dramatically over the past few years. With more changes in store, flexibility, inclusivity and reciprocity must dictate your approach to building the future of the BFSI sector.

Note: Some of the views expressed in quotes are personal. 

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Topics: Learning & Development, Talent Acquisition, #Hiring, #OneHR

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