Back on the hiring road – 56% of FS CEOs to increase headcount in coming year

Gamers, government relations, & social media specialists on the most wanted list

London, 5 June 2014 - Financial services (FS) CEOs have hiring back on their minds with more than half (56%) planning to take on extra staff in the coming year, according to the PwC report, Remoulding your workforce for a new marketplace.  CEOs are looking to increase their headcount by at least five per cent. The insurance industry is especially bullish with 40% planning to expand their workforce by more than five per cent – compared to around 30% among banks and asset managers.

Jon Terry, Global Financial Services HR Consulting Leader, PwC, says “The optimistic outlook rises as the recovery in developed markets picks up pace and confidence with the FS sector increases. However, the kind of talent FS organisations need, where they recruit them from and how they manage them are going to be different from the last surge in recruitment and growth.”

With FS organisations strengthening their customer profiling and engagement, industry leaders plan to bring in people from diverse backgrounds, including people from internet and social media companies or specialist analytics consultancies. The report highlights game designers as of interest to FS employers, specifically with companies planning to improve digital appeal and interactivity.  

More than 60% of FS CEOs see cyber-attacks as a threat to growth. Mr. Terry explains, “It’s essential to bring in people with intelligence backgrounds or even ex-hackers to get ahead of these threats. Also, it’s critical to ensure that cyber security is everyone’s business, rather than just IT – with implications for training and appraisal.”

Aligning with government 

With continual scrutiny from governments, including additional regulations, more than 40% of FS CEOs believe their relationship with government has deteriorated over the past five years – notably more than customers and clients (18%).  

“Having the right people in place to manage government relations is critical, especially when trying to encourage a culture of integrity and being transparent around risks,” says Mr. Terry. “We’re going to see more people brought in from the public service and NGOs as community and government relations become as important as investor relations.”

According to the report, re-engaging with society and reputation building among FS organisations continues to be key focus areas. Seventy per cent of industry leaders recognise the need to satisfy societal needs while balancing the interests of all stakeholders.

Mr. Terry explains, “FS organisations are re-thinking their core values and objectives – taking into consideration their customers and the larger commerce community when expanding their business model going forward.”

Other findings include:

  • Millennials on the move- PwC research show that hardly 10% of FS millennials are planning to stay in their current role for the long-term.  Organisations will need to refine and customise traditional one-size fits all employee engagement models around the needs of individual employees.
  • Flexibility wanted – Increased urbanisation in growth markets, notably India and China, have not only created infrastructure demands, but also heightened focus on work-life balance. Employees are expecting greater flexibility in how and where work is carried out.
  • Sophisticated automation – Computerised priorities will shift to devising solutions for more complex needs such as pensions and mortgages. Automation has also reached high value areas like trading, credit analysis and insurance underwriting. 

Slow to respond 

Nearly 60% of FS CEOs see the limited availability of skills as impeding growth, yet barely a quarter of respondents have initiated changes to their talent strategy and only 35% believe HR is prepared to make necessary changes.

The report suggests FS organisations are restricted by the sheer scale of required changes. Others may find it difficult to respond to talent trends and challenges and amend HR strategies accordingly.

“FS organisations need to start communicating their brand more widely – including to people from government, industry and technology companies. HR has to be at the forefront of these changes – judging what skillset will be needed, developing new ways to engage and motivate people and supervising the transition to real-time performance monitoring and response,” concludes Mr. Terry.

END

Notes

Findings for Remoulding your workforce for a new marketplace were gathered in PwC’s 17th Annual Global CEO Survey. The survey included 338 interviews with FS CEOs in 53 countries across the world. To download a copy ofRemoulding your workforce for a new marketplace, please visit: http://www.pwc.com/financialservices .

 

Media Contacts
Abby Yung, PwC LLP UK (Tel: +44 (0) 20 7212 7777 Email: yung.j.abby@uk.pwc.com or pwcpress.sg@sg.pwc.com)