By Sam Smith
FinTech is exploding and its growth looks set to continue. In the UK, the FinTech sector is currently made up of 1,600 firms and this is number is set to double by 2030. In any industry that is set for exponential growth, gaining access to the right talent becomes vital. However, in the case of FinTech, which not only has specific requirements but also is a constantly evolving, this consideration becomes even greater still. So how can businesses in the industry establish a pipeline of talent that is able to evolve with it and ensure that crucial skills gaps are filled?
The FinTech landscape
Similar to other tech-based industries, fintech companies encounter fierce competition in talent acquisition. Specific skills, such as a wide range of IT and data capabilities or experience in cybersecurity, are in demand across the board, in any industry, meaning that FinTech companies have their work cut out. Additionally, within the industry, there are a few key players which are able to exert significant hiring appeal simply through their name, an advantage that small firms are startups do not have. These firms find that even if they are able to offer desirable packages to candidates, they may not be able to compete simply due to not being a well-known entity. This puts additional pressure on HR leaders in the industry to think of new strategies that broaden the pool of potential candidates in order to find the right people to bring into their organisations.
In order to bolster their recruitment and retention strategies, many firms are shifting their focus and instead looking at skills as opposed to more traditional metrics such as degrees or other qualifications. In such a fast-paced industry, by the time potential candidates have graduated and entered the workforce their degrees can be outdated or obsolete. By embracing a skills-based hiring approach centred on the latest technology trends companies better position themselves to be able to attract candidates equipped with the necessary skills for the current landscape.
However, this is not just limited to the acquisition of new candidates, it can also be employed to those workers already within an organisation. By also offering opportunities to upskill and redeploy existing high-performing employees who express interest in emerging areas like AI or cryptocurrency, firms can ensure they are constantly curating the skills they need in order to thrive. As time is of the essence, this redeployment can prove invaluable as the employee in question is already embedded and settled into the company, a process that can take much longer with a new hire.
Another approach which can be used to augment this skills-based hiring is that of contingent workers – those workers who are brought in on an ad hoc or project basis at particular times of need. These workers provide flexibility, as they can be brought in as and when needed, and also reduce costs, as firms don’t have to commit to all the additional costs associated with a full-time hire such as training and onboarding. Additionally, these workers, often experts in their fields, can bring valuable skills into a business that can be used to complement those present in full time employees.
In an industry, where there are often moments of rapid change such as when a particular technology, like AI or cryptocurrency, has a transformative effect on the industry. This is when contingent workers play an especially pivotal role, allowing firms to get the skills on board to respond to moments of increased output and stay up to date with changing market conditions.
Hiring across borders
Firms may find themselves struggling to hire talent from within their own markets, due to a lack of qualified candidates, and may want to look further afield. By leveraging technology such as an MSP, hiring and HR teams can take a holistic view of any workforce landscape, broadening their scope to include different markets to their own. This approach is being used by firms all over Europe and is giving them an edge when it comes to sourcing, onboarding and managing talent. MSPs provide crucial insight into these markets, highlighting where there is a surplus of skilled workers, often at a lower cost to what they would incur closer to home. Many UK-based firms are looking to Eastern-Europe, where there are large pools of highly-skilled workers, to fill crucial skills gaps, allowing them to keep up with their fast-paced industry. As well as identifying those markers that could be explored for talent, MSPs also provide support on issues such as tax or compliance of hiring and managing these workers. For many fintech startups, who do not have the vast resources required to do this in-house, this support can be crucial when dealing with many different rules, regulations and cultural differences that come with managing a diverse workforce.
As the economy evolves, the fintech sector is set to play an integral role. As such, the competition for talent in this industry will continue to increase and firms must ensure that they use every available tool at their disposal to be able to flourish. Talent will be key and firms must ensure that their approach to sourcing and retaining highly-skilled workers is as dynamic as the fintech industry itself.
About the Author
Sam Smith is an accomplished transformation leader and is responsible for helping grow Magnit’s presence in EMEA. She specialises in a range of business functions including programme delivery, global sourcing, change management, managed services, and talent supply chain management. Sam possesses deep domain knowledge in high-volume staffing and has a first-hand understanding of the challenges facing contingent workers. She has over 25 years of experience in helping the world’s leading brands reimagine their contingent workforce management programs.