56% of financial services CEOs to increase headcount this year


Financial services CEOs have hiring back on their minds with more than half (56%) planning to take on extra staff in this 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 planning to expand their workforce by more than five per cent – compared to around 30% among banks and asset managers.

Kevin Burrowes, PwC’s UK financial services leader, commented: “Optimism has increased as the recovery in the UK picks up pace and confidence in the financial services sector rises. However, the kind of talent organisations need, where they recruit them from, and how they manage them will be different from the last surge in recruitment and growth. The influence of increased financial services regulation is also becoming clearer in hiring decisions, and we are seeing companies ramp up employment of compliance officers at a rate we have not seen before.

“FS 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 sought after potential employees as the FS companies continue to improve digital appeal and interactivity.

“More than 60% of CEOs see cyber attacks as a threat to growth. 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 the financial services CEOs surveyed believe their relationship with government has deteriorated over the past five years – notably more than customers and clients (18%).

Jon Terry, global financial services HR consulting leader, PwC, said: “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. We’re going to see more people brought in from the public sector and NGOs as community and government relations become as important as investor relations.”

Other findings include:

  • Millennials on the move- PwC research show that only 10% of millennials in the financial services industry 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, has 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 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 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.

Jon Terry, global financial services HR consulting leader, PwC, concluded: “Financial services 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”

Full press release on pwc.blogs.com