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How to Recruit and Retain Talent in Banks

Employee turnover is skyrocketing for banks and financial institutions of all sizes, according to recent data. In a single year, it’s been more than a seven-point rise, standing at 23.4%. In the grim wake of the Covid-19 pandemic economy, banks are facing tough competition, and are asking themselves how to retain employees.

NextGen’s recent articles, The Fintech Dilemma: Fintech vs Banks and Why Accountants are Quitting, dive into the reasons behind this increasing difficulty in finding and retaining top talent for banks and other financial institutions. The banking industry is finding that it cannot retain employees with the allure of benefits and compensation alone. Instead, it must improve its culture.

As banks undergo digital transformations, they require employees who have the agility and skills to apply new technologies such as CrushErrors and navigate changes. However, traditional financial services providers are struggling to keep up with fintech companies, who are generally quicker to adapt to market changes.

When it comes to how to recruit talent and how to retain talent, banks need new strategies. Here’s what can be done.

How to Retain Top Talent in Banks

Result-driven recruiting should be prioritized.

According to McKinsey, “About 50 roles drive 80% of the business value.” Staffing decisions should be made on what drives results, not on organizational hierarchy. Keeping an eye on the future is also a key consideration, with many banks hiring innovation workers to meet increasing technology demands.

And it goes deeper than that. NextGen breaks down the top strategies on how to retain employees:

1. Revise Your Benefits Package

Traditionally, benefits packages have centered around health insurance, paid vacation time, retirement benefits, flexible working hours, and parental leave. However, over time, such packages have become more commonplace, and no longer necessarily help employers stand out.

More current benefits that workers look for include leadership programs, proper training, and career development. These benefits have the added bonus of being beneficial for the companies themselves.

Developing and investing in employees helps lead to a happier, more capable, and more engaged workforce that is likelier to stay. Such employees are also more likely to provide high-quality referrals.

Banks and financial service providers may argue that, even after investing time and money into employees, there is a chance of those employees leaving. However, instead of biting nails over “what if” scenarios, financial service leaders should focus on training workers without worrying about them leaving. The alternative is a less capable and less content workforce.

Ensure that you talk to employees about their career goals and life aspirations and help them to achieve these. Employees are more likely to stay at organizations where they feel they have a chance for both career growth and work-life balance.

2. Don’t Dismiss “Non-Traditional” Candidates

A shrinking labor market means that financial service providers need to search outside the traditional candidate pool. Do not immediately shy away from non-traditional candidates. Instead, look out for the following characteristics:

  • Knowledge of your company and its services and products

  • Knowledge of your industry

  • Problem solving

  • Quick thinking

  • Excellent communication skills and customer service

  • Regulatory compliance in all activities

Quick thinking and excellent customer service usually transfer well from hospitality, retail and restaurant industries. Bear this in mind while reviewing potential candidates, and be open to fresh perspectives.

3. Implement Flexible Work Options

Being accommodating and flexible is a sign of good leadership, not wishy-washiness. And with 41% of people in the US working hybrid schedules, it’s not unreasonable to expect workers in banking and finance to desire the same.

Instead of waiting for employees to approach HR with requests for hybrid or remote work, be proactive about offering remote work options where possible, as well as incorporating work-life balance.

To maintain the same level of productivity and customer service, banks can invest in audio-video apps, cloud technologies, live chat, and other technology.

4. Upgrade the Candidate Experience

Often, applying for a job is repetitive and time-consuming. When it comes to how to retain top talent, there is a need for updating the candidate experience.

Many applications are user-unfriendly. They require candidates to not only upload a resume, but submit a separate cover letter, summary of previous work experience, and work samples, if applicable. Furthermore, they tend to be buggy and not mobile compatible.

In the financial services industry, candidates are looking for a user-friendly, omnichannel experience. Traditional banks should review their application process and compare it to those of fintech companies, online retailers, and internet companies. Candidates should find it easy to apply to your organization.

Often, candidates will treat the application process as an indicator of your work environment. A user-unfriendly, disjoined experience may put off strong candidates and lead them to think you use outdated technology and clunky methods.


How to retain employees will differ somewhat for every company. However, with the above points, you increase your chances of recruiting and retaining top talent.

On the topic of top talent, no employee wants to stick around for slogging through a giant reconciliation backlog. That’s why NextGen Accounting offers credit card reconciliation services, bank reconciliation services, reconciliation automation, financial consulting, financial reporting, and audit and anti-fraud assurance. Our services are specially tailored to firms with vast amounts of data that are extremely difficult to reconcile.

To give you the fastest and most accurate re0conciliation, we use our patented software CrushErrors, which you can also obtain as a product if you’d rather conduct reconciliations in-house.

NextGen Accounting’s management team has decades of experience and includes former executives of Barclays Bank, Bank of America, and ICBC. Contact us today for reconciliation services or book a free demo if you’d like to get CrushErrors!


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