Jurgen Ingels is the founder and former CEO of Clear2Pay; he is currently the managing partner of Smartfin Capital. In this interview he informs us of the talent development challenges for the financial industry.
Banking and Insurance companies need to be smart in terms of assessing talent, potential, and ambition. They need to find ways of accompanying employees in shaping their careers in a win-win.
What do you see as the main challenges for the financial industry and how does it have an impact on the careers of the employees in the industry?
The main challenge, of course, is to keep up with technology. The industry is steadily building on the construction of the digitalization of its services. Consumer satisfaction however is not up to standards (Gartner, 2018). To build the digital bank and insurance industry, its employees need to acquire new knowledge and skills constantly. This has a huge impact on how people work and how careers take shape within the industry.
I remember that when I graduated, my fellow graduates and I thought we were set for the next 40 years, just like the generations before us were. We knew the first ten years would be better than the last ten years, but still we considered our university degree as a solid base on which to build our careers. Today, the reality is that knowledge becomes outdated after only 5 years and we are fast evolving towards a situation in which constant schooling will be the standard. Learning agility and adaptability will be key for professionals in order to stay relevant. Additionally, employees will need to self-manage their careers as careers in the industry will become even more unpredictable and dynamic.
What kind of Talent culture can support this reality?
I think the financial industry will need to make some shifts in the way talent is supported and developed.
First, I see many institutions are still set on ‘owning’ the talent they need for innovation. You do not necessarily need to own a car in order to get somewhere, you just need to know how to drive one. The industry will need to organize ways of working together with external professionals in a flexible way.
Second, the industry will need to focus more on what brings meaning to a job and a career in the financial sector. Traditionally, and very understandably, the focus was on making money and experiencing stability. Today, employees, not only young professionals, look for meaning beyond these things. Moreover, since the financial crisis, the reputation of the financial industry has suffered a huge blow. How can the industry make a financial career attractive again?