As tech companies continue to dominate headlines and capture imaginations with their innovations, banks find themselves struggling in an all-too-familiar battle: the war for talent. Like many industries today, banking is facing an IT skills shortage that threatens to slow digital transformation and hamper growth.
But banking's loss can be your gain. With the right strategy and incentives, your bank can beat out the competition and build an all-star tech team. It won't be easy, but for those willing to make IT talent acquisition a priority, the rewards will be well worth the effort. Here are a few tips to help your bank emerge victorious from the war for tech talent.
Why Is It So Hard to Find Great IT Candidates?
With time and effort, the talent shortage can be overcome.
We know finding top IT talent is challenging these days, especially in banking. As recruiters focused on the industry, we see the shortage firsthand. Here are a few reasons why it's so difficult to find great candidates:
There simply aren't enough qualified people to fill the roles. The demand for IT specialists, particularly in cutting-edge fields like AI, far outstrips the supply. Universities can't churn out grads fast enough. Many smaller colleges don't even offer programs in the most in-demand skills.
The competition is fierce. Virtually every company needs IT talent, so candidates have their pick of opportunities. Salaries and benefits have to be competitive to even get them in the door.
Once hired, retention is difficult. The most sought-after tech professionals tend to job hop, lured away by higher pay, exciting new projects, or the chance to work with new technologies. Providing clear career paths, engaging work, and a culture that values work-life balance are key to keeping top talent.
Relocation is often required. Some of the talent shortage comes down to location - the best people aren't always where the jobs are. While remote work is on the rise, some roles still require being on-site. Relocation packages and temporary housing are sometimes necessary to attract candidates from other areas.
There are no quick fixes, but focusing on training programs, building a great culture, streamlining the hiring process, and taking advantage of remote and flexible work arrangements will all help in attracting and keeping the best IT professionals. With time and effort, the talent shortage can be overcome.
Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits
To attract top IT talent, banks need to offer compensation and benefits that are competitive with major tech companies. In ABC Recruiting Inc., we highlight the following key benefits:
Banks will need to pay IT specialists salaries that match or exceed the national average for roles like software engineers, data scientists, and analysts. Offering below-market salaries is a surefire way for banks to miss out on highly qualified candidates.
Bonuses and Incentives
In addition to base pay, banks should provide opportunities for annual bonuses, profit sharing, and performance-based incentives. For example, if an IT team successfully implements a new software system on time and under budget, providing team bonuses would be greatly appreciated. These types of rewards show IT professionals that their contributions are valued.
Paid Time Off
Competitive PTO policies are also important for attracting and retaining IT talent. Most tech companies offer at least 3 to 4 weeks of paid time off for entry-level roles, so banks should aim to match or exceed these standards. Additional perks like paid holidays, sick days, and parental leave go a long way toward creating a supportive work culture.
Professional development opportunities are highly valued in the IT field. Banks that invest in ongoing learning and education for their IT staff will be viewed as much more attractive places to work. This could include resources for training, conferences, certifications, and continuing education. By supporting our growth and development, banks ensure that they will have access to the latest skills and expertise.
Offering compensation and benefits that genuinely match what IT professionals can find at other companies is key to overcoming the talent shortage in banking. When banks make an effort to understand what really matters to technologists, they’ll be in a much better position to recruit and retain the talent they need. Focusing on pay, incentives, time off, and development opportunities are all steps in the right direction.
Provide Growth Opportunities and Career Paths
As recruiters in the banking industry, we know how critical it is to provide growth opportunities and clear career paths for top IT talent. The best developers and engineers want to see a future with your company, not just take a job. Without a path forward, they’ll quickly get bored and start looking for new challenges.
To attract and keep ambitious candidates, we recommend companies offer the following:
- Mentorship programs. Pair junior team members with more senior staff who can coach them. This helps younger talent develop skills and also gives senior employees a chance to build leadership abilities.
- Cross-training. Enable staff to learn different technologies, programming languages, and roles. This makes them more versatile and engaged, and also benefits the company by building a more flexible team.
- Promotion potential. Have a roadmap in place for team members to advance to more senior positions over time based on performance and skills. This could be progression from associate developer to developer to senior developer, for example.
- New project opportunities. Rotate team members into different projects to keep things interesting. Working on the same systems and applications for years on end leads to boredom, reduced productivity, and higher turnover.
- Continuing education support. Offer to pay for team members to take courses, get certifications, and advance their education. This shows you invest in their growth, and also benefits the company by boosting technical skills.
Providing clear growth opportunities and career progression is one of the most impactful things companies can do to attract and retain top tech talent. Developers want to work at companies that will challenge them, help them improve their skills, and support their advancement over the long run. By putting the right programs and paths in place, companies can position themselves as an employer of choice in the IT field.
The competition for skilled IT professionals is fierce, but banking has a lot to offer the right candidates. By promoting industry as one where tech stars can shine bright, you'll attract the dedicated, forward-thinking people you need. And by giving them challenging work, career pathways, and a seat at the table, you'll keep them for the long haul.
Reach out to us today, and let's collaborate to find the right IT professionals who will bring your bank's vision to life. Together, we'll shape a brighter future for your organization!