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Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.
Insurance recruiters need to innovate
As the insurance industry transforms to meet the growing demands of the digital era, incumbent players face an ultimatum in recruitment: innovate or fall behind, claims Bethan Moorcraft. “Moving forward in the digital era, the challenge for incumbent insurers will be to strike the right workforce balance between innovative thinkers and those with a deep insurance industry knowledge that has been developed over time,” she writes in Insurance Business Canada. Hiring talent today can be approached with the same strategy firms take when they forge business partnerships, according to Rino D’Onofrio, head of the Canadian insurance business at RBC Insurance. “Some people have what I call future-ready skills, so they’re proficient in artificial intelligence (AI), digital tools, and so on, while others have the risk management, risk selection and risk adjudication capabilities,” he says. “When you look within those groups—for example, at the risk selection specialists (underwriters)—we’re not going to want every single one of the underwriters in our team to be working in such an agile way.” Successful talent recruitment comes from everybody being aligned, sharing a common mission, and everyone pulling forward together as a team as opposed to isolating people in expertise silos, Moorcraft concludes.
Top qualities millennial bankers must have
Insurers aren’t the only members of the financial services industry facing transformation and having to reconsider the kind of workforce their evolving business models will require. This CIO Review article highlights the top qualities bankers should look for in the new generation of hires: 1. Communication skills that help build relationships for the business. 2. An innovative approach and entrepreneurial spirit that will help banks develop new products and services. 3. Adaptability to the changing nature of work. 4. Problem-solving abilities to ensure quality customer service. 5. Technological savvy to pick up evolving technical skills with ease. “Financial organizations are going through a phase of transformations. An employee base which can fit into the emerging roles is the need of the moment,” the article concludes.
UK’s tech talent shortage
Talent was also the talk of the town at this year’s London Tech Week, with many tech leaders urging the U.K. government to make it easier to hire highly skilled tech works from abroad, reports Sam Shead. The British government offers just 325 Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas per year to tech. “We should probably be giving out thousands,” says Matt Clifford, CEO and co-founder of company builder Entrepreneur First. “The exceptional talent visa is possibly the best tech visa in the world. It’s such an easy win for the U.K., especially at a time that the U.S. is making it harder and harder for foreign talent to come in.” Shead points out that tech workers can also move to the U.K. on the Tier 2 visa, but those are capped at 20,700 a year, and tech workers must compete with professionals for that one. “The looming prospect of Brexit has sharpened discussion about visas in the U.K.’s tech sector as firms face up to the prospect of being cut off from Europe—one of the biggest and most easily available sources of talent,” he writes in Forbes. “The next prime minister should make scaling up the exceptional talent visa a number one priority, while also removing the cap on the Tier 2 visa. If people are skilled, and able to help grow the economy, let them in.”
Psychological safety in the workplace
While trust and psychological safety in the workplace help employees perform better, there is more to creating such an environment than pleasantries and socializing, argues Stuart Hearn. “There’s an important distinction between courtesy and candor,” he writes in Personnel Today. “It touches on our response to risk and failure, our willingness to ask for help, our ability to be humble and fallible. Ultimately, it’s about mastering our instincts in times of stress.” Hearn believes that the responsibility to create genuine trust falls to the leaders and managers. “As the manager, you set the tone,” he writes. “You need to show that the barrier between you and the team is soft enough that they can share their thinking with confidence.” Here are his key principles to engender trust: be clear, don’t concern yourself about socializing, give feedback, listen to employees, and commit to developing everyone. “The fundamental truths behind these points—good communication, a fair allocation of resources for development and a commitment to clarity and transparency on goals and objectives—are the building blocks for trust in the workplace,” he writes.
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