As artificial intelligence (AI) and other intelligent technologies continue to mature and be adopted into financial services (FS) organizations, they will reshape many aspects of the business and how it interacts with its customers and employees—a trend I have discussed throughout this series of blog posts.  

This trend means that an industry that was once siloed, process-driven and transactional can now make more space for creativity and innovation.  Rather than removing the human touch from financial services, automation will enable organizations to offer personalized and human experiences at scale.  

Automation of front-office and back-office tasks offers banks and insurers the opportunity to provide the workforce with meaningful work and to emphasize relationships rather than routine transactions. But this means that the makeup of the roles within an FS organization will need to evolve. 

We are already seeing this trend in motion. Jobs that draw extensively on social skills (customer service, sales, marketing), roles that require innovation and problem solving, and roles where worker skills are augmented with technology are on the ascent. And digital literacy has become a prerequisite for FS jobs that previously did not require much of it.

HEAT is the new STEM

As FS organizations strive to become more human, entrepreneurial and innovative, they will need access to a new set of power skills typically found among people with education and backgrounds in arts and humanities. They do not only need people with the much-coveted STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) qualifications and capabilities.  

Banking, insurance and capital markets firms need to build teams with a background in humanities, engineering, arts and technology (HEAT). HEAT harmonizes arts and sciences, recognizing that creativity, empathy, and communication are as important to success as finance and technology.

By putting algorithms ‘under the hood’, AI and other intelligent automation tools will free people to do what they do best: inspire, create, influence, lead, judge, problem-solve, and counsel. AI allows FS job roles like brand ambassador, branch ambassador for retail operations, social media manager, social media influencer, and personal client advisor to become more human. 

The data translator—who blends math, IT and creative skills to analyze data and  

articulate its story—is one example of the new-age roles emerging in financial services. The value architect is another—he or she shapes business questions that require evidence-based answers. Both roles go far beyond the typical expectations of a data scientist, itself a relatively a new role. 

What’s more, the “one role, one worker” approach will give way to more fluid and task-based ways of approaching work.  

Today’s jobs will be decomposed into component tasks that can be reassembled into new job roles that are better suited to the motivations and interests of today’s workers and to emerging workforce models such as digital talent marketplaces, job sharing, and pooling talent with ecosystem partners. 

Consequently, the term “employee” will, in future, encompass a broad spectrum of roles and capabilities—internal to external, human to machine, and short-term gigs to contracting to freelancing to full-time work. This shift will mean leaders will need to address the requirements of diverse talent pools inside and outside the traditional boundaries of the organization. 

The final post in this series will look at the steps FS organizations can take toward a future-ready strategy for the workplaceYou can also read Workforce 2025: The Financial Services Skills & Roles of The Futurefor more information about the new FS jobs and roles in a digital world.

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