Over the past decade, we have watched digital technology change consumers’ behavior and how they interact with banks and insurers. Their expectations of financial services (FS) organizations are higher than ever before and they demand personalized, on-demand customer experiences at their convenience.

As FS firms reinvent themselves to serve this customer of the future, they should be building a workforce of the future. Tomorrow’s consumer is also tomorrow’s worker, coming into the workplace expecting more from employers: more flexibility, more personalization, more engagement and a better workplace experience.

Paired with the drive towards operational excellence and organizational agility among banks and insurers, the expectations of the workforce of the future will prompt FS firms to reimagine the work they do, their employment models and who does the work. In addition to building a workforce by recruiting, retaining and reskilling full-time employees, they will also buy and borrow more and more of their skills from external talent pools.

In this series of blog posts, I’ll be looking at how FS organizations can take advantage of a boundary-less pool of talent and new models of employment, enabling them to adapt faster to new technology, consumer and regulatory trends. One aspect of this shift will see FS organizations make more extensive use of contractors and freelancers—an established industry practice that continues to grow.

The difference is that these members of the extended workforce will, in future, no longer be treated as second-class citizens in the organization. As they seek to recruit top skills in areas such as data science and the customer experience, FS organizations will look at how they can use training, digital platforms and other workplace experiences to attract and retain contractors and freelancers who know the business and have proven skills.

FS organizations will also increasingly look at leveraging external digital talent marketplaces and crowdsourcing platforms to access skills on demand. This can help them rapidly ramp up and taper down their workforces in line with seasonal or project demands—supporting the drive in many organizations to arrange work around projects rather than around job titles and roles. In addition, it will become increasingly common for FS organizations to pool talent with their ecosystem partners.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, changing worker expectations are one major reason for the shift towards a more liquid definition of employment and work. Many people with valuable skills—from young professionals with technical skills to baby boomers nearing retirement age—are seeking a more flexible employment model that enables them to pursue their lifestyle goals or more varied work opportunities.

FS organizations, facing a chronic skills shortage, are starting to give them the freedom they seek. After all, fewer than one in five college graduates want to work for a large company (Accenture 2017 U.S. College Graduate Employment Study) while 40 percent of companies are already reporting talent shortages, according to the Manpower Group’s 2016/2017 Talent Survey.

Many FS firms are struggling to attract top young talent in a world where people are gravitating towards self-employment or opportunities with digital firms. Tapping into an expanded workforce gives FS organizations access to talented professionals who do not wish to work full-time for a bank or insurance company.

In my next post, I shall discuss some of the obstacles FS organizations face in reimagining their workforce and taking advantage of new models of employment.

In the meantime, you can read our Future Workforce research for banking and insurance to learn more about how FS organizations can reimagine work, pivot their workforce to new growth models and ‘new skill’ their people to do more valuable work in preparation for the future.

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