With the global economy gradually opening up, the private sector is hiring again. The International Labour Organization expects global employment recovery to accelerate in the second half of 2021. This uptick is possible with the global economy projected to expand by 5.9% in 2021 by the IMF, representing the strongest “post-recession pace” in around eight decades.
As the world comes together to chart a path out of the pandemic-induced downturn, companies must focus on attracting top talent to seize the opportunities arising from global economic growth. After all, as McKinsey & Co states, a top performer yields up to 67% more productivity and profit than an average performer. With so much at stake, this is just the right time to revisit your hiring strategy and get creative about attracting the right talent.
Fintech is likely to be among the sectors spearheading global economic growth. The global Fintech market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.41% between 2021 and 2026 to reach a value of approximately $324 billion in the next five years.
Besides enabling financial inclusion, the Fintech ecosystem will be a significant employment generator, as it continues to grow. Here's a look at how hiring for this sector is different from hiring in the traditional BFSI.
Hiring in Fintech vs. Traditional BFSI
While traditional BFSI focuses on expertise in the financial domain, Fintech needs people who have multi-domain knowledge, given that it is inherently innovative and largely tech-based. Companies in the Fintech space typically follow a steep learning curve, which is possible with young professionals who are open to learning and unlearning. Given this, Fintech firms are ideal for tech-savvy millennials.
Fintechs are highly agile organisations. Their success depends on adapting to rapidly-changing technologies and driving superior customer experience. People working at Fintechs cannot be resistant to change. On the contrary, they are expected to have the ability to adapt quickly, think on their feet, and work across functions. Fintechs have a more integrated workplace than legacy financial institutions. Teams frequently work together on various projects. They are encouraged to think out of the box, take on responsibilities, and adopt a fail-fast, learn-quick approach. In a way, Fintechs support a multi-disciplinary culture, which needs people to learn continuously to succeed.
Since the structure here is far leaner, the culture is more open. People are encouraged to ask questions, share ideas, and suggest different ways of doing things.
With deep roots in the financial sector, BFSI companies tend to have a traditional corporate culture focused on operations and structure, employee benefits, vertical career hierarchies, compliance, and risk management. In contrast, Fintechs encourage a system of innovation and creative problem solving.
What is the multi-domain knowledge Fintech recruiters keep talking about? Here’s a little insight into it.
- Technical: Fintech is among the few sectors at the epicentre of technological advancements. Firms in the space require technical experts such as DevOps, Cloud and data specialists, Blockchain and Cybersecurity experts, AI and ML professionals and even UI/UX designers. At Fintech firms, technical skills are high in demand.
- Financial: Fintechs are leading innovations in finance, which is why there is a need for people with deep financial knowledge. Professionals who have previously worked in legacy banks, investment houses, brokerages and insurance companies are highly sought after. Knowledge of the payments ecosystem, corporate and individual loans, money and wealth management, and insurance is integral for professionals operating in business roles at Fintech firms.
- On-the-Go Problem Solving: Customers today expect personalised solutions and a seamless experience from Fintechs. This is why creativity, openness to experimenting and a unique approach to problem solving are built into the DNA of Fintech teams.
- Innovation: The best innovators are those that understand what keeps their customers up at night and are able to fill the gap with effective solutions. At the same time, they need to be passionate about creating products that are differentiated and offer a competitive edge. This is why Fintech hiring involves candidates who are less compartmentalised in their thinking.
- Emotional Intelligence: High EQ is emerging as one of the top requirements in the modern workplace. It takes a degree of emotional intelligence, with qualities like social awareness, sensitivity and empathy to have a fresh perspective towards problem solving.
- What is most challenging about Fintech hiring is the significantly higher cost of a wrong hire, as teams in Fintech are much smaller than at traditional BFSI firms. Therefore, HR professionals must continue to find new and creative techniques for evaluating candidates.
Since Fintechs hire candidates who are highly driven and focused on learning, companies must offer exciting growth opportunities to retain them. It’s important that HR not just hire right, but also identify ways of engaging and retaining talent.