Banks are rethinking branch strategies in light of the fact that consumers are no longer coming to branches for regular banking needs for financial advice. Responding to new customer needs poses a challenge: finding the talented employees we need.
This is the first part of a series on hiring and training processes in banking.
It’s no secret that every industry struggles to find and keep great talent. From the “big quit” to a historically tight labor market, banks have also felt the pressure, especially with changing consumer expectations.
In particular, banks are rethinking branch strategies in view of the fact that consumers no longer come to branches for regular banking needs but rather for financial advice. As a result, banks are now looking for employees who can perform a more universal role than traditional employees who focus primarily on selling banking services.
But that can be quite a challenge for banks, especially given their size, and lead to stagnation for both current employees and hiring practices for new ones.
“Banks are large organizations that often need organizational change. It is very common for processes and systems to overlap old ones, or for programs that should be retired to drag on, and for cultural assumptions to persist even when ‘They’re irrelevant,’ Melinda Deines, brand and marketing strategist at Shikatoni Lacroix Design, a design agency specializing in retail and banking, said in an email interview. “Over time, this can create a lot of friction for employees and can lead to feelings of stagnation.”
So how can banks solve this problem and find good employees? For Bristol County Savings Bank in Massachusetts, it was about casting a wider net.
James Ferrara, Bristol’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer, said his bank uses methods such as:
- Publication on social networks of job offers.
- Increase employee referral bonuses to $1,000.
- Using Boolean search strings to identify potential employees on LinkedIn.
- Connecting managers/collaborators.
- Internship programs.
- Work with supplier recruitment firms.
“Given the complexities we face (‘Big Resignation’, ‘Silent Resignation’ and rapid salary inflation), the best thing we can do is create as wide a funnel as possible to develop pipelines of constructive candidates” , Ferrara said in an email. interview. “Once the candidate stream was developed, we didn’t abandon our interest in identifying candidates who fit the culture and skills. We use Predictive Index to create second-tier screening.”
Another way Bristol expands its talent pool is to reach diverse audiences and stay involved in the community.
“Many of our job postings and other niche sites allow us to reach candidates in alternative ways. Disabled, military, LGBTQ, etc.,” Ferrara said.
Regarding community engagement, Ferrara said the bank is involved with several nonprofits, which helps build brand recognition for future employees.
However, with banks or any business, hiring is only the first step. Banks should strive to maintain employee commitment to the organization. Bristol has developed ‘Stay Interviews’ to address this issue to encourage active communication between management and employees.
“We recently conducted residency interviews and asked managers to answer a series of questions with employees to gauge the level of commitment to advocating for the previously mentioned complexities. The heart and soul of the residency interview was to formalize discussions between manager and employee to ensure they were more connected given the complexities,” Ferrara said. “All of these actions help us keep up with the continued growth and demands of our customers. With committed and trained staff, we can support our customers to the highest degree possible.”
At a deeper level, banks are exploring methods to influence customer and employee behavior. In particular, some are looking at behavioral science, Deines said.
“Over the past two years, with labor shortages, we’ve seen tremendous interest in using behavioral science to hire, engage and retain employees, and we’ve been working on several such initiatives. .”
In Part 2, we will examine some of these initiatives in more detail.
Bradley Cooper is the publisher of ATM Marketplace and was previously the publisher of Digital Signage Today. He has a background in information technology, advertising and writing.