Talent troubles It is known that tech firms are plundering university departments of robotics and machine learning graduates, and other
sectors are struggling to keep up. Speaking to a top US bank revealed the intensity in Manhattan: “Competitors are a few blocks away, so it is about staying relevant, but our workplaces are not that different. To the younger generations, learning and proximity to superiors is vital, rather than novelty aesthetics.” While one bank may be worried about their US neighbours, Morgan Stanley highlights the international competition in countries such as India, where the organisation’s campus is situated a stone’s throw from two US merchant banking competitors.
They’re not wrong; Leesman data dispels the millennials myth at its core. Across the database, the youngest employees report the highest Leesman Lmi scores. Complexity drives the correlation with the need for a variety of workspaces; with those successfully adopting Activity-based Working as those with the highest complexity scores. On average, those surveyed under 25 select 8.9 activities to be important to them (out of 21 possible), compared to 11.1 among those aged 45 – 54. So, it is somewhat unsurprising that they are satisfied.
Then there are the sub-sectors whose challenge is beyond talent retention and is on attraction. Federal Credit Unions, though a smaller group at just over 6,000 in the US, serving 45% of the economically active US population, struggle to compete for dynamic younger talent within the sector itself. For such legacy institutions, the need for digital transformation and customer centricity hinge even more on a relevant workforce. And the workplace is a significant business lever to improve talent attraction as competition stiffens.
Denis McGowan, Global Head of Real Estate at Standard Chartered Bank, explains the picture is more nuanced in attracting the best young talent: “The Bank’s competitors are now the non-banks, including payments companies and ecommerce. Starchy old banks are no longer the place to be. Due to many reasons, the employment contract, tech solutions, the ability to bring own devices to work are all pieces that make it an attractive place… workplace is a strategic advantage in the war for talent.” Certainly, the traditional hiring process for banks, mopping up MBA students, is going through a shake-up, including moving internal talent, behavioural profiling, increasing contractors and leveraging social media.