A New Take on Talent

CEOs are generally optimistic about the economy and their own company prospects, but are concerned about the impact of factors beyond their control such as regulatory change and geopolitical instability, along with industry disruption from new entrants. In PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey we look at how business leaders are finding new ways to compete in an era of unprecedented digital change. PwC surveyed 1,322 CEOs across 77 countries and a range of industries in the last quarter of 2014, and conducted face-to-face interviews with 33 CEOs.

By PriceWaterHouseCoopers


In ‘A marketplace without boundaries? Responding to disruption’, we explore three implications of this changing competitive landscape for CEOs. They need to understand how to create new value in new ways through digital transformation; develop diverse and dynamic partnerships; and find different ways of thinking and working. And to succeed, business leaders will have to show vision and flexibility in thinking, be sincere and courageous, and take demonstrable action that drives changes in behaviour. CEOs represent the external brand.


“Businesses aren’t just competing for seasoned FS professionals, but also the more diverse and hybrid types of talent demanded in a sector facing the disruptive impact of new technology, more complex regulation and increasing competition from new entrants. From the development of sharper HR analytics to tapping into new pools of talent, most FS organisations are only just beginning to get to grips with these challenges, creating opportunities for forward thinking and faster moving businesses to pull ahead.”


Drawing on the findings of the latest Global CEO Survey and our wide-ranging work with FS clients, this report explores what kind of people are needed to take the business forward in this transforming marketplace, how to attract, retain and reward them and how to optimise their performance. The report concludes by setting out the key talent priorities for CEOs and HR:


Priorities for CEOs and HR


1. Lead from the front

It’s vital that leaders clearly articulate the strategy, purpose and brand promise of the organisation, along with the expected behaviours that underpin this.


Some of the most critical strategic decisions centre on people and skills. ‘What are the capabilities we need to compete? ‘Can we train or hire the right people or will we need to partner with others?’ ‘How do we foster collaboration and common goals within an increasingly diverse workforce?’


CEOs should take the lead in shaping the incentives, reward policies and, where necessary, sanctions that are needed to encourage and enforce the right behaviours.


It’s important to be clear, consistent and decisive in the way behaviour is monitored, good behaviour rewarded and bad behaviour identified and addressed. Violating corporate policies that reflect the organisation’s values and expected behavioural norms, including risk management policies, must have consequences for the individuals who fail to comply. This is the right thing to do for shareholders, customers and is certainly expected by the regulators and the public at large. This is the way CEOs align behaviour and culture with strategic business objectives.


2. Develop a coherent workforce plan

It’s important to develop a more proactive, systematic and centralised workforce plan, capable of anticipating what kind people are needed and where they should be deployed to meet business objectives. The considerations include how to ensure business planning is appropriately aligned with recruitment and what operations could be automated or outsourced.


3. Adapt to new market demands

The need to adapt talent to the demands of a fast-evolving marketplace will require a major programme of training and development within the organisation. This includes developing new types of analytical and technology skills. Some of the people you need to take the business forward will also come from other industries or can be accessed through partnerships with niche organisations.


4. Rethink what we mean by talent

Certain roles may be significantly disrupted in the future, such as tellers in a newly digitised environment, while other roles will see significant change such as a loan officer shifting from analysing credit scores and administering loans to building trust, anticipating and changing client needs. Customers want trusted business relationships with FS organisations and don’t want to be treated as simply a transaction or counterparty to a trade. This will require talent that understands customer needs and how to build trust and long-term relationships.


5. Embrace diversity

A new marketplace needs a broader talent pool and new ways of thinking. It’s therefore important for CEOs and their HR teams to take a more active role in seeking out fresh sources of talent, encouraging divergent thinking and broadening the criteria for succession planning.


6. Be realistic about reward

Financial rewards are being reduced by lower returns, by new rules on compensation and by relentless political and media scrutiny. FS organisations are in need of fresh talent and skills just as they are becoming less competitive in the talent market. They will need to offer more than money and manage employee expectations on compensation, while not compromising on culture.


7. Apply analytical rigour

Using big data and other advanced analytical tools to sharpen the precision and proactivity of talent planning and performance management and then speed up the response. New techniques such as surveillance data will also be crucial in analysing patterns of behaviour and deterring/detecting misconduct.


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This report is a summary of the key findings on talent in the financial services industry, based on interviews with 410 financial services CEOs in 62 countries and in-depth interviews with Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Desjardins Group, Christian Laub, CEO, Credicorp Capital, Alexey Marey, Chief Executive Officer, Alfa Bank, Ross McEwan, Group Chief Executive, RBS, Beth E. Mooney, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KeyCorp, John Neal, CEO, QBE Group and Atsushi Saito, Director & Representative Executive Officer, Group CEO, Japan Exchange Group Inc.


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