5 HR Challenges Facing Leaders In The Financial Services Industry - And How To Resolve Them

The financial services industry is by nature cautious when it comes to change. But, like many industries, new technologies and trends are rapidly transforming consumer needs and expectations. In seeking to adapt to these new demands, financial services organisations are increasingly looking for talented professionals with the skills and expertise to drive innovation and growth. Doing so, however, is not without its challenges. Competition for these skillsets is fierce, not just in the finance sector, but across the entire economy. HR will be central to overcoming these challenges and positioning financial services employers as the most attractive option.

HR Challenges Facing Leaders in the Financial Services Industry

HR leaders and talent acquisition professionals in the financial services industry are facing various challenges in today's market. Overcoming these challenges will require unique solutions to maintain a competitive edge and attract top talent:

1. Skill Shortages and Talent Gaps

The rapidly changing landscape of the financial services industry means organisations increasingly need to attract the right talent with the necessary skills and experience to drive growth and success. However, the competition for skilled professionals in areas such as technology, data analysis and risk management is intense, leaving many financial firms struggling to attract and retain top talent. It is essential for HR teams to develop strategies to bridge the skill gaps and attract top talent, ultimately driving the success of their business.

2. Retaining Mid-Career Talent

Experienced and skilled mid-career professionals bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their roles, making them valuable assets. However, retaining these professionals can be challenging, as they may feel stagnant in their roles or may seek better opportunities elsewhere. In fact, nearly 39% of employees say they will no longer be working in financial services in the next five years. Financial services HR teams must find ways to provide mid-career professionals with opportunities for growth, development, and new challenges to keep them engaged and motivated, ultimately reducing turnover and driving business success.

3. Improving Diversity and Inclusion

A diverse workforce with varied experiences and backgrounds can better understand and respond to the needs of a diverse consumer base, ultimately leading to improved innovation and performance. The financial services industry has historically struggled with diversity, particularly in terms of gender and ethnicity, resulting in a lack of representation and inclusion in leadership positions. HR teams must work to create an inclusive culture that fosters diversity of thought and experience, attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce, driving business success, and benefiting both employees and consumers.

4. Adapting to New Technologies

Rapidly evolving technological advancements and innovations are disrupting traditional finance business models. Those organisations that fail to keep up with these technological changes risk being left behind, losing market share to more agile and technologically advanced competitors. Developing strategies to attract and retain employees with the necessary technical skills and ensure that the workforce has the knowledge and resources to adapt to new technologies is a key challenge for HR teams.

5. Balancing Compliance and Flexibility

On one hand the industry must comply with stringent regulations and compliance requirements, leaving little room for flexibility. According to PWC increasing regulation is set to be the number one source of disruption for financial services firms over the next 12 months.  On the other employees increasingly seek flexible ways of working to maintain work-life balance, particularly in high-stress roles. HR teams must work to develop strategies that balance these competing demands, providing flexibility in terms of working hours, remote work arrangements, and job-sharing opportunities whilst meeting compliance standards.


Resolving HR Challenges in the Financial Services Industry

Solving the talent acquisition challenges facing the financial services industry requires implementing a range of strategies. These strategies can be incorporated together or singly depending on the specific needs of your organisation:

  • Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
    Much has been said on attracting new talent into the financial services industry and HR’s role in creating a workplace culture in which talent thrives should not be overlooked. While the industry has taken a more conservative approach to change than others, businesses need to offer more flexibility when it comes to ways of working and establish holistic Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) which position them as supportive employers. This combined with clear routes of career progression and upward mobility will encourage talent to stick around for longer, reducing recruiting and onboarding costs and keeping expertise in-house.

  • Fostering Diversity and Inclusion
    Creating a more welcoming and inclusive workplace can include expanding talent pools by targeting diverse communities and removing blocks in the hiring process that may disproportionately impact underrepresented groups. Offering training on inclusion and ensuring greater diversity on interview panels can also help. Finally, rethinking background checks to reduce potential biases can improve diversity and foster a more inclusive workplace culture.

  • Embracing Technology
    By using technology to automate manual HR tasks, HR teams can free up time to focus on candidate experience and other critical tasks, improving recruitment and retention rates. Technology can also help to streamline the hiring process, enhance the candidate experience, and offer more flexibility, ultimately creating a more attractive workplace for top talent.

  • Upgrading Skills
    Providing professional development and training in finance is essential for creating a competent and resilient workforce, for employees to remain competitive and to meet changing consumer demands. By offering a range of training programs that cover various roles, HR teams can ensure employees are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed. Moreover, data and cybersecurity training are increasingly important, given the rise in cyber threats and data breaches in the industry.


As the go-to recruitment consultants for finance, tech, and compliance roles, FinTop can help you develop a HR strategy designed to appeal to talented finance professionals.

Our consultants work to build an understanding of your unique HR needs which when combined with our specialised industry knowledge becomes a powerful tool to attract the perfect candidates with the skills you need for success.

Don’t waste time with the wrong candidates. Connect with your perfect match today.