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Transforming Financial Services One Data Point at a Time

Digital transformation in financial services offers numerous benefits, but a lack of skills or training can impede progress. It’s time for a data-driven approach to talent acquisition.

Financial institutions collect more customer data than any other industry as part of their know your customer (KYC) mandate. What happens to the data after collection is somewhat of a mystery, as it’s not easy to find when needed. PwC research confirms that: “By some estimates, businesses use only 0.5% of available data. To turn data into insights, firms must overcome data stuck in silos and incompatible formats.”

One area especially ripe for converting data to insights is talent acquisition. Having to start every job requisition from scratch and then wade through the responses is costly and makes it easy to overlook the best talent.

The finance talent acquisition landscape

Talent teams leave a big source of value on the table by not exploiting the data they already have to find the right talent. This is extremely relevant to finance talent teams because “44% of chief HR officers of financial services firms rated processing power/big data as a top driver of change in the industry,” according to a report by asset management firm Mercer. 

Finance talent teams must adapt to digital, data-driven HR systems and processes “to support more effective recruitment and development, match skills with open roles and personalize benefits programs,” the report notes. “The HR challenges caused by technological transformation are evident in every corner of the financial services sector.”

At the same time, finance teams face a huge skills gap that needs to be filled given the current situation. “Nearly three-fourths of financial services executives (73%) cite a lack of skills or insufficient training as the biggest challenge to moving forward with a new digital initiative,” according to BDO’s 2019 Middle Market Digital Transformation Survey. 

The Hays UK Salary and Recruiting Trends guide uncovered similar findings, noting 68% of moderate to extreme skills shortages are in finance and accountancy. Further compounding the matter is a shortage of suitable applicants, acknowledged by 76% of employers. 

Indeed, a number of people left the industry as the economic downturn ensued, putting mid-level managers in high demand. Financial institutions have been forced to promote people with inexperience to fill these roles or hire people with no financial services experience, increasing costs due to the amount of training needed. 

Resourcing the right talent fast is paramount. Financial firms must transform from reactive talent recruiting to proactive. To do that requires a different approach. 

Data can make all the difference

What’s needed is a talent data platform built for the future of talent acquisition, one that gives finance talent teams access to data from different sources all in one place. Providing a single source of truth, this central database merges information from various solutions to empower talent teams to make proactive decisions. 

Talent teams can gain insights into data connections and view the data in any way desired: by skill, engagement, or a custom field. They can get as granular as needed, even tracking referral information, diversity data and willingness to relocate. 

Your organization stays in control, collecting the data that matters and then slicing and dicing it in the way that makes the most sense for the business needs. You can filter searches to segment candidates and create pools to help eliminate skills gaps. And, you can leverage automated workflows to anonymize and archive data according to company policy.

How a talent data platform works

Traditional databases are built to store data a certain way: in relational (think spreadsheets) or non-relational (think documents) tables. These tables lack connections between the data points. When forced to rely on data in these formats, companies waste time, energy, resources and opportunities — and risk being out of compliance. 

A talent data platform stores data in a graph database that allows for modeling and multidimensional connections between the various data points. This enables the finding of patterns within the data. For example, talent teams can link jobs, companies, skills and candidates. The platform provides context around each data point to help HR teams quickly identify the best-fit talent for any given role. 

That means you can compare candidates’ current skills and their ability to learn new ones to help you plan for your current and future hiring needs. Data is consistently refreshed, leading to up-to-date reporting that doesn’t waste time. 

Equipped with a single talent profile that encompasses demographic, behavioral, relational and engagement data, you’ll be in a position to provide accurate personalization, save time and money, and convert candidates in the most meaningful ways. 

Data security comes standard in a talent data platform, so you can rest assured your candidate data is protected. The platform can also simplify data flow management and scale to help your organization stay compliant with regulatory requirements. In addition, you can enforce company-wide legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), China’s Data Security Law and Russia’s Personal Data Law. 

Learn how Beamery can help accelerate and automate sourcing, engagement and nurture in financial services.