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Getting It Right
With Digital Talent

How can investment banks win the competition for talent against companies that seem to offer more interesting and meaningful work?

To succeed in the future, investment banks might need to ramp up their efforts to attract and retain the best and brightest. That means introducing new ways of working, making jobs more appealing, and creating a workplace that encourages collaboration and values creativity.

Fortunately for them, machines are ready to help.

The brain drain

Recent US graduates want a personalized career experience. They want interesting and meaningful work that ignites their passions. And they want an open and engaging culture. For most new hires, investment banks—particularly the large ones—just don’t tick those boxes.

It’s not just young professionals who are staying away. Older workers seem to be tired of toiling in an industry that is losing money and operating under increasingly tighter regulatory restrictions. For these professionals, the lack of investment banking’s innovation potential is a major reason they are seeking opportunities elsewhere.1

Only 7 percent of US graduates saw banking and capital markets as a top industry to work for.

Human and machine

Digital technologies are poised to change the way investment banks’ workforces operate. With the advent of advanced analytics, automation, cognitive computing and robotics, the future workforce of investment banking might not comprise human or machine. Rather, it could be made up of both.

Banks could embrace both humans and machines as critical “co-workers.” And they might play to the strengths of both. That translates into new opportunities to create new roles or change existing ones, monitor worker engagement and satisfaction, and improve the overall work experience.

82 percent of employees indicate they expect digital to transform their work in the next three years.

Enriching work. Engaging workers.

In addition to automating routine work processes, machines could improve banks’ decision-making, emotional intelligence and relationships. And they could enhance skills that are inherently human such as “people skills,” innovation, empathy, judgment and complex problem solving.

Banks could embrace both humans and machines as critical “co-workers.” And they might play to the strengths of both. That translates into new opportunities to create new roles or change existing ones, monitor worker engagement and satisfaction, and improve the overall work experience.

For workers to embrace machines as co-workers, they need to first trust the advice of intelligent systems.

Managers we surveyed indicated three things would close the trust gap: Understanding how the system works (60 percent); ensuring the system has a field tested track record (55 percent); and using a system that explains its logic (49 percent).

Next steps

Conduct strategic workforce planning

As machines can take over certain tasks, consider what human capabilities can be augmented, where they are needed most, and how to reskill people for more valuable work.

Create an “always learning” organization

Banks need multi-skilled generalists who are able to continuously learn and develop skills as roles in investment banking continue to change. To achieve the right blend of capabilities, revise training programs and performance criteria to include collaboration and continuous learning.

Use performance management as a development tool

Incorporate coaching and feedback from managers, employees and even smart machines to help people learn, experiment and constantly improve.

Transform managers into machine collaborators who excel in judgment work

Realign talent sourcing, development and reward strategies. Shift leadership behavior from issuing commands to orchestrating networks.

Build a culture of trust

Achieving the level of trust that’s needed in the machine age requires transparent communications and the involvement of the entire organization to co-create the change.

Conclusion

Securing investment banks’ future workforce is a critical priority.

Today, machines—from big data and analytics, to robotics to artificial intelligence and cognitive computing—could be used to create better, more interesting and more meaningful employee experiences.

We have moved past the period of machines being passive assistants. They might be active advisors and partners in a dynamic and innovative workforce of the future. It’s time for banks to seize the machine potential to win the competition for talent.

Challenge Highlights

Digital tools, analytics and robotics have the potential to help investment banks not only attract top talent, but also engage existing workers.

Get in touch

Payal Vasudeva
London
Katherine LaVelle
Washington D.C.
Marissa Gilbert
Philadelphia
Gary Childs
London