RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The future of financial services demands different work and different skills, with artificial intelligence playing an integral role.
  • As people are vital to this future, HR can play a key role in guiding organizations through this change.
  • But HR must first transform itself into a tech-savvy function with a command of what work needs to be done and by whom.


The financial services industry is facing a future in which technology-augmented workers perform different tasks with different skills. An important question is: who will drive this change? As people will be a critical element for success, Human Resources (HR) has the opportunity to lead the transformation. But to do so, some things must change:

  • HR must lose its fear of technology; it should embrace data and digital technology for their ability to help reshape the workforce and the nature of work.
  • HR has to keep its eye on the human side of the equation; technology is important, but how it’s applied is even more important.
  • HR should acknowledge management concerns about cost reduction while leading the charge to develop a workforce that operates effectively with machines and with outside partners.

This calls for a new expansive mindset, thinking about constructive change for the workforce rather than downsizing and cost-cutting.

Changing the Financial Services HR concept

HR functions in financial services should become more proactive, creating a simpler and more direct path to engage employees and their concerns about career paths and personal development. The use of digital HR technology is essential for success.

HR should have the technological expertise necessary to help the organization seize the value inherent in a workforce transformed by innovations in cloud, mobile, AI, robotics and other technologies. It should work with the whole organization to realize the potential of a blended, augmented workforce.

Above all, Human Resources needs to be on top of the ‘how, what and who’ of the new financial services workplace.

Moving human capital management to the cloud

Cloud offers financial services HR teams built-in advantages such as standardized processes, an improved consumer-grade user interface, and a platform for consolidated reporting and analysis. The application of cloud sets organizations up for ongoing innovation and lays the foundation for greater digital agility.

With cloud, teams no longer need to be constrained by a customized HR platform; they can take advantage of customer-driven enhancements. The goal is to keep the system capable of moving the levers that HR needs to use.

Using data and analytics to gain insight into financial services workforce trends, gaps and risks

While cloud offerings can establish a level of standardization, insights from data and analytics inform planning and strategy for HR functions, helping HR become focused on the future. These insights also help organizations adopt a personalized approach to people interventions. Through analytics, HR functions can look at different workforce segments to improve workforce effectiveness and productivity.

Digitizing talent acquisition

Organizations are now looking to create rich human and digital experiences to attract the top talent in their industry. They seek to build a strong employer brand with a personality that demonstrates the organization’s human values. Digital tools can help financial services HR in every stage of the talent acquisition cycle, including attracting, sourcing, selecting, offering and hiring, and onboarding employees.

Is your HR function ready to become tech-savvy and tech-empowered?

About the Authors

Andy Young

Change Lead – Talent & Organization for Financial Services​


Mel Lee

HR Transformation Lead – Accenture Financial Services


Susan Rice

Management Consultant – Talent & Organization for Financial Services​


Thomas Goodacre

Managing Director – Technology Consulting, Talent & Organization for Financial Services​


Nicole Knott

Senior Manager – Talent and Organization for Financial Services

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