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How strategic workforce planning can close the skills gap in financial services

Learn how financial services organizations can use data and workforce intelligence to support strategic workforce planning and reskilling programs

Financial services is a prime example of a sector facing unprecedented changes and challenges. Driving these changes are emerging factors such as the impact of digital technology on business models, the need for new sources of growth and profitability, the evolving nature of globalization, the aging workforce and growing influence of millennials, and shifting regulatory imperatives.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released a report in 2020 titled "The Future of Jobs Report,” which included insights on the financial services industry and hiring trends. The report highlights the impact of technology and automation on the industry, and the changing skills and competencies needed for success in the workforce.

A few key takeaways from the report:

  1. Technology and automation are changing the nature of work in financial services, with increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other new technologies.

  2. The adoption of technology is driving demand for new skills and competencies, including data analysis, digital literacy, and critical thinking.

  3. In response to these changes, financial services organizations are increasingly focused on reskilling and upskilling their existing workforce, rather than relying solely on external hiring.

To master the forces of change, financial services companies must significantly alter the ways they attract, develop and retain talent. New skill sets will be needed to execute future business plans. An agile, flexible workforce will be required to respond to changing business needs while optimizing productivity. Different approaches to the workplace, such as more flexible career paths, emphasis on work/life balance and tailored employee benefits, will be essential to develop and motivate a new generation of employees.

How strategic workforce planning can create a more agile organization

Strategic workforce planning is the process that helps organizations identify and plan for the workforce skills and competencies they need to achieve their strategic goals. In the financial services industry in particular, strategic workforce planning can be an effective tool to plan for a variety of economic scenarios and better position an organization to attract, retain and develop a skilled workforce.

The key areas to consider when planning a more agile workforce are:

1. Identify skills gaps

By analyzing your workforce, you can identify skill gaps and develop strategies to fill those gaps through recruitment, training, and internal talent development.

2. Develop a talent pipeline

Create a robust pipeline of talent to ensure that your organization has the right people in the right positions. This means creating a clear picture of the skills and competencies needed for different roles and identifying the best sources of talent, such as internal development programs or external recruitment.

3. Create a culture of learning

A culture of learning within an organization, where employees are encouraged to develop their skills and competencies, can be achieved through training and development programs, mentoring and coaching, and other learning opportunities. The 2020 WEF report emphasizes the importance of adaptability and continuous learning in the financial services industry, as organizations navigate the changing landscape of technology and work. In fact, in this report, 44% of chief HR officers of financial services firms rated processing power/big data as a top driver of change in the industry.

4. Retain key talent

Identify and retain key talent by understanding the skills and competencies that are most critical to their success. By developing targeted retention strategies for key talent, such as offering development opportunities and career progression, organizations can reduce turnover and retain their most valuable employees.


Strategic workforce planning can help financial services organizations close the skills gap by ensuring that they have the right people with the right skills and competencies in the right positions to achieve their strategic objectives. By investing in this level of planning for your workforce, your organization can develop a competitive advantage and drive long-term success.

The role of data in strategic workforce planning

None of the above works without data. Predictive analytics, including enhanced forecasting tools, can play an important role in workforce planning and talent development, enabling HR to map emerging job categories, identify skills overlaps and gaps, and anticipate changing skills requirements.

In order to plan for the future, it is imperative that you and your teams have an understanding of the skills and competencies your current employees possess – whether they are currently using them on the job or not. If you want to plan for reskilling part of your workforce in preparation for new technology, having insight into what skills your workforce currently holds, along with their areas of interest for career development, is crucial. Agility means that you can find internal talent with the closest skills match to future roles, and that you can move more rapidly to redeployment. 

Date plus agility directly impacts the bottom line. In a 2022 report from the Financial Services Skills Commission, 82% of financial services leaders say reskilling ensured employees were prepared for future roles because of investment in forecasting and building future skills. Additionally, 65% say reskilling reduced the need to hire externally, reducing contractor costs and redundancy costs.

How Reejig can support closing the skills gap in financial services

Leading financial services institutions are using Reejig’s award-winning workforce intelligence platform to future-proof their workforces. As the world’s most powerful workforce intelligence platform, Reejig provides 100% visibility into the skills across their workforce so they can find, reskill, and retain their talent at scale.


leader-team-img-1Learn how Reejig supports financial services organizations using workforce intelligence.

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