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How to Win the Talent War in Financial Services 

May 30, 2023
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With inflation and rising interest rates decreasing demand from borrowers, the financial services industry is navigating uncertainty. Banks and credit unions have an opportunity to optimize their business and benefit from higher interest rates, though skilled-labor shortages and a significant amount of employees retiring have created challenges for many businesses.  

With unemployment remaining low in the finance sector at 2.9% as of January 2023, driving employee engagement is more important than ever for financial services leaders.  It’s not only a retention tool – but it’s also linked to improved business performance. According to Gallup, highly engaged employees increase profitability, productivity and customer loyalty. 

To attract and retain talent, leaders should understand the challenges finance professionals face, learn what they want out of their careers and invest in the tools they need to succeed and grow. 

Digital tools can reduce manual tasks, free staff to work on more strategic initiatives and allow banks and credit unions to do more with less. According to an American Banker survey, 72% of financial institutions plan to increase technology spending significantly or moderately in 2023. 

In this blog, we’ll look at three key insights from the AvidXchange, IOFM 2023 AP Professional Career Satisfaction survey that can help you drive employee engagement within your financial services company. 

1. Finance Employees Want to Know They’re Doing Meaningful Work

10% don’t feel at all connected to the mission or purpose of their organization. Educating finance employees on the impact of their insights and how they drive business results can lead to higher career satisfaction.  

“Those companies that are automated, they have people who are doing less manual tasks and who love the fact that their company has invested in this.”

2. Investing in Technology is an Investment in Your Employees’ Careers

85% of AP pros “agree” or “strongly agree” access to tools and technology helps with professional development. Giving your staff the tools and technology they need to be successful can improve their work experience, keep them around longer and allow them to grow. 

“We were using Excel and would walk around the building with folders of invoices to have management manually sign them. It was a huge challenge. … My team loves that the management team can approve invoices from their phone, so we don’t have to track them down.”

3. Growth Opportunities Lead to More Engaged Employees

84% of AP pros said learning or skills development opportunities are important when considering a job opportunity. Freeing finance staff from redundant, manual tasks can give them more time to work on higher-level, strategic initiatives. 

“There is a huge correlation in the data to show employee satisfaction is tied to automation. You would almost think that it’s inverse, that it’s like, ‘It’s taking my job, I’m afraid.’ And what you actually find is, ‘It’s taking all of the manual tasks I don’t want to do and it’s giving me the value-add activities that are left over, plus the additional stuff I never got to do.’”

Are You Ready to Help Your Financial Services Company Win the Talent Battle?

Over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic forced banks and credit unions to change the way they do business. On top of that, the financial services industry has seen a shift in digital transformations as well as a changing workforce. Many are retiring after decades in the industry; some are struggling to adopt new technologies while others entering the job market expect to have technology and tools in their roles. 

In fact, nearly half of the survey respondents said they would be “extremely unlikely” or “unlikely” to consider a job opportunity at an organization that didn’t have tools or technology in place to automate parts or all of their work. Ninety-three percent described their AP department as at least partially automated.   

If your bank or credit union is dealing with staffing challenges, now is the time to invest in a tool like AP automation to drive employee engagement. Allow your finance department to do more with less, focus on more strategic initiatives, increase compliance and optimize your business – they’ll thank you later.  

Download our guide, “9 Stats That Define the Modern AP Professional” for an in-depth look at how to attract and retain talent in a competitive market. 

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