How to Enable New Career Pathways and Internal Talent Mobility in the Banking Sector

Many business sectors are going through a period of organizational and business transformation — and the banking sector is no exception. Changes in customer demand, new market entrants, increased technological capabilities and COVID-19 disruptions have all prompted banks to rethink the skills, behaviors and attitudes required by their workforces. It is not only a question of digital transformation but also one of skills and values.

To gain more insight into the key areas of focus for banking sector talent leaders, we hosted a series of fireside conversations. This was an opportunity to hear about the challenges they face and how these are being met. The conclusions and outputs from these conversations are drawn together in our paper — Building a New Better in Banking.

Internal mobility and career progression needs rethinking

There is no doubt that the landscape of current job roles and future careers is changing. Automation, digitalization and shifts in business strategy are leading to some roles becoming obsolete, while new positions open up. Employees who may have seen a career, and the associated job stepping stones stretching out before them, are now faced with a less-defined pathway. Couple this with the need for greater agility and the acquisition of more ‘future’ skills and talent leaders need to rethink internal mobility and career progression.

Promote internal mobility in your organization

  • Internal mobility can help an organization bridge the future skills gap. Our research has found that 38% of financial services firms are actively evaluating and updating their reskilling and upskilling programs.
  • Rather than letting people go and rehiring new staff, retaining talent through upskilling and moving them to a different role can lead to better engagement, increased diversity and save the cost of termination fees and new-hire costs.
  • To increase internal talent mobility, organizations need to understand the roles that the business now requires and the skills that these will need. Openness and transparency with the current workforce impacted by role changes is essential, as well as the support to learn and acquire new skills.

As Kumar Kymal, Global Head of Compensation and Benefits at the Bank of New York Mellon, states in our Banking white paper about his bank’s talent development strategy: “We are looking to make our organization much more learning-focused to ensure we are fully prepared to build our future workforce.”

Allow employees to own their career

There has been a recognizable shift in career ownership. A decade or so ago, employees had clear visibility of their next role — and the one after that. They could see how they would progress through different departments and job titles and what training and development they might require. An annual review with their line manager would set in place the development courses or any specific training needed.

Now, against the backdrop of an increasingly unpredictable career landscape in which careers rarely follow a traditional linear path, individuals are more frequently taking responsibility for their own career development. We see this as no longer being the ‘career ladder’ but, with careers taking sideways steps to acquire different experiences and exposure, it is now the ‘career climbing wall’. There is no set route mapped out to reach the destination. Individuals need access to see the options available to them.

Delegation not abdication of career support

If individuals own the different career options, the implication is that career progression is becoming less central to organizational talent management practices. Has the organization given up its responsibility in career development? We believe not.

The organization has a part to play in making sure that individuals have access to tools which give them an insight into their strengths and highlight the role possibilities ahead.

How talent assessment can help

Talent assessment has a proven role within hiring and development. It can help identify those with the skills, abilities and competencies for a role.

Aon’s Pathfinder tool extends assessment into career pathing. It profiles an individual’s strengths and highlights their development areas. It can then present their ‘fit’ with roles across an organization. It supports career ownership, lateral career movement and more agile career paths. Pathfinder goes beyond traditional career support tools that are focused on interests and preferences. Instead, it measures the alignment between an individual and a job role or family — it then signposts areas for learning and development.

Contact us to learn more about how you could support new career pathways and internal talent mobility for your workforce.

About the Author

Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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