Published on 23rd January 2019
Nick Waterworth, Ambition Co-Founder/Group CEO comments on an article in the Australian Financial Review.
I have been talking for a while about soft skills becoming the hard skills that employers will focus on more-and-more, so it is interesting to see this line of thinking pursued by PWC in relation to the baking sector.
“Colin Heath, the firm's (PWC) banking and capital markets leader, said banks will find it harder to assess staff based on more subjective attributes compared to the hard outcomes contained in many key performance indicators (KPIs) but they need to try. Digital literacy, global awareness and creativity will also become more important traits for budding bankers, who will need to display an ability to understand customers, ask probing questions and speak up when they see problems”.
Here at Ambition, we absolutely agree with this, and the smart banks, insurance companies, fund managers etc will increasingly adopt this and use it as a positive, even marketing, initiative.
Hayne royal commission could trigger overhaul of hiring practices at banks
The royal commission could trigger an overhaul of bank hiring practices, with PwC suggesting that to restore community trust, recruiting and promotions should be based on personal attributes, such as adaptability and morality, rather than specific skills and qualifications.
Ahead of the expected delivery of the royal commission final report to the government at the end of next week, PwC sent a note to clients on Monday saying the inquiry provided an "opportunity for more rigour in the way banks select and evaluate candidates for roles". They should "focus on more testing for personality traits rather than technical skill, knowledge and experience, which can be acquired".
The four major banks directly employ almost 160,000 people at a cost of over $20 billion a year. They spend about the same amount on indirect employees, including contractors, suppliers and consultants.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne said at the banking royal commission that banks had pursued "short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty". Internet
After commissioner Kenneth Hayne in his interim report criticised a culture of greed in the banks driven by "the pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty", PwC says banks must develop new systems to identify key staff attributes to help them repair battered reputations. The five attributes are: wisdom, courage, adaptability, morality and resilience.
Technological changes sweeping through the financial services industry reinforce the need to make fundamental changes to human resources departments and hiring policies, the paper says. "In a world where roles may become redundant at a faster pace, we need to place additional emphasis on selecting people who are 'right for the organisation' rather than 'right for one role'."
Colin Heath, the firm's banking and capital markets leader, said banks will find it harder to assess staff based on more subjective attributes compared to the hard outcomes contained in many key performance indicators (KPIs) but they need to try. Digital literacy, global awareness and creativity will also become more important traits for budding bankers, who will need to display an ability to understand customers, ask probing questions and speak up when they see problems, he said.
Bank CEOs are trying to pre-empt the final report's recommendations by highlighting the need for cultural changes to staff. For example, Westpac Banking Corp chief executive Brian Hartzer led a project, known internally as "Navigate", in the second half of last year based on concerns bad news was not being communicated to senior management.
Westpac and the other big banks want to create safe environments for customer-facing staff to report poor practices and policies up the line. This is necessary to ensure senior executives and bank directors comply with the government's Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR), which gives the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority the power to levy fines and kick senior bankers out of the industry if they can't grasp key risks and operations.
Hiring more staff from technology companies – which the majors are doing to lift capability in data analytics – will not provide the solution, PwC suggests. "Many bank insiders today believe their first priority is to recruit from companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft," the paper says, but "unfortunately, there are no superheroes that can fly in to save the industry".
Risk and compliance jobs to reach record levels in 2019
Advisers expect the final report of the royal commission to presage widespread changes to staff assessment processes in banks, including the introduction of team-based, rather than individual, financial targets for front-line staff and the possible removal of sales-based benchmarks. "The simplest and most comprehensive severance may be the adoption of a flat share of a variable pay pool that varies with overall entity performance," the interim report suggested.
PwC points to the growing body of work in experimental psychology and behavioural economics demonstrating traditional performance assessment frameworks "can not only incentivise dysfunctional behaviour and organisational dynamics, but can also inhibit individual and team performance".
It suggests "intrinsic rewards need to be more deliberately offered to foster a culture based on personal attributes, for example, providing employees with a sense of meaningfulness and purpose."
Banks have also been accelerating cultural reform in the wake of the prudential inquiry into Commonwealth Bank of Australia's governance, which followed revelations it didn't do enough to prevent its ATM machines being used for money laundering. Anti-money laundering specialists have become some of the most sought after and highly paid compliance professionals in banking, PwC said.
But "at its core, AML is a job for the entire organisation and everyone in it, it's not just the responsibility of the compliance analyst," it said. "AML is the art and discipline of understanding customers, asking questions, connecting dots and speaking up."
Originally posted by the Australian Financial Review on the 21st January 2019,
Please find links to the original articles below.
Hayne royal commission could triggeroverhaul of hiring practices at banks by James Eyers
Risk and compliance jobs to reach record levels in 2019 By Luke Housego