A survey by people assessment firm, Talent Q, reveals that a significant majority of HR professionals in the sector (64%) expect their strategy regarding developing and retaining talent to remain unchanged over the next 12 months.
Of even greater concern is that despite the seismic changes affecting their operating environment, only one fifth of financial services sector companies will now be refocusing what they look for in employees.
This inflexibility contrasts sharply with the public sector, which has been the swiftest to adapt. Here some 82% report changes to talent management strategy and nearly half (44%) plan to refocus what they look for in employees.
The utilities and infrastructure industry has been similarly quick off the mark, with a quarter looking to update processes for recruitment, development and retaining staff and 50 per cent readdressing the skills and characteristics they are seeking.
Financial sector HR leaders do seem to realise that their lack of adaptability is a problem. When asked how well their key talent management processes meet the challenges for the year ahead, 64 per cent said significant attention needed to be paid to developing high performance teams.
With City job cuts amounting to thousands, succession planning should clearly be key, yet 55 per cent said that this area needed significant development.
Dr Alan Bourne, director of Talent Q, said:
“The overall results of the survey suggest that a minority of organisations take a proactive and strategic approach to talent management. This reinforces a concern that many organisations risk being unprepared for the ongoing challenges of the recession, thereby lengthening their organisation’s recovery process.
“Mass redundancies and the increased pressures brought about by the economic situation mean that it is more important than ever to get the best out of employees. The key imperative should be to identify potential and develop high performance, with succession planning and managing talent through periods of change being obvious priorities.
“Our study indicates opportunities for many organisations to perform better in relation to the management of people. We’d urge HR professionals to look again at their talent strategies and then deploy them more effectively by utilising the latest people assessment techniques.”