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Banking's got talent

It's been nearly 40 years since the pop classic 9 to 5 blasted across the airwaves. In it, Dolly Parton gives a critique of the working practices of her day: what a way to make a living. In the intervening years, the world of work has changed, with more demands on our time and energy, but there are also new pressures on the organisations that employ us.

These pressures are driven by a mix of intersecting factors. Technology has made the world a smaller place, bridging time zones and creating multi-national infrastructures that never sleep. In addition, and partly as a result, a wholesale shift in customer expcetations is putting pressure on businesses to respond to market changes more quickly, meaning organisational structures need to become more nimble and flexible.

The upshot is an increase in demand for skilled talent, which has led to fierce competition to recruit and retain the right people, especially as we see big tech platforms now in competition for talent with the banking industry. The shortage of supply means qualified candidates can ask for more from their employer, to be part of something meaningful, and to be given the tools and support to make a real impact of the world around them.

The financial industry has some challenges here, as the global financial system can be seen as too big and complex for one person, no matter how skilled, to make a difference. However, as financial institutions align more closely with technological advancements to deliver benefits to their customers, they are beginning to adapt their approach to recruitment and retention.

At SWIFT, we focus on providing the environment, tools, coaching and support to enable our talent to be the best they can be. What we ask for in return is that our employes focus strongly on our customers and community, act as one accountable team, and stay open and curious about how our industry is evolving. We look for people that show a willingness to learn from each other, to make sure we stay relevant and high performing as a company.

We're also getting more creative with how we source our talent from more diverse talent pools, highlighting examples that show candidates what makes SWIFT a great employer, and how our employees can make a real difference to our customers and the global industry.

This isn't a generational thing. We see it across all ages, and at all levels of the organisation. People want to make a difference; to grow personally and professionally -- and be part of something bigger than themselves.

As more financial institutions change their recruitment to focus on the broader goals of key talent, we can expect to see even more innovation and transformation within the sector. These ideas form the basis of an expert panel discussion, and together, with the Hot Spots Movement, who are research experts in the future of work tied to London Business School, we will explore The Changing World of Work at Sibos, the world's premier gathering of financial and technology leaders, taking place in London 23 - 26 September.

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