Banks losing out to IT in battle for talent


9 January 2015

A survey of business students across EMEA has shown that banks are losing out to ICT companies, but also consumer companies, in the search for talent, with the trend most pronounced in Ireland.

The analysis is based on the Universum Talent Survey 2014. Deloitte examined the results from 174,000 business students in 31 markets globally. The results included 870 business students in Ireland.

Deloitte said the research was carried out to assess how the banking industry is faring in terms of attracting business graduates to the profession. Overall, the research highlights the dominance of the software sector in Ireland, where a quarter of respondents indicated this was their sector of choice, compared to 14% who favoured the banking industry. This dominance is more pronounced than anywhere else in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, said Deloitte.

Career goals
The students were also asked about their top career goals, with nearly two thirds (63%) of Irish students identifying a good work-life balance as their main priority, with job security and stability second (46%), being a leader or manager of people third (39%). Among those respondents who indicated that they would be interested in a career in banking, the top goal was still work-life balance, and ‘to be competitively or intellectually challenged’ was second.

The survey analysis showed that €36,700 is the expected annual salary amongst Irish business students, rising to €42,900 amongst banking-inclined students, and to €45,300 amongst investment banking-inclined students. These expectations are high compared to other markets, including the UK, which said Deloitte, may reflect the fact that business students are targeting multinationals, and that banking-inclined students are setting their sights on a job with global investment banks in London.

Supporting the desire for secure employment, the findings show that a third of Irish business students expect to stay in their first job for five years or more. Nearly a third (29%) expect to stay in their role for a period of three years.

Technology thriving
“Ireland’s technology industry is strong and thriving,” said David Dalton, head of Financial Services, Deloitte, “which is extremely positive in terms of driving the Irish economy and indeed the career opportunities that it offers graduates here. In no other market do so many high-tech companies feature in the ‘ideal employer’ listings. In short, the competition for talent is intense — both from other industries, and overseas opportunities within the banking industry. What’s more, talent is becoming a critically important issue for the banking industry here in Ireland. Increased regulation and compliance requirements, and indeed the increased complexity of these, mean that banks need to be recruiting dynamic business graduates. They need students with information technology skills to meet both regulatory demands and consumer preferences for online and mobile banking.

“Banks need to ensure that they are aligned to students’ expectations – for example, 45% of banking-inclined students list secure employment as a top-three career goal, but just 29% believe a career in banking offers that. The onus is on banks to advertise the positions that meet these demands, and address unhelpful perceptions about their culture. Failing to do so could mean they miss out on this generation of talent, with longer-term consequences for their ability to compete against new non-bank competitors.”



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