Rethinking retention and recruitment in Southeast Asia’s banks

BANKING AND FINANCE: Skill shortages are becoming a common theme within a lot of industries right now, and this challenge is also one of the foremost issues facing HR leaders in the banking and finance sector. With far more jobs than qualified job seekers, offering incentives and alternative working arrangements has become an essential tool in their arsenal.


There has certainly been an active hiring market for banks around the region, resulting in most of them competing furiously for a limited number of skilled professionals. 

Many HR managers who responded to a Chief of Staff Asia survey suggested that innovation and creative thinking were critical when looking for the right people. Soft skills and those capable of filling multiple roles were high on the list of skill requirements.

These comments are also reinforced across the broader industry, with many stating that with the constantly updating digital world of banking and finance, there is a stark need for curious and innovative minds to work collaboratively to chart the course for the road ahead.

Joydeep Sengupta, Senior Partner at McKinsey in Singapore, says HR professionals must also be mindful of how the industry is changing.

“We no longer compete for talent (only) with other banks, as the transferable skills our ideal employee possesses are also a good fit for technology and manufacturing companies,” he says. 

“The old way of recruiting and retaining talent is, therefore, no use anymore. Just as we customise our product for the consumer, we must customise the role for which potential candidates are applying to remain competitive.”

According to Navigos Search, a recruitment firm based in Vietnam, candidate competition has become extremely fierce in that market also, particularly for bankers with skills in information technology. Qualified, exceptional candidates can take a long time to uncover, leaving many HR professionals with no choice but to eschew domestic candidates for higher-priced, and higher-risk expatriates.

This is an excerpt from the Future Proof: Overcoming HR Challenges in Banking and Finance

Access the full report here.

Share This Article


Advertise Now

Click to zoom
What's in it for you?
Click to zoom

Chief of Staff Asia