Shifting Workforce Strategies Amid Disruption & Change in Financial Services

March 17, 2023
2 Minute Read

The rapid pace of change in today’s macroeconomic environment has resulted in an increase in critical projects across industries. The financial services sector has been no exception and institutions are now faced with navigating the change that will come as a result of the industry’s recent challenges.

How are organizations staffing this growing number of critical projects amid a tight labor market, frequently changing in-demand skill sets and ongoing concerns? Between talent gaps and the realization that not every employee needs to be a full-time equivalent, organizations are recognizing the importance of bringing in outside talent.

We recently found in our research that among Financial Services organizations that 46% of today’s critical project teams are made up of outside talent (professionals from consulting and staffing companies and independent contractors). This is up from 34% in 2020, and it is expected to grow to 48% by 2024, according to our latest whitepaper, Overcoming the Execution Challenges of Mission-Critical Projects.

This shift is also evidenced by the continued rise in temporary help services as tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as the outlook for management consultant and analyst jobs, which the BLS expects will increase by 11% from 2021 to 2031.

Turning to external talent on project teams has increased since 2020 and is expected to continue with the ongoing momentum that already exists. There’s tremendous support for this, as our research shows.

Relying solely on your internal workforce and FTE hiring when disruption is always at the surface won’t be the norm moving forward. It’s become increasingly challenging for financial services leaders to complete critical projects without pulling in external staffing resources and valuable outside perspectives.

First, there’s the challenge of matching critical project needs with required skill sets. While 88% of financial services executives see effective project execution as a competitive advantage, nearly three quarters (73%) said lack of capable talent in key project roles have made critical projects more difficult to implement to at least a moderate degree. The rapid pace of change in the financial services sector is also creating challenges.

  • 40% of financial services executives surveyed say they need to improve getting team members to quickly embrace major changes in a project.
  • 63% of financial services executives said abrupt changes in project goals during execution made critical projects more difficult to implement to at least a moderate degree

Of those surveyed by RGP in the financial services sector, 83% of executives say the ability to bring in highly talented outsiders for key project roles is important to critical project success.

Meanwhile, 86% of financial services executives say the ability to handle abrupt changes in goals during project execution is important to critical project success.

This enforces the idea that organizations need to be equipped with agile and surge resourcing options. However, 54% of financial services executives surveyed say major or at least some employment policy change is needed to bring in outside talent on key project roles.

“It’s no wonder that the rapid pace of change in the financial services sector has created a greater need for surge staffing,” Irene Hendrick, Senior Vice President of Revenue at RGP, said. “This is a trend that we anticipate will surely continue to accelerate due to the change and volatility we’re currently experiencing in the industry.”

Read RGP’s full report on how organizations in financial services and other sectors are addressing project execution challenges.

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