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As companies compete for talent amidst a talent crunch, we spoke with Don Guo, CEO and Co-founder of the Broctagon Fintech Group to find out how Fintech companies are at the forefront of creating a workforce of the future and how they can gain an edge in the war for talent.
Guo co-founded Broctagon in 2009 and has since seen an expansion across Asia Pacific establishing a presence in China, India, Hong Kong and Thailand. Technology has always been an integral part of the Fintech business model and Guo points to how it is being leveraged to shape the workforce of the future, “Labour-intensive jobs will be replaced by automated processes that are more efficient, freeing people to do higher-level tasks. The role of the middleman or agents will start to change as well. For example, the insurance industry is increasingly relying on insurtech to do tedious paperwork, rather than use insurance agents to do the same work. These agents can then instead focus on adding value and providing better services to their customers. In a similar vein, decentralised finance, which cuts out the banking or legal intermediaries, is gaining momentum and the financial sector is increasingly embracing it.”
Cultivating skills across generations
Guo also discusses how technology can enable Fintech firms to capitalise on different generations of talent, “Whilst older employees might not be as familiar with technology, they have invaluable knowledge from years of experience in terms of how the business operations run and how to handle projects and clients. However, their skills must be upgraded regularly to ensure a digital-ready workforce and companies must look both inside and outside to train them. Business leaders may want to familiarise themselves with external upskilling programmes. Tapping into external resources can greatly expand upskilling offerings. The use of online platforms such as LinkedIn Learning creates viable pathways that will ensure their workforce has the necessary skills for the workplace of the future.”
The importance of upskilling has not gone unnoticed, with many organisations using learning and development as an effective tool to provide their workforce with the necessary skills to meet their future manpower strategies and to successfully retain their talent. “Employee retention has become even more pressing in the tight labour market especially when employees know they have abundant options and may be more enticed to keep an eye on lucrative openings. As the Fintech industry is highly competitive, we face a shortage of skilled talents who have the right technical knowledge, and similarly those with a strong set of soft skills who can manage projects efficiently. High performers know their worth and are immediately drawn to growth and opportunity. It is important to keep offering them support in these two areas. Moreover, the skills needed in our sector are constantly evolving, which means we need to either train the talent or look for new additions to the team,” comments Guo.
Ahead of the curve
Companies across industries are sharing the same hunger for technically and soft-skilled talent and Fintech is no exception. Leadership, problem-solving and critical thinking are shared talent demands that business leaders need to address to ensure that organisational projects run smoothly and business outcomes are achieved.
Guo shared his perspective on Broctagon’s recruitment strategies that enables them to identify the best talent in the market, “When it comes to talent, supply and demand is key. Across the fintech industry, the talent crunch is real. Most companies are facing the challenge of identifying and luring in the best talent, while there is fierce competition in terms of who is offering the best salary and benefits. As such, it is more important to approach recruitment with an open mind. This is especially important in the Fintech industry where our work is niche. We have experienced many interviewees who walked through our doors that may not necessarily have had the right qualification and skillsets for the role. As such we met their expectations and mapped a career growth trajectory for them. It is more important for us to find a person with the right attitude, who is trainable — that way, even if they lack expertise, through proper training and mentorship, we ensure that they will eventually rise to the challenge.
While younger talents might not have the knowledge and experience that older people have, they have new ideas and a refreshed outlook on the market. It is important that companies tap their potential, as these may be opportunities to futureproof the company workforce. Through discussion and further refinement, these ideas may spur innovation and business or product reinvention within the company. It is imperative that companies keep up with rapidly-changing technologies in order to stay nimble and ahead of the curve.”