Issues : Strategy

Your Bank’s Culture Needs a Brand

As the financial services industry confronts unprecedented disruption, opportunity and change, recruiting and retaining top talent — the keys to long term success —  will becoming increasingly difficult.

A massive exodus of experience is occurring, with 78 million baby boomers projected to leave the workforce between 2011 and 2029. At the same time, millennials’ propensity to job-hop is taking a toll. Employees’ average length of tenure with a single employer dropped by 35% in a decade, according to a LinkedIn study. Human capital is the single largest driver of cost for businesses, comprising roughly 70% of operating expense at most institutions, according to Forrester Research. That means recruiting and retaining talent is paramount for banks.

“There will be new roles created that we haven’t even thought of yet,” says Amy Brady, CIO of KeyBank, the bank unit of Cleveland, Ohio, superregional KeyCorp. “While we don’t know the full impact of AI, machine learning and robotics, as an example, we know there clearly will be a change in how roles are performed and the skills required both in our technology and operations functions.”

To attract, develop and retain a workforce prepared to face this uncertain future, organizations must take stock of their “cultural brand” and recruitment efforts.

Define Your Bank’s “Cultural Brand”
Before you can talk with top talent, your internal culture needs to “walk the walk.” Top-rated employers begin by establishing a set of non-negotiable values and cultivating them regularly, consistently and clearly throughout the institution and its stakeholders. At nCino, we have a set of six core values: “Bring Your A-game,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Respect Each Other, “Make Someone’s Day,” “Have Fun,” and “Be a Winner!” We infuse these central tenets into everything we do as a company, and they help instill a culture of positivity, mutual respect and the relentless pursuit of excellence.

Once your bank establishes its internal culture and its authenticity, you can focus on sharing it externally and taking every opportunity to tell the story of what sets your organization apart.

“Your culture and brand can’t be separate,” branding authority Denise Lee Yohn said in an interview with SHRM. “Many culture-building tactics might fall under the purview of HR and marketing may spearhead many brand-building activities, but if you don’t develop a mutually reinforcing, interdependent relationship between culture and brand, you miss the opportunity to unleash their combined power and you put your business at risk.”

Recruit Like a Marketer
The days of soliciting paper resumes through static job postings are long gone. Today’s recruiters must adopt a marketing mindset to attract the most talented candidate, leveraging social media, college recruiting partnerships and community outreach to generate buzz and widen their net of potential candidates.

The anonymous employee review website Glassdoor is a popular resource for jobseekers to vet potential employers. Savvy recruiters own their Glassdoor page and use it as a marketing channel and research tool to address any perceived shortcomings in culture, growth opportunities and compensation.

Invest in the Best
Of course, if you don’t invest in your people, they will leave — negating your cultural branding and recruiting efforts. To retain the best and brightest talent, your organization must be recognized as a desirable place to work. Workers value professional development opportunities above most other indicators of job satisfaction. It’s critical to develop robust and compelling onboarding, training and development resources and initiatives.

For example, Capital One Financial Corp. launched Tech College, a program designed to keep thousands of employees current with the latest technology skills, including machine learning and cybersecurity. The bank also created workspaces and solutions across to foster collaboration and make employees’ work processes more efficient, enjoyable and effortless. Due in part to these efforts, Capital One was ranked on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for the past three years. By investing in innovative technology and fostering a culture of change, financial institutions will be well-positioned to attract and retain the talent required to grow a future-ready workforce.