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Is a skills shortage holding tech leaders back?


In this article we reflect on the different causes of staff shortages hitting the financial and technology industries today, and how to address them. Although the pandemic has been a persistent factor in our lives for the last few years, its influence on economic growth in (Western) countries seems limited. However, COVID-19 contributed to staff shortages in certain sectors and also made existing shortages perspectives on work more visible.



Baby boomers are retiring. The US and (Western) European baby boom refers to people born between (roughly) 1945 and 1955. They are fast reaching retirement age which means there are fewer people available in the labour market.


International supply drop. There is also a drop in supply from other groups who lost their jobs during the pandemic and/or found other sources of income. There are more restrictions on migrant workers too, and the labour market is hemorrhaging as a result.


IT and technical skill shortage. Our world is becoming increasingly digital which comes with more complex questions such as how systems can communicate with each other. At the same time, the need for digital initiatives has increased during the pandemic. This means a growing demand for IT and technical skills in which there already was a shortage.


The mismatch between jobs available and experienced workers available. The amount of theoretically trained people is increasing, which goes hand in hand with a decrease in practically trained people. Demand for the latter is increasing rather than decreasing, especially to meet the many challenges created by the climate and energy crisis, among others.


Candidates are in the driving seat. CFOs are planning to add new positions, but simultaneously view talent attraction as a concern, putting the candidate in a strong position to negotiate.


Projects and products are at risk of delay from skills shortages in a growing industry. Skills shortages are the thorn in finance recruitment’s side, affecting business productivity and growth. This is damaging product quality and customer service, delaying projects, and holding back much-needed transformations.


Inflation is putting upward pressure on wages. The cost of living crisis has prompted central banks to push up interest rates in an attempt to quash surging inflation. Understandably, candidates are looking for higher wages to help with the cost of living. Therefore, salaries are rising to retain valued staff and attract the elusive ‘right fit’ candidate.


Salary growth is greatest at the junior and mid-level. This makes more junior levels the most competitive to recruit at, with candidates expecting uplifts in their basic salaries. This also increases the likelihood of less satisfied senior employees.


Burnout is out. Salary isn’t the happiness key, work-life balance is. The pandemic and lockdowns gave many people time and space to reflect on their work and (mental health) needs. More value is placed on a good work-life balance and well-being. Because this is being talked about openly, it is also becoming more prevalent.


Candidates want hybrid working and having a say in how often and when is even more appealing. Whereas, employers believe productivity is better when candidates are working from home, and employee satisfaction and welfare are easier to monitor in the office.


The international climate is creating a dense interplay of factors that are putting pressure on the financial and technological sectors, resulting in a skills shortage.


Now more than ever, leaders need partners like us. TRM-International understands that the human side of FinTech has the ability to drive performance. Communication and interpersonal skills are the most sought-after, along with technical and commercial skills.


For more advice, you can in touch with our experienced team of HR consultants & Talent Acquisition Specialists today, at: applications@trm-international.com


We are here and happy to help with all your recruitment and HR needs, from CV to interview advice, and from hiring to HR consultancy.


You can also check out some of our public job opportunities here.



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