blank img

How AI Improves Hiring In Retail Banking

Adrian Dixon

January 15, 2019

post featured image

Wait, is AI actually helpful when hiring in retail banking?

It is, we promise

The Baby Boomer exodus is hitting financial services roles harder than most industries. We’ve touched on the issues around the exodus in the insurance industry, and now let’s look at what’s happening with retail banking. For context, retail banking is what you most often think of when you think of banking: mass-market, customer-focused, and centered on going into a branch and completing transactions.

What roles are typically available in retail banking?

There are dozens, but the big buckets include:

    • Account Managers
    • Client Service Reps
    • Sales Reps
  • IT Analysts

The commonality of those roles: communication and customer service. In short, you will hire more (i.e. high-volume) of these skill sets than anything else, and specific customer service roles (tellers, front-of-house, call center) might be high-volume within a specific job code.

The elephant(s) in the room

Banking is being digitized at a rapid rate, meaning that by 2029, we’re likely to have significantly less employees overall. At the same time, there’s also a lack of mid-career candidates. And finally, we’re seeing more contract/gig hiring within banking too. It’s an interesting intersection for retail banking, then: we might be in the final 10-20 years with a huge amount of humans in the field, but right now we need people semi-desperately to fill these roles. And that’s becoming harder for mid-career slots (the candidates are there) while becoming easier for early-career slots (banks are turning to platforms for hiring).

So, how do we navigate through this?

Well, first: consider that we probably have 7-10 years before a full digitization/automation is in place. The industry will need quality people for at least another decade, if not longer. And it’s an increasing “speed game”, because Baby Boomers in managerial roles and support roles are starting to exit.

So, the industry needs good people, and it needs them quickly, and it needs people with communication and customer service skills. That’s a tough intersection.

Technology makes it easier. It doesn’t solve all the problems, no — because recruiting is still inherently a face-to-face, person-to-person interaction process — but what it does is make some of the earlier stages of hiring easier, so that recruiters in retail banking can focus on building relationships with candidates (both active and passive).

How you use AI and tech tools to make retail banking hiring easier

For example: use AI for screening to make finding and winnowing candidates easier. With AI software, you can screen every single candidate. That’s impossible if humans are doing the work. You can also grade candidates in real-time, which is also not normative. That grading process happens within your existing ATS.

Use chatbots to communicate more effectively with candidates, because lack of effective communication is usually how the best people drop from your hiring process. It also reduces or eliminates the need for phone screens — which are time drains that usually aren’t very effective — and it improves the overall candidate experience, which is important to your employer brand out in the marketplace.

Use candidate rediscovery to find the “old gold” of your ATS: qualified candidates from previous open roles who didn’t quite make the cut then, but could be a great fit now. That saves you time and money.

You don’t solve recruiting issues with technology, but you can make yourself more effective at recruiting — and closing candidates fast — with the right elements in your tech stack. And in retail banking for the next few years, that’s going to be absolutely essential.