The year ahead: Recruitment challenges for the payments industry

05 January 2016 By Adam Hall


​The payments sector has seen spectacular growth in recent years, evolving at an ever-increasing pace as consumer demand, regulatory pressures and new technology drives innovation, opportunity and challenge for all parties across the extended payments value chain.

This evolution is driving organisational change – including consolidation, acquisitions and restructures – on a huge scale, especially for longstanding payments companies as they look to adapt to demand and maintain competitive edge against new market entrants. Naturally, this is creating a number of challenges and considerations for payments organisations looking to attract and retain top talent.

Challenge 01 Addressing the industry-wide skills shortage:

For organisations looking to recruit, landing a high calibre candidate is increasingly difficult. The skills gap is widening, with graduates in technology fields running especially thin on the ground.

This is particularly difficult for payments organisations, who must ensure that the right technical skills are in place within company operations so they can maintain a balance of legacy support and new technology expertise to cater for today and tomorrow’s requirements.

Although technology is increasingly becoming a driver of change in the industry, customers of all kinds are also seeking excellent service and companies must maintain the right balance of focus between technology and service- this means having the right customer service structures in place to ensure customer loyalty.

It is worth fintech companies looking more closely at skillset available the thriving London based pool of talent, or by attracting candidates from overseas. Not only does this help address the skills shortage for technical positions, but it is also proven that greater diversity in a team environment trumps individual ability and encourages creativity and productivity.

Challenge 02 Establishing the right leadership:

The constant flux of the industry and the need for organisational change is creating a demand for certain qualities in employees – particularly among senior appointments and business leaders. More than ever, senior managers must have a strong understanding of how to encourage good internal and external communication to engage staff and stakeholders.

Organisations undergoing change must lead from the top – making sure management and staff are on board with the company direction and know how to take the company forward based on a sound understanding of the industry and its direction. This means ensuring that the right leaders are in place, as well as the right underlying company structure and support teams to deliver on the desired vision.

Challenge 03 Offering an attractive proposition:

Inevitably any skill shortages will push up salary ranges and the payments industry is certainly a candidate’s market right now. There needs to be some recognition of this through both higher salaries and enhanced benefits as well as clearly communicating job role, prospects and organisational values.

Another major challenge facing payments industry employers is keeping their top talent.

Retaining expertise and maintaining continuity is just as important during periods of change as they are vital for demonstrating stability and for the ability to continually drive the company forward. Increased demand and market opportunity means that employers in the industry must ensure they have a robust talent management process in place so they don’t unnecessarily lose their strongest assets.

Challenge 04 Revisiting the recruitment process:

The uplift in opportunities for candidates is also now driving increased hiring speed and employers and recruiters must increasingly make swift decisions to ensure they attract and secure the right candidates, or else they risk losing them to someone else.

Working with a recruitment company who are well versed in the payments industry is also more important than ever before. The evolving nature of the payments landscape means a consultative approach (especially for senior positions) may be of the greatest benefit to ensure that resourcing requirements are mapped to both short and long term business requirements and take in to account the nuances and future forecasts for the sector.