Employers Take Note: ‘Learning’ Beats ‘Earning’ When Hiring Payments Professionals

28 August 2019 By Adam Hall


What matters more than money? In the payments sector ‘opportunities to learn’ rank high among professionals’ career goals. In fact, for many, learning ranks higher than earning when considering new job opportunities. Here’s how payments employers can harness these and other trends to improve their hiring success…

The desire to learn is even stronger than the wish to earn more money according to our Ambitions 2019 Insights Report. With personal growth through learning now the top professional goal for the modern workforce, payments companies need to deliver this “must-have” if they’re to succeed in the battle for talent.

Our comprehensive survey of more than 1000 professionals in payments and tech has revealed that employees are now more motivated to expand their knowledge than their bank balance.

Of course, wanting to be paid more for what we do is usually a given and 45% of respondents said they would like to earn more money in the next 12 months. However, nearly 52% of the professionals surveyed said they were keen to learn something new. While the ways and range of areas which people hope to expand their knowledge was broad, it was clear that those who are happy to have a static job role are firmly in the minority.

Conflicting views: opportunities lagging behind demand

Conversely though, a lack of opportunities to advance was also flagged by payments professionals as the biggest obstacle to realising their ambitions. Fewer than one in six of respondents felt strongly that they are able to reach their ambitions in their current role. Across the board, only 6.3% of professionals feel that they are in the right place to attain their career goals.

There is a broad range of reasons why people fear they are being held back from achieving their professional ambitions. Chief among these are a lack of opportunities for career advancement and unclear or poor leadership. The lesson for business leaders in payments and tech has to be to pay more attention to the aspirations of ambitious, talented people within their organisations.

A gap in skills + a gap in opportunities = a competitive candidate landscape

As we’ve explored in previous blogs, there is a growing skills gap in the payments industry and competition for talented payments professionals is fierce. With this in mind, payments businesses must ensure they understand and cater to employees’ evolving priorities to make sure they can attract high calibre candidates and retain their top talent.

The results of our survey show that money and status are no longer the principal drivers of the modern workforce. It also showed that there is a significant number of ambitious staff who feel they are being restricted in their current roles and want more opportunities to advance and achieve. In fact, the level of job satisfaction among our respondents has declined by almost 10% since last year.

To avoid losing out on top talent (whether that is among existing employees or potential candidates) payments businesses must now ensure career progression and learning opportunities are clearly defined, embedded and communicated as part of their company culture.

Given the pace of change in the industry, payments businesses will also need to maintain a close eye on how employee priorities evolve over time to make sure they can fulfil their own business objectives by filling their organisations with the right people, skills and structure.


Explore new ways to improve your talent acquisition as a payments employer with Headcount. We offer specialist payments recruitment services and exclusive talent market insight. Connect with us today: headcount.com/register