By Neill Butcher, Founder & Chief Commercial Officer
The payments industry is widely thought to have progressed 2-3 years ahead of schedule in the past few months. It’s a testament to the industry’s talented professional community that most of this monumental achievement happened under the public’s radar.
Rapid evolution has, however, put some payments organisations under significant strain. Couple this with significant short term cashflow concerns for some (those closely aligned with travel, retail and events, for example), and it’s clear this has been a challenging time.
In recruitment, we know that the ‘quality’ of new hires is of greater importance than ever. Getting the right person for the job - someone who offers best possible value for money, and who can be trusted to deliver results - is critical.
Good people are an essential component of every successful business. In challenging times, even more so; grit, resilience and strong core skills will always serve payments organisations well.
Payments: A Resilient Industry With A Growing Role
Payments is an industry that rarely enters the public consciousness, but during the pandemic its public profile has leapt. A PWC report called payments “one of the few sectors in high demand in the current COVID-19 pandemic.” Over recent months, 29 European countries increased their contactless payment limits and demand for mobile payments has, in some cases, doubled.
The move towards a cashless society - which was already gathering pace pre-2020 - has accelerated fast, adding huge demand on the payments sector. In this way, the payments industry has truly found itself on the COVID-19 front line.
Overall, the industry has “demonstrated its formidable resilience by continuing to keep the blood system of the entire European economy functioning” (Emerging Payments Association.)
But does the payments sector have the talent resources to fulfil this role indefinitely?
The End Of The Talent Shortage?
For years we’ve been charting a clear talent shortage in our industry. Skills including tech, compliance and software sales have all been in desperately short supply. It has, in some cases, severely limited sector growth.
So, will rising unemployment saturate the market and end the talent shortage?
Certainly, ‘not yet’ is the picture we’re seeing. And in fact, considering payments’ requirement for highly skilled and specialist staff, it seems unlikely that the talent shortage will be abated by this trend alone.
As other industries face workforce reductions, payments employers will likely receive increased quantities of applications from out-of-industry. In these cases, it will be the job of experienced recruiters to assess candidates’ potential, above and beyond their directly-relevant experience.
To fully support our industry’s evolution (including both emerging payment methods and overall growth in demand), ensuring highly skilled individuals to enter and progress through the talent pipeline will be more vital than ever.
Headcount continues to support the industry at this challenging time. For a free consultation, or to discuss recruitment plans, get in touch today.