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How to make individual career management really happen

08 November 2016, by Lesley Vanleke
  • #financial sector
  • #Talent management
  • #Talent Review Profiler

If the recent shocks in the financial industry have not woken up the individual employee in the sector, I don’t know what will. It should be clear to every single employee that the financial sector is no longer the safe haven that it used to be. Banks and Insurance companies can no longer guarantee life-long employment. Also, the need for constant innovation and adaptability as strong as in any other sector.

Consequently, career issues are going to be on the agenda of individual employees, HR professionals, and managers within the industry. This blog is about how to make Individual Career Management (ICM) really happen within the financial sector. 

Contemporary Careers in the financial industry

The trend in contemporary career practices is to see careers as individual negotiations between employee and employer. Furthermore, careers have become unpredictable. Careers can no longer be ‘managed’, only facilitated. Furthermore, they are subject to the “irrationality” of the final decision maker (= the employee). More than ever, employees within the financial sector are going to need sounding boards when thinking about their careers. Thus, the demand for custom services within the HR departments will increase.

How can HR organize this within a sector that has traditionally centralized the HR approach, faces cost-cutting and has a population that has little affinity with self-management in the career compared to other industries?

In other words, how can we make sure that the HR professional can deliver customized services in terms of talent and career development, there where it is needed the most?

Part of the solution might lie in making a smarter and stronger connection between hard & soft HR: applying HR data analytics for an evidence-based approach. This way, HR professionals will be more empowered. The reason is that they will be able to focus more on the softer people business of HR. Make no mistake, soft HR is where the real impact is made.

We could argue as follows:

  1. The financial industry is ahead of the curve when it comes to applying HR data analytics. (KPMG, Data, people and profits: The case for evidence-based HR in banking. 2015.). The same study shows that HR could do better in terms of building data-driven interventions with a positive effect on organizational effectiveness
  2. To be able to do this, HR could build evidence-based statistical models that show the elements that lead to performance, innovation, burn out, internal and external mobility and so on. This information is the groundwork for finding out which individual employee needs personal attention.
  3. Let’s not forget that giving personal attention is what drives and motivates the average HR front line employee. HR front line workers will thank you for making their jobs highly rewarding to them.

If you are working on talent-related projects, here are some tips:

  1. Beware of doing HR analytics only for the sake of reporting. What can you find out about the correlations concerning key issues like mobility, employability, and well-being? Based on the numbers, which are the individuals that need personal follow up?
  2. Make Individual Career Management (ICM) a priority. This should reflect itself in the talent culture and HR policies, defining a new mission and new services for HR.
  3. Continue to invest in the soft skills of the HR front people. No computer can ever replace the profound impact of deep human contact in career coaching.

Employees in the financial sector will be spending more time thinking about the next steps in their careers than before. HR needs to be ready to deliver customized services in terms of talent and career development. A good starting point may be to use the power of evidence-based Talent Analytics to optimize service in this soft HR topic. Contact us for more information about the Talent Review Profiler.


About the author

Lesley Vanleke

Lesley Vanleke holds over 20 years of experience in HR. In 2014 she co-founded TalentLogiQS, where she searches to understand all different aspects of customers’ challenges and needs. She strives to be a sounding board and bring about connections that deliver added value for all parties concerned.