Magazine article American Banker

Restoring Industry's Reputation Is Key to Bridging Talent Gap

Magazine article American Banker

Restoring Industry's Reputation Is Key to Bridging Talent Gap

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Githens

To manage the growing challenges of cyber threats, regulations, disruptors and other issues that will only grow more complex in the coming years, banks need a steady flow of innovative and well-trained talent.

Yet there are indications of a rupture in the pipeline that has supplied new employees to the industry for generations. What once inspired young adults about a career in banking is losing its luster. This is especially troublesome with baby boomers starting to retire.

A recent Deloitte study found banking continues to lose popularity among business students as a possible career choice. According to Deloitte, this is a worldwide phenomenon that is related to the decline in banking's reputation ever since the financial crisis and crisis-related bank layoffs. It is also a result of, among other things, a growing interest in computer and software services jobs.

Going up against such forces feels daunting. But I believe if we all play our part, we can make banking a more popular career choice, and in so doing, help secure the industry's future.

As institutions and individuals, we should take every opportunity to help restore banking's reputation. There is a good chance your bank does much for the community through sponsorships and charitable contributions. But does your institution effectively advertise the positive effect it is having on the community? Does it do enough to tell the story of how its day-to-day activities help build businesses and make families' dreams come true?

The Deloitte study found that many young people have a misperception about what it is that banks do. Too often, they associate banks with the headline-grabbing scandals, rather than the vital, community-building work that is the reality of 99.9% of banking. Take the time to talk to a local reporter about important projects your bank has financed in your community. …

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