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How Can Fintechs Attract and Retain Top Talent in an Challenging Economic Landscape?

With worldwide fintech funding dropping in 2022 compared to 2021, rising interest rates and a cost of living crisis in the UK, it could become harder for companies in the sector to attract and retain talent. As the challenges increase, what can fintechs do to stay competitive in the employee market?

Since December 2020, Richard Arundel has performed the role of the chief evangelist at payments provider Currencycloud. The co-founder has gathered insights from both the front-line sales teams and the wider market.

Speaking to The Fintech Times, Arundel explained which key aspects businesses must focus on and improve to attract and keep the best talent.

Richard Arundel, chief evangelist and co-founder of Currencycloud on retain talent
Richard Arundel, chief evangelist and co-founder of Currencycloud

Amid rising inflation and the corresponding costs of running a business, rethinking how fintechs can attract and retain top talent is crucial for continued growth. As employees become increasingly cautious about leaving their established roles, fintechs must work harder to convince new hires that they’re an attractive – and safe – destination. Against a backdrop of macroeconomic turbulence, competition for top candidates has never been higher, making attracting talent a key challenge for fintech decision-makers.

For many young fintechs, the current economic and funding landscape has resulted in an attitude shift, where the onus is now on them to show greater profitability and cost efficiency. For fintechs, positioning themselves as a ‘safe bet’ in the current landscape, highlighting their purpose-driven nature and creating a compelling culture, will ensure the best talent is never far away.

How can fintechs make sure they attract the talent they need in this changing environment?
Positioning fintechs as a “safe bet”

The current economic climate is making people far less likely to feel confident in leaving their existing job. As such, it’s vital for fintechs to position themselves as a financially stable and a ‘safe bet’ – something they’ve not had to traditionally worry too much about.

New candidates have a broader sense of consciousness and are unafraid to question the viability of fintechs: including how much cash they have, company performance and what their growth ambitions are. We’re seeing these questions appear earlier in the recruitment process than before, showing the clear need for fintechs to prove they can put their money where their mouth is.

Attracting and retaining talent are two sides of the same coin 

Fintechs must realise that attracting talent must be in equilibrium with retaining talent. Giving existing employees the right opportunities and resources to expand their skillset helps get the best out of people. One way fintechs can do this is by investing in internal learning platforms that can help staff develop new soft and hard skills, find ways to promote employees into new or expanded roles, or support them to find the next step in their career journey.

Investing in organisational health is another crucial element for better business’ outcomes. This means that fintech must prioritise building cohesive leadership teams, creating clarity, over-communicating, and reinforcing clarity. In practice, this works by minimising politics and building cohesive teams through clarity and transparency, resulting in higher productivity, stronger retention and, in turn, better business outcomes.

To achieve this, fintechs must understand who their people are, what they need, and how the business can meet those needs.

Focus on purpose

Fintechs have always been ahead of other sectors when it comes to purpose, and they mustn’t forget this. Especially as today’s workforce seek out purpose-led companies and wants more than just a paycheck. By creating a great culture grounded in flexibility and giving employees choice, fintechs can continue to deepen engagement, drive productivity, and build a more inclusive workforce.

Businesses must be clear with their people on their purpose and why they exist, as well as what they expect from their teams and how they’re going to win. But they should also reinforce this clarity and these behaviours or principles with rewards and recognition across the business. This is what creates a strong, grounded culture and helps deepen engagement, drive productivity, and build a more inclusive, happy workforce.

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we work and the way we view our relationship to work. Encouraging flexibility through hybrid-first policies has now become a business imperative. In fact, developing different ways of working: flexibly, fully remote or entirely office based can help meet employees’ needs, increase individual productivity, prioritise wellness, and drive new levels of collaboration.

Recruiting top talent is no easy task, especially in a candidate-driven market and in the current economic landscape, access to top talent for businesses has never been more challenging. As such, it’s imperative that fintechs leverage their unique selling points and position themselves as companies that prospects can rely on.


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