Why Skilling And Reskilling Is Important For Financial Advisors In BFSI sector

Share of financial advisory roles in the total employment pie might increase by 7% between 2018 and 2028.

Why Skilling And Reskilling Is Important For Financial Advisors In BFSI sector
Agnelo Joseph - 13 January 2021

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it”- Pablo Picasso.

How true is it when we see ourselves in the light of the above thought? As professionals, the road to success is by investing in ourselves, learning by unlearning, reviewing what we have done, and doing better, leading to continuous improvement.

The question is, do we ask ourselves “What value I bring to the table daily?”

The financial world is being challenged fiercely today. It has undergone a 360 shift after the pandemic. Thus, it would be imperative to know how we keep ourselves abreast of future skill demand as professionals or organisations.

India’s Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector is expected to provide jobs to 1.6 million skilled workers by 2022. This means plenty of banking, insurance and financial services jobs. Most opportunities will involve customer interface, skilling for customer satisfaction, and services.

A National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) report reveals that additional manpower will be necessary for corporate and retail banking, treasury, finance, technology and human resource.

Clearly, the time is right to contemplate your next career move. It applies equally to freshers or veterans in the BFSI sector.

Do you have the right core skills or a talented and skilled workforce? Are you ready for the challenges ahead? How are the challenges of skilling or reskilling unfolding?

I list down some of the challenges that organisations will see due to this skill gap.

Emotional engagement through intelligence: Customers make decisions based on emotions, although most financial advisors are very rational and analytical while deciding on behalf of their clients.

Financial advisors need to engage with customers at an emotional level to understand their investment needs and propose solutions. Therefore, it requires financial advisors to be emotionally intelligent and know how to manage different emotions based on scenarios.

Rising demand for the skilled workforce: Companies in the BFSI sector need to recruit highly trained financial advisors. Unfortunately, with skilling and reskilling not being given due importance, the skill gap has been widening, and meeting customer needs is becoming a challenge.

The digital skill gap is most apparent in new tech-driven roles. BFSI companies have been struggling to fill the void in specialties like design, data analytics, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Adoption of digital technologies in the BFSI sector needs to be met with an equally enthusiastic approach at the educational level. With technology-based skilling not on the priority list, a large skill gap has been developing.

Hiring for the long term versus short term: Need for proper hiring analytics is the need of the hour. Long term investment in skilling will be necessary to keep the workforce sharper and updated. It can’t be an interventionist approach, but needs to be an institutional process as a business skill learning culture should be the norm.

Performance versus skill analytics: Managers or leaders will need to see productivity more closely with smarter execution ability. Ill-equipped managers could create additional competence issues. They could act as a bottleneck for growth, and high attrition could be the norm.

Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace’s research paper revealed that around 40 per cent of organisations prefer investing in artificial intelligence rather than upskilling their workforce. Without training, BFSI companies face the possibility of suffering from a shortage of competent mid-career professionals skilled enough to work alongside artificial intelligence.

How could this bridged be gapped?

Skilling & reskilling processes equipped to train fresh graduates and existing workforce in new-age jobs post the pandemic is the need of the hour.

Financial advisors help people manage their money while sorting through their financial matters and offer consultative advisory. Do not equip but assess at the right time to keep a balance between current and future skilling needs. Finding clients and building a customer base is crucial for a financial planner. They also require cross-business skills and needs to spruce up their risk management skills, apart from improved communication and technology skills.

Conclusion

Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the share of financial advisory roles in the total employment pie to increase by 7 per cent between 2018 and 2028. It will be faster than the average rise for all occupations or professions. Increased investment by businesses, individuals and the rising number of seniors is expected to fuel the growth.

Financial advisors are expected to benefit more than financial analysts as Gen Z—a better-educated & wealthier population—save for retirement and look for investment advice. Besides, people are living longer and must plan to finance more years of retirement.

Earlier professionals entered the workforce fully aware of the skill requirements and expectations from the assigned role. At present, professionals need to continually update themselves following a high technology adoption rate.

The pandemic has propelled organisations to embracing technology & artificial intelligence, for sharper financial solutions and engagement with customers. We need to build on this positive disruption by skilling our workforce to be ready for the opportunities.

The author is Head - Learning Academy at Tattva

Advertisement*