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HR data: taking centre stage in the financial sector

By Fiona McKee, Director of Human Resources, SD Worx UK & Ireland

Digital transformation is steering the future of finance. Digital disruptors such as Starling and Monzo are setting the pace of change and traditional banks are struggling to keep up. Yet in an age of Open Banking, all financial organisations can relate to one vital asset- data.

Fiona McKee

Fiona McKee

From balancing the bottom line to building customer personas for more sophisticated marketing, financial institutions are using data-led insights to secure their future in the market. However, the same cannot be said for the HR & Payroll departments.

The financial sector often undermines the importance of using HR & Payroll data to inform big business decisions, despite these departments holding some of the most critical data to organisations. For financial organisations to realise the full potential of HR & Payroll data, they must encourage HR & Payroll to embrace digital transformation so the department can change alongside the rest of the business. As ‘traditional’ HR tasks become more embedded into the fabric of day-to-day business, financial organisations need to recognise HR & Payroll as a data-centric department and unleash its true potential.

It’s time to shine

If financial organisations are to realise the full potential of HR & Payroll, they must shift their perceptions on the nature of HR and payroll. Both departments are often seen as the ‘people department’ and those that do not put people first are therefore thought of as leading a bad example. HR & Payroll can still embrace data without losing its human touch.

Like a lot of industries, HR & Payroll data can help financial organisations address threats such as the impending skills gap. This is of particular concern in the financial sector, in light of the fact that UK fintechs rely on 42% of their talent to come from outside of the UK (Innovate Finance). This reliance on foreign talent is dangerous considering emerging threats such as Brexit are set to deter foreign talents from seeking jobs in the UK. Despite financial organisations facing an increasing challenge to attract the right talent, HR & Payroll can help plug the skills gap thanks to data.

HR & Payroll can pull data-led insights to consult business leaders on the best methods to foster and retain talent. Take employee history as an example, HR & Payroll can look at how long different kinds of employees stay at the company and map out the pain points in the business detering top talent. This can not just help businesses attract and retain a strong talent pool, but address ongoing issues in the financial sector. Through using insights to change the likes of recruitment policies, HR &Payroll can also help financial organisations tackle bigger issues such as poor gender balance and a lack of representation in leadership.

Reaping recognition in business

Thanks to data, HR & Payroll can pull and share quantifiable insights to help financial organisations make the best business decisions. In turn, these departments can step up and become true strategic business partners. If leaders are to reap the full benefits of HR & Payroll data, the board must commit to listening to their insights and recognise them as bringing true value to the business. Realising the full potential of HR & Payroll starts through shifting the internal perception of HR & Payroll and ensuring these departments are aligned to the broader business goals.






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