The requirement for Artificial Intelligence (AI) competence is reshaping the HR function and this is particularly evident in the financial services sector. Beyond the obvious implications for talent acquisition, AI will play an enormous role in changing the execution of the HR function.
Senior HR executives from Investec, ABSA, PWC, Alexander Forbes, Land Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Development Bank of South Africa and Discovery shared their views and the way forward for HR in the financial services sector. It is already estimated that 40 % of jobs will become redundant by 2030 and HR therefore has a social and business responsibility to upscale the skills of its employees.
The detailed discussion among the panelists included –
- the need for a dynamic organisation culture coherent with the fourth industrial revolution,
- the use of digital technologies to assist customers and to respond as and when required,
- digital solutions as an enabler to enhance employee satisfaction to match customer experience.
- the nature of jobs is changing. Employees will need to reskill and re-learn new ways of doing the same thing. There is an imperative for employees to explore new career alternatives. Boring , repetitive jobs will disappear.
The question was posed: How can organisations cultivate an attitude of change influenced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Each organisation will have to answer this in the context of their unique circumstances. HR will have to assist employees to prepare themselves for the future. HR will need to identify learnability skills at the time of recruitment.
AI will mean that new entrants will come into the sector with disruptive business models. This will result in a battle for the hearts and minds of customers. The HR function must assist the organisation in understanding this changed playing field and provide team members who can cope in this environment. AI will mean that customers have greater control over their financial services and investments. This will have significant implications for profit margins and product configuration. Brand credibility will become all important. Niche players will emerge to address non-standard customer solutions.
Further, the AI environment will mean greater regulatory oversight and control. This will impact the management of work and operating efficiencies. Ethical grey areas will come to the fore and HR will have to provide employees with the reference frameworks and incentive to deal with these challenges.
Is strategy changing in any one direction? Strategy revolves around people and the driving force for recruitment would be attracting the relevant experience, skills and competencies to function effectively in the fourth industrial revolution. Strategy is constantly evolving for organisations and the workforce that drives this evolution must be agile, innovative problem solvers.
The panel discussion was thought provoking, insightful, informative and useful for both future employers and employees. Organisations and employees must plan their future and work on the future skills to remain competitive.