Talent: Attract the right people, the right way

Attract and retain qualified banking talent in a competitive market.

The banking industry faces several challenges due to recent economic, geopolitical and regulatory developments. KPMG has identified the top 10 issues facing banks in 2022 and beyond, and in this article we examine the topic of attracting talent.

The Right People, The Right Way

Addressing the challenge of enhancing technology capabilities of a bank’s staff will require teamwork among board members and management as well as a sizable investment of time and money. Our interactions with bank boards and bank senior management teams leave no doubt that tech talent acquisition and retention are among the industry’s key objectives.

Forrester issued a report1 in November predicting banks will “spend lavishly on tech, talent, and fintech,’’ as they seek growth. Not surprisingly, the competition for talent will be intense from within the financial services industry as well as from technology firms, start-ups, and other industries. “Banks are going to run into a severe shortage of the digital skills they need, and they have to compete with tech firms looking for people with the same skills.’’2

Taking Action in 2022 - Attract Talent

Click on each section below for actionable steps you can take now

Take the long view on compensation

While shortages of qualified people can be attributed to an overall shortage in the workforce pool, it may also be the result of some banks being hesitant to offer the level of compensation being demanded.

Some investment banks, according to a recent published report,3 are paying junior-level bankers with strong technical background “right out of college (starting salaries) in excess of $100,000’’ a year.

Banks that have not already done so should determine if they are being unrealistic when making an offer. To accomplish that goal, a bank team will need to make it a priority to conduct a study of the levels of offers being made and compare them to the offer their bank has made. For some banks, they will need outside help in making an objective decision.

Search within

An equal priority will be the need for banks to evaluate in-house talent, looking for individuals who may be qualified to be in tech roles but are assigned elsewhere. Some organizations may be surprised at how much technology talent already exists in their organizations when they look – and ask for help.

Bank executives should ask their in-house technology personnel two questions:

  • Do you know anyone else in the organization that is doing another job at the bank but can be reassigned to help with our digitization efforts?
  • Would you reach out to your external network and help us recruit people who you think would be a good fit with our culture and help us reach our goals?

Keep DEI in mind when searching the talent pool

When attempting to fulfill the bank’s tech hiring needs it is important to keep in mind the critical issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Simply put, attracting talent that reflects the demographics that make up the clients an institution serves – or hopes to serve – must be a stated priority of any bank.  And, avoiding (intentionally or not) certain demographic pools simply limits an organization’s chances at filling needed positions.

The is no shortage of ways to achieve DEI goals, but making such programs work effectively requires a stated commitment to pursue those goals, and it requires a mechanism that holds people accountable to uphold such a commitment. Aside from needing to follow the relevant regulations, creating and following through on a substantive DEI program is the right thing to do from a societal perspective - and it makes good business sense.

Shifting to a higher gear
Download the full report to learn about all of the key issues impacting banks in 2022 and beyond


  1. “Forrester Expects Banks to Invest Aggressively, But Run Into Skills Shortages,’’ Forrester Research, Inc., November 19, 2021
  2. Ibid
  3. Big Banks Will Open Their Checkbooks to Lure Young Talent,’’ NPR.org. August 12, 2021

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Peter Torrente

Peter Torrente

National Sector Leader, Banking & Capital Markets, KPMG US

+1 212-872-5815