Fintech is a hot field in 2017 – and as the intersection of finance and technology, professionals with the right skill sets can help companies of all types compete in the 21st century marketplace.
"Mainstream Financial Institutions are rapidly embracing the disruptive nature of FinTech and forging partnerships in efforts to sharpen operational efficiency and respond to customer demands for more innovative services," noted PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global FinTech Report 2017.
As a result, demand is quickly growing for qualified fintech professionals. As a relatively new field, it's important that companies take a measured and strategic approach to hiring in this area. Here are some top tips for recruiting in fintech:
Look for the right combination of skills
Top talent will have experience and skills in both financial services and information technology. Has the candidate extensively used these two skills together to solve business problems or make life easier for consumers? Examine resumes for proof of this, but also ask candidates interview questions that explore their approach to fusing finance and tech. Depending on the job role available, you should also look to see whether the candidate has experience that relates to certain functional areas and skills, such as blockchain technology and machine learning.
Be open to unique experiences
To be a qualified fintech professional, an individual doesn't have to have a 10-year career as the head of IT at a major bank. Though this role is impressive, there are also many other career paths and responsibilities that can attest to a candidate's fintech expertise, especially since it is such a new field and standard career trajectories have not yet been defined. Experience working for a startup, a community financial institution, nonprofit or other organizations as well as freelance and contract work should also be considered. A candidate may not have followed a traditional path to where they are now, but their experience can be just as valuable.
Assess for soft skills
Though technical known-how is important in fintech, these abilities can also be taught. However, certain soft skills are vital to the field, and are much harder to teach if a person does not already possess them.
One important soft skill is a focus on customer service. Fintech, at its core, is about making complicated financial processes easier and more intuitive for consumers and other types of clients, so a good fintech candidate will show a dedication to improving the customer experience in their work.
Another critical soft skill is creative problem-solving. Fintech is the merging of two complicated areas – sensitive financial information and complex digital systems – and the answers are not always easy. A talented fintech professional will be dedicated to untangling difficult issues and thinking outside the box to come up with solutions.
Fintech is a fascinating and quickly growing field that presents big opportunities for organizations to better serve their clients and compete in the dynamic 21st-century marketplace. With the tips above, hiring managers and recruiters alike can bring on the top talent in the industry.