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Charlotte on the Front Line of the War for FinTech Talent

Posted on: April 18, 2017

Category: Information Technology

By Tracy Libertino, Vice President of Technology and Project Management

The battle between banks and FinTechs for the right talent to support emerging FinTech trends and initiatives is heating up.  Although the continued rise of the smart machine, robotics and artificial intelligence feels like something from a science fiction movie, the reality is that there is a growing need for scientists in these areas with Master’s Degrees and PhD’s.   Similarly, when it comes to the day-to-day technical needs in today’s rapidly changing business world there is a high demand for both technical and domain experience in finance, cyber security and distributed ledger technology.  In a nutshell, the future is now.  For those with the skills needed to create, harness and disseminate the technologies powering business, opportunities abound.

It should come as no surprise, in the rising metropolis of Greater Charlotte, the demand for finance savvy talent that can support back-end technology, such as Big Data, Business Intelligence, Reporting, and Automation is increasing daily.  Additionally, with more work (and socializing) being conducted on smart devices, the need for experienced professionals that own user experience on mobile platforms has increased dramatically.  None of this work will be accomplished without diligent Project Managers, Business Analysts and Architects evaluating tools, designing solutions, documenting business requirements, managing change and planning projects while adhering to industry regulations and suffering through audits.  The type of transformation required to implement the latest tech while continuing to evaluate emerging distributed technologies (such as blockchain or Peer-to-Peer payments) will require the right talent to establish trust, accountability and transparency.  These professionals must be able to continue to support users’ voracious appetite to do anything, anywhere, at any time, leveraging their mobile device, which extends far beyond just banks and FinTechs infiltrating the entire business community.

As the nascent FinTech ecosystem attempts to mature and cyber-attacks continue to create headlines; having access to skilled talent is more important than ever.  Professionals who have both practical experience and the appropriate certifications to exhibit proven ability to get the job done will be well suited for success amid the increasing demand for their premium skills.  Indeed, these credentialed subject matter experts are challenging to find and securing their services will require an investment by employers.  For organizations, finding the best candidates will require not only investment in training talent and hiring skilled internal corporate recruiters but also partnerships with specialized talent agencies.  The increased network breadth offered by the later, can accelerate onboarding and provide high quality resource engagement.

For hiring managers looking to add talent in Charlotte, attracting niche talent has become challenging and the more innovative or complex the project the more difficult it is to determine if candidates will be able to deliver.  Hiring managers should aim to remain familiar with appropriate certifications to provide clarity with regards to critical skills and appropriate subject matter.  The demand for talent with these competencies will also require proven business acumen along with comprehension of the workflows and technical knowledge required.  Appropriate education such as an MBA or similar will be an important factor to consider when evaluating quality business resources.  Two ways for organizations to work toward hiring the right talent is to find resources with appropriate certifications and to supplement hiring activity utilizing a talent agency as a partner.

Below are examples of a handful of certifications projected to be in high demand and critical for businesses considering, initiating or maintaining FinTech projects:

Project Management Related Certifications: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA), Six Sigma Certification for both a Black or Green Belt

Amazon Web Services Certifications: Certified Advanced Networking, Certified Security, Certified Big Data, Certified Solutions Architect, AWS Certified Developer and AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

IT Audit, Security, Governance, Risk and Information Systems Certifications: Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control ISACA, CRISC, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CSX, CSX-P

Network Certifications: CCIE, CCNA Data Center, CCDP

Security Certifications: CISSP, CEH, CCNP

Microsoft Certifications: MCSA:  SQL Server, MCSE:  Business Intelligence, MCSE: Data Platform certification

In addition to hiring skilled team members to manage technology, employers would be wise to build their internal talent acquisition team to prepare for the increased FinTech demand.  Further, by supplementing their own staff by partnering with the right talent agency, employers can:

  1. Eliminate challenging hiring processes and stream line business work flows to take advantage of the ability to leverage efficient hiring processes where only thoroughly vetted talent is presented to your organization, resulting in predictable, high-quality fits of talent to need.
  2. Leverage a specialized focus in maintaining talent and networks in specific skillsets and offer corporate recruiters access to talent networks reducing time investment and accelerate on-boarding key talent resulting in faster productivity.
  3. Help companies incorporate and maintain a flexible workforce that will meet ongoing business objectives, as well as, normalize peaks and valleys created by innovation and non-recurring projects.
  4. Utilize contingency labor to backfill full-time employees assigned to key business projects and create the ability to include several full-time employees on the project team. This will allow for the company to retain intellectual knowledge.
  5. Bring in a highly experienced Subject Matter Resources to help architect a competitive solution and train current employees on the latest platforms, products, methods and systems. These resources typically are cost prohibitive to staff full-time throughout the year and loyal resources will gain new skills and experience.
  6. Take advantage of local firms familiar with the talent pool that can best match the talent to your organization. Frequently, agencies will have a history with candidates that helps to assure the right resource is brought on board in a timely manner.

It’s clear that the war for FinTech talent that experts have been predicting for years is officially not only on, but in places like Charlotte it is raging.  As you search for candidates for FinTech or specific certifications, remember the six points above.   If you want to increase the odds of finding and on-boarding the right talent and winning the talent war, a specialized agency, like Sherpa, can be a great ally.

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