Pandemic Landscape: Financial Services

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We’ve already discussed how Covid-19 affected the Healthcare and Information Technology industries. Now, we turn to the world of Financial Services to take a look at its progression through the pandemic. Like the other sectors mentioned, financial services meets both corporate and consumer needs and comprises a lot of different professions and practices. Major disciplines include tax, banking, accounting, insurance, and financial planning/analysis. Financial professionals have a place in nearly every company. Their contributions allow businesses to keep their doors open and succeed. We will take a look at how this industry managed the initial outbreak of Covid-19, how it adapted to a progressing pandemic, and where it’s headed in the future as a result.

Impact of Covid-19 on Financial Services

The pandemic brought most activities to a standstill once the public health crisis was globally realized. Among other things, the ‘new normal’ largely impacted work for most people around the globe. With work comes money, so the financial status of lots of people drastically changed as lockdowns carved out new working conditions and voided many opportunities. Remote work flooded in, and governments aided their citizens in providing economic relief and securing loans. These measures were largely managed by financial professionals working in both public and private sectors. As a result, the industry grew well throughout the pandemic.

The Industry’s Response

Much of the financial services industry moved to remote work as the pandemic progressed into the lockdowns. The less-tangible subject matter of this sector made remote work easier and applicable to more professions compared to healthcare and IT. This meant that nearly all financial professionals found themselves transitioning from the office to fully-remote or hybrid workspaces. For some, this was a welcome break from long commutes and other office annoyances. For others, this was a socially-lacking and distractive measure that they felt hurt their work and/or wellbeing.

Financial services professionals were not the only ones adjusting to the new changes. Users of such services, from B2B clients to the average consumer, also had to adapt to the increasingly digital financial tools. This concept of using technology to improve financial services, known as fintech, exploded over the Covid-19 pandemic. It had been growing for some time now, but social distancing cemented the need for digital alternatives to physical financial processes. This practice requires widespread collaboration of professionals from many disciplines; the implementation of fintech over the pandemic required software developers, financial experts, and UI/UX designers to work together to create usable and effective financial tools.

Settling Dust and Future Outlook

Because a lot of industry processes were reworked, the sector sought to fortify their workforce early on in the pandemic. This increased hiring allowed for quicker delivery of new projects aimed to compensate for remote work and more robust maintenance on traditional and developing practices. As the industry gained more confidence in personnel and resource needs, the hiring activities shifted. Many companies shed auxiliary roles as they integrated duties into more permanent positions. This may spell a downturn in employment across the sector, but the still-developing Great Resignation may reverse this effect.

Financial institutions and professionals alike remain in disagreement over remote work. As mentioned above, the culture and day-to-day operations affected employees differently and led to diverse performance outcomes. Due to such volatility, some companies have reverted or are in the process of moving back to pre-pandemic office structures. Others have enjoyed the shift to remote work and choose to retain work-from-home policies indefinitely.

Regardless of the industry’s own employment trends, it’s quite clear that remote work will remain in many other industries. As a result, the fintech initiative will likely continue to prosper as the general public accepts further help from technology in their everyday lives. As information security improves, so too will trust in digital financial processes, which already make up a large amount of consumer and corporate financial activity.

The Role of Staffing Firms

Staffing firms played a large role in the pandemic shift of the financial services industry, particularly with support staff. Since financial institutions needed to hire an excess of staff to fill tech and operations support staff. These individuals required careful selection; the jobs called for candidates capable and dependable in financial services and in the specific support role they assumed. Staffing firms had the domain knowledge of financial services as well as the power of experienced recruiters at the ready when the industry demanded unprecedented needs. They were able to provide this vital support to many businesses throughout the pandemic, greatly easing client overhead during massive bouts of hiring. The future of the financial services industry will continue to require the fast and efficient response that staffing firms deliver to our ever-volatile world.

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