What a difference a decade makes. Back during the height of the Great Recession, jobs were difficult to come by. Business owners would receive dozens of resumes for a single opening as national unemployment figures reached the double-digits.
Fast forward 10 years and it's a case of role reversal; there are far more openings than people to fill them. In fact, based on the most recent statistics available, jobs outnumber the unemployed by more than 2 million, CNBC reported.
Furthermore, just about every industry is struggling to hire — and that includes banking, an unusual twist for a sector that had been shedding jobs due to changes in consumer banking habits.
From the smallest of credit unions to the largest of internationally recognized financial institutions, banks of all sizes are raising salaries and sweetening benefits to recruit new hires and retain existing staff. This includes PNC Bank. As ABC News reported, the Philadelphia-based financial services corporation recently announced it intends to raise its minimum wage for entry-level employees to $18 per hour, which is over double the current federal minimum wage ($7.25) and $3 more than several states have committed to in establishing on a phased-in basis.
"Banks of all sizes are raising salaries and sweetening benefits to recruit new hires and retain existing staff."
Between PNC and Birmingham, Alabama-based BBVA — which will also increase base salaries from $11 per hour previously — an estimated 20,000 staff members are poised to be earning more moving forward.
Bill Demchak, who serves as chairman and CEO of PNC Financial, told ABC News that the pay increase makes sense for the company and its long-term goals.
"We want the best we can find, and we can afford to do so," Demchak explained. "We need to show that we can provide both a career path as well as compensation that makes it a lifetime opportunity."
'The Great Resignation' is underway
The salary hike comes at a time in which many Americans are reflecting on their current jobs and whether they're truly content with where they are and how far they've come. In what's being described as The Great Resignation, millions of Americans are submitting their walking papers, confident that they'll be able to find a position that is more in line with their aspirations (close to three-quarters of adults in the U.S. believe now is a good time to find a high-quality job, according to a Gallup poll). In a recent survey from Moneypenny, nearly 95% said their current role was a far cry from their "dream job." Interestingly, however, banking was among the sectors with the highest percentage of employees who were happy with their present employer.
Despite this, a number of banking employees are seeking greener pastures. This may explain why Bank of America installed a $20 minimum wage last year and pledges to increase base salaries to $25 by 2025, ABC News reported.
What else banks are doing to woo workers
To prevent existing employees from submitting their two-week notices, banks of all sizes are going above and beyond raising base pay. According to American Banker, they're handing out more bonuses after performance reviews and granting equity awards. They're also reconsidering previous plans to relocate certain hires so those who like where they are can stay there.
And for those who like the flexibility of being able to work from home or come into the office, banks are making this possible as well. Cooperative Bank, a community bank headquartered in Yarmouth Port on Cape Cod, plans to roll out a hybrid work schedule for its employees, American Banker reported. Once in place, the majority of its staff (60%), will be able to work remotely for up to three days per week.
"Employees' prioritization for telecommuting is partially inspired by COVID-19."
Cameron Boyd, director of financial services at Smith & Wilkinson, told the publication that remote work has become a major selling point for would-be hires, to the point of being a deal breaker for applicants if job offers don't include this perk.
"We know, and our clients know, that if they don't afford flexibility, they're going to lose people," Boyd warned.
Employees' prioritization for telecommuting is partially inspired by COVID-19. When the pandemic led offices to shut down, millions of Americans spent 100% of their workdays from the comfort of home. With the economy and businesses back open, many are eager to retain the convenience and flexibility that working from home provides. FIs are willing to do that by investing in the technology that makes it possible.
In your bid to build a better bank for your staff and customers, turn to BranchServ Convergint. We offer the technology, services and solutions that can help you retain the people that currently work for you and inspire more employees to come aboard. Contact us today.