As consultants working with clients in the financial services industry, we continually hear organisations talk about Operational Risk, as a key business enabler, but also as a bugbear when building capability and talent.

The themes that come up time and time again are; a lack of specific Operational Risk education available on the market, a shortage (and high churn) of skilled talent and no clear talent pipeline being developed.

Coming from a background working in Banking and Executive recruitment I didn’t find this particularly surprising, but I thought it warranted a closer look to see if we could help our clients develop a different approach to Operational Risk capability development and talent attraction.

Let’s start with some market insights.

  • Operational Risk skills are some of the most highly sort after in the market.

If you run a search on Seek today you’ll see 429 job results in Banking and Financial Services alone. Organisations are struggling to fill jobs, and it’s only getting more difficult post Royal Commission.

  • The available talent pool is small and transient.

We recently ran a talent search for a client for experienced Operational Risk professionals in the Sydney market. We pulled together a list of 63 Professionals. Of those 63 professionals, 35% had changed roles in the last 12 months. Not only is the talent pool scarce, but they are not sticking around and they command higher and higher salaries with each move, making it more expensive to attract new prospects and to keep your current talent.

  • There is no specific Operational Risk training to build capability and future talent pools

Risk education seems to be an add-on rather than a focus area of many education programs and the modules available aren’t equipping risk practitioners with the skills they’ll need for the future.

So what do you do when you have a significant talent shortage, no clear pipeline of talent coming through and no fit for purpose educational solution to build current capability and develop future talent?

My Career Lab have taken an agile and collaborative approach to try and solve these shared industry challenges.

Working with the AGSM @ UNSW Business School, we ran Think Tanks, workshops and pilots with Risk Leaders from Tier 1 and 2 Banking and Financial Services organisations and representatives from the Australian Regulators, to help ideate, pilot and now scale 2 persona-driven programs to build risk capability in the Australian Financial Services market and help solve the talent shortage. A clear example of industry and education collaborating to solve business problems.

The 2-day ‘Future of Operational Risk in Financial Services’ open program encompasses a blend of digital pre-learning, ‘hands-on’ learning activities, examples of best- and poor- practice curated from around the world and a symposium of case studies and industry speak

This program is designed for current risk professionals and will culminate with participants joining the AGSM’s risk community of practice, providing access to content, knowledge sharing forums and ongoing learning and collaboration events.

The extended 5-day ‘Future of Operational Risk program’ is designed to equip prospective ‘new to risk talent’ with the skills required by the modern-day risk professional. This comprehensive program combines the current two-day course for risk professionals with additional risk modules from AGSM’s leading MBA courses and will be contextualised to enable effective work-integrated learning to allow organisations to identify, up-skill and mobilise talent to move into high demand operational risk roles.

The early signs are positive, with organisations already enrolling participants into the 2-day Open Program in May and a pilot underway to up-skill a group of internal employees for critical un-filled risk opportunities within their business.

If you’d like to find out more about either of these programs and how My Career Lab is helping other organisations develop talent in other high-demand areas, please get in touch.

Sharon.collins@mycareerlab.com.au