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The Solution to The Talent Drought in Commercial Banking

by Paul Bees

Here in Minnesota’s commercial banking industry, we’ve been struggling with a serious shortage in talent for some time. Unfortunately, it’s not looking like the supply of experienced bankers will match the demand anytime soon.

A couple of factors have led to this current situation: First, a lack of formal training programs and second, a large group of experienced bankers are leaving the industry by way of retirement. 

Read on for a deep dive into the factors affecting the availability of talent for the banking industry and how we’ve found a unique solution for our partners in the industry.

When There Was Easy Access to Training

Around thirty years ago, the two largest banks in the Twin Cities were Norwest and First Bank. As the years passed, they grew much larger and became Wells Fargo and US Bank. At the time, both institutions eagerly courted the brightest MBA students from the finest schools in the Upper Midwest in an effort to enroll them in their prestigious commercial lending training programs.

For a period of five to seven years, both banks ran year-long training programs for individuals interested in Banking and Financial Services. As a result of the programs, more than two hundred well-trained commercial lenders graduated and were placed in the banking field.

Banking Programs Scaled Back, Creating a Void of Talent

Over time, it was found the retention rate for trainees of this program was not high enough to justify the program’s continuance. Both banks grew weary of recruiting and training top talent just to see them go work for their competitors. As a result, the commercial lending training programs were dramatically scaled back. 

Today, many of the graduates of these training programs have either left the banking industry or have retired. As a result, the banking industry has experienced a precipitous decline in the availability of trained commercial lenders. The solution for lack of training is not immediately clear. And many training programs that still exist lack the participation of past programs. 

However, talented bankers are still out there, albeit in very high demand. For banking leaders looking for talent, this may mean expanding your search and/or offering your own training programs for individuals with high potential. 

The Top Partner for Minnesota’s Commercial Banking Talent

As leading banking executive recruiters, our experienced banking and financial services recruiting team at Versique has a key solution.

We specialize in financial services recruitment in the Twin Cities metro area. By sourcing the top candidates in the banking and finance services sector, we can ensure your candidates have the correct skill-set, and the best cultural fit and work style in the industry.

In banking and financial services, who you know is everything. That’s why our partners stay with Versique – because we can provide long-standing relationships built on trust and integrity to connect ideal candidates with your bank’s decision-makers.

If you’re looking for talented candidates, contact Versique today. We offer an unparalleled blend of functional, industry, and recruiting experience in Executive Search, Direct Hire and Interim solutions to help you find the right talent for your team.

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