The struggle to recruit qualified professionals is one of the largest concerns in 2023 across many industries and jurisdictions. In the finance industry in the Channel Islands, recruitment and retention are rated as one of the top risks, and rightfully so in today’s candidate-driven job market. There are simply not enough skilled employees to fill open positions in the financial services industry.
Business leaders cite workforce and talent-related issues as their primary concern as their organisations struggle to fill vacancies.
So, what are the consequences?
The consequences of the workforce shortage are concerning, with insufficient resources to support business strategies and a stretched workforce that struggles to meet regulatory requirements. The results of not having sufficient resources can be categorised into stages:
- Reduced resources to do the same or more work.
- Shortcuts in training and induction processes.
- Negative impacts on staff morale.
- Increased (and often long-term) staff absences.
- Staff attrition (voluntary and involuntary).
- Regulatory and/or statutory breaches.
- Internal breaches of policies and procedures.
- Client complaints.
- Backlogs of minutes, file reviews and other tasks.
- Regulatory findings.
- Audit findings (internal and external).
- Regulatory remediations.
- Audit actions.
The stage at which a client reaches out to us at Virteffic Limited (Virteffic) varies.
Many of our clients have quickly identified their limited capacity and reached out to us early, often at stage 1. Some come to us for assistance during a limited time whilst they are recruiting for a permanent employee, and we have also assisted with maternity cover for a couple of clients.
Some clients have waited a bit longer and engaged with us at stage 2, and we help them to clear backlogs of minutes.
We also have clients who engage us at the later stages where the limited resources, ongoing projects and backlogs have resulted in regulatory findings, auditing findings or remediation requirements.
At whatever stage, we are happy to help to provide the support required.
A change in the way that businesses operate
There are many ways that companies are addressing the workforce shortage and its consequences. Some have implemented new recruiting strategies, with increased use of social media to access candidates for open positions.
The pandemic and emerging technologies have changed the way that organisations operate. In 2023, most organisations offer more flexibility, both by way of flexible hours and also by giving staff members the opportunity to work from home more frequently, with some even accommodating team members to work from anywhere.
The use of cloud technology and innovative solutions has evolved as a result of the macroeconomic challenges presented over the last couple of years that have massively impacted IT security. Technology solutions, cyber security and sound policies are now fundamentals rather than “nice-to-haves”, together with strong corporate governance and regulatory focus.
There has also been an increase in outsourcing or hiring teams in other jurisdictions to support day-to-day activities. However, the tasks that can be outsourced to other jurisdictions are limited due to the challenging Jersey regulatory environment, where certain technical tasks require local experience and technical skills.
The pandemic accelerated the development of virtual support services, and there is a large number of local consultants and virtual assistants. Meanwhile, Virteffic specialises in secretarial support and corporate governance services, which form the core of our business. Since its establishment, our team has drafted more than 2,500 sets of minutes for a wide range of clients, and we can also assist with technical administration tasks and projects where lengthy experience is required.
Our virtual assistants act efficiently and professionally with the utmost confidentiality, sometimes eliminating the need for staff members altogether.
Virteffic is a leading virtual assistant company in the Channel Islands that strengthen organisations with professional support services.
We have become a trusted support firm that assists many of the larger regulated firms (trust companies, fund companies, wealth advisors and insurance companies) as well SMEs, charities, and non-profit organisations. Our clients are based in Jersey, Guernsey, the Cayman Islands and the United Kingdom. Clients have used our services over the last 2.5 years, either for temporary support with a specific project or as a longer-term solution to fill their capacity needs.
At Virteffic, our team members work whenever they want, as much or as little as they want – provided that deadlines are always met – and we collaborate to share the team workload. The team continues to grow in size to meet an ever-growing demand for our services.
Our team members appreciate and value the freedom and independence that comes from the unique roles that we offer and by entrusting our team members with complete flexibility to set their own hours and working environment, we have revolutionised the way that our business operates. This has resulted in us having experienced and qualified team members with regulatory expertise from lengthy careers in the Channel Islands finance industry who are available to support your organisation.
Our working model at Virteffic, whereby we work where and when we want, allows our staff to have a great work/life balance, and we believe that this approach allows us to be more effective and efficient with our time.