We live in an era where experts are often unaware of the short runway or limited scope of their career in organisations. This is particularly true in the financial services sector. There is huge reliance on financial technical experts to continuously seek innovative ways to bolster competitive advantage by developing new revenue models to increase market share. Due to limited career scope and fierce competition experts continuously seek ways to increase their employability, whilst organisations (due to scarcity of expert skills) seek employment flexibility through knowledge appropriation and skills transfer initiatives. Although literature confirms this phenomenon there is limited research on career optimisation of experts. Identifying the factors that increase employability from different stakeholder perspectives could be valuable in finding new ways to focus efforts and balance competing interests to optimise this scarce resource.
Qualitative exploratory research methods were adopted to gain insight into; the factors that enhance or inhibit building of career capital of experts, different labour market perspectives and career trade-offs experts might encounter. A total of 16 semi-structured interviews were conducted with financial technical experts, senior managers, human resource and recruitments specialists across four different Financial Institutions. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the outputs of each interview.
The key findings of this research indicate those factors that influence building of career capital and increase employment flexibility for financial technical experts, mainly centre on themes of collaboration, willingness to share knowledge, a personal sense of direction and having good networks. Based on the literature review and the findings a model was developed to illustrate the enabling environment that is needed to coordinate, adapt and balance interests across stakeholder groups. This needs to be based on improved efficiencies and flexibility to achieve strategic objectives and to optimise scarce resources. The model depicts and demonstrates the delicate interplay and inter-relationships between relevant stakeholder groups within broader organisational objectives. Knowing how to optimise careers of experts might partly solve concomitant talent attraction, development and retention issues.
Keywords: experts, competing interests, career capital, career optimisation, knowledge economy, labour markets, marginal gains, career game theory
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.