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Banks have traditionally been attractive employees, why are you in DNB concerned about widening the talent base?

Our experience is also that we are attractive as an employee, and vacant positions within the bank always have a number of qualified applicants. Looking at our employee base, we can, however, see that the typical employee and manager is a middle-aged white male with a degree in economics(many from the same university as well). Also, applicants for vacant positions tended to fit the same formula, except for age. Given the big changes we are expecting within the Financial Industry, we started asking us the question whether our employee base was the best to understand the expected changes. We then understood that we for the future needed to recruit differently and to increase our attractiveness as employer for other demographic groups than we traditionally had been doing.

What concrete measures have been undertaken to increase your talent base?

If you want to actually change the way we recruit, we found we needed to apply a wide variety of measures. A change in this direction needs to be emphasized and supported from the top, and both our board and CEO have sent out clear signals in this regard. It started by reviving the “sleeping” goal of 40% female management representation. A goal the organization knew was there but had not been able to deliver on other than a small increase in female representation year on year. We found that the rate we were changing the female representation meant it would take some 15-20 years to actually achieve the goal. We then increased the attention, established female talent pools, required that for all management positions that were to be replaced at least one of the final candidates should be a woman, challenged our internal and external recruiting partners to search differently than before so that also female talent was detected in the processes etc. This has given results, and especially in re-organization processes, we have seen good results in changing the gender balance. December 2017 a new group management was announced with a 50/50 gender balance.

But we also work with other initiatives. For instance, we saw that we for the future not only needed talents with a degree in economics but also IT specialists, entrepreneur mentality and knowledge etc. Hence our Employer Banding activity towards different universities has increased. We still rank as Norway’s most attractive employer amongst economy students but more importantly have climbed to the third most attractive employer amongst IT-students. This is a big step from where we were only a few years back. In addition, we have engaged with the different universities to tell them what we see as the future business needs for competence. As a result, IT subjects are now emphasized too much larger degree at Norwegian universities for economic studies.

How can compensation and benefits enhance the strategy for increased diversity?

Looking at the organization today, and comparing it to how we said five years back, there are some very interesting changes. Going from a business model where physical presence in bank offices was the core to a digitalized future business model, we also see new roles and way of work that change how to assess the weight and importance of different positions. We also see that competing for new talent means we must be willing to let go of some of our previous ways of evaluating market value. The old hierarchical way of ranking importance and pay level does not necessarily give meaning when recruiting specialists and experience from innovation in digital business models. Somehow we can take experience from how we have paid the best Investment bankers bigger bonuses than their managers, but for some of these new positions, it’s hard to find the good performance measures. Mixing this reality with equal pay gives some challenges. Also when promoting female talent we need to address how to assess young talent in a pay perspective as opposed to previous managers with years of experience and good results. In DNB we have introduced new pay structures with the increased use of market and position allowances (rather than fixed pay) to alleviate the long-term effects of giving high fixed pay at a too early stage. In this way we feel more flexible, and think we can avoid increasing the pay gap. It is not easy, and we still have a long way to go, but for the future, I am convinced we must strive for flexible pay structures and increase our recruiting base to enhance the cultural change needed to survive.

More specific in addressing the gender pay-gap, we have the last three years allocated part of the annual pay review pool for this purpose, giving managers room for increasing underpaid women more than their male counterparts. Also in the annual bonus process, the focus on reduced differences has been addressed. Transparency on the differences and discussions in management groups, statistics supporting the grandfather process for approval, involvement with unions, clear signals from the compensation committee and the CEO are amongst the initiatives taken to increase awareness and changing historical practices.  

What would you like to achieve by attending the 21st Annual Financial Sector Compensation and Benefits?

This is my third time attending this conference. To me, the conference has been valuable in understanding different approaches to challenges that we all meet within the Financial Sector. This year the program is less focused on regulatory issues, and it will be interesting to hear the different perspectives the participants bring with them in issues as for example gender pay-gap.

Ahead of the 21st Annual Financial Sector Compensation and Benefitswe spoke with Hans Petter Flogstad, Executive Vice President, Compensation and Benefits at DNB about the  role of compensations and benefits in advancing a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

About the conference:

 This marcus evans conference will enable you to learn practical solutions to effectively create policies based on regulation. Furthermore, you will hear different strategies to best manage variable pay and create a balanced bonus system. Finally, you will gain practical insights on how to ensure fair and equal pay, and strategies on how to attract and retain top talent within the organisation. The  21st Annual Financial Sector Compensation and Benefits,  will take place on the 23-25 of May 2018 at De Vere Holborn Bars, in London, United Kingdom.

Copyright © 2018 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

Practical Insights from:

Frank-Jan de Leeuw
Global Head of Performance
and Reward

Lucie Edwards
Head of CEE Compensation
Benefits and Mobility

Simon Hills
Executive Director, Prudential
UK Finance

Andrew Manktellow
Head of Executive Compensation
Legal and General

Blazej Blasikiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor, Legal
and International Affairs
European Banking Federation

John Dady
Compensation and Benefits
Director EMEA
Societe Generale

Randal Tajer
Global Head of Compensation
and Benefits

About the speaker:

Hans Petter Flogstad has 25 years experience as an advisor and product specialist within Life Insurance and corporate pension schemes. He is the Executive Vice President Compensation & Benefits in DNB since 2014, Compensation, Performance & Reward, Pensions and Global Mobility.

Widening the talent base




An interview with the Executive Vice President, Compensation and Benefits at DNB

Hans Petter Fløgstad, Executive Vice President, Compensation and Benefits at DNB

Attending this marcus evans event will enable you to:

Develop group policies to effectively apply regulations across
compensation and benefits structures

Address fair and equal pay to best incorporate this into strategy,
and incorporate the moral viewpoint into strategies

Evaluate the best practices to create an effective variable pay strategy

Evolve your incentive policies to ensure best attraction
and retention of talent to the enterprise

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