A recent survey reveals that 50% of finance companies have experienced layoffs, highlighting the sector’s ongoing challenges. Additionally, firms are facing a shortage of expertise in fintech and artificial intelligence (AI).

Despite these issues, many executives remain hopeful about AI’s potential. A report by Fiverr, titled “Strategic Insights: Leveraging Freelance Talent in Finance,” provides a comprehensive overview of the current landscape. This report helps finance executives navigate and adapt to industry challenges.

According to the report, the second quarter is particularly stressful for finance leaders. To cope, two-thirds of respondents report using freelancers on a weekly basis, especially for skills in ‘Fintech Innovation’ and ‘AI Expertise.’

“In finance, especially during our busiest times, freelancers are not just a temporary fix – they’re part of the strategic approach to ensure that core teams remain productive and efficient,” said Maya Roisman, General Manager of Fiverr Pro. “By bringing in experts for specialized tasks, finance leaders reduce the strain on permanent employees, enabling them to prioritize critical projects and drive innovation, which boosts overall job satisfaction and retention.”

The report identifies major obstacles for financial companies. These include adapting to changing customer expectations (27%), addressing sustainability and social responsibility measures (26%), cybersecurity threats (26%), technological disruption (26%), regulatory compliance (25%), and economic volatility (24%).

Executives hold mixed views on decentralized finance (DeFi) and AI. While 64% express optimism about AI, 25% report improvements in efficiency and decision-making. Over half of the executives say AI integration has met or exceeded expectations, though 16% have experienced mixed results. Regarding DeFi, 26% are heavily invested, seeing it as a transformative force, while 43% are concerned about regulatory clarity and security. Some 35% believe DeFi could disrupt traditional banking, and 42% see it as both a challenge and an opportunity.

The report also highlights the difficulty finance companies face in sourcing skilled employees. Over 50% of executives report increased hiring difficulties, prompting 62% to turn to freelancers. Turnover is on the rise, with 68% noting an increase. Additionally, 50% of finance firms have reported layoffs.

Executives are keen to add skills such as ‘Fintech Innovation’ (24%) and ‘AI Expertise’ (18%) to their teams. Many are adopting hybrid work models and improving employee benefits, with 78% reporting productivity improvements.

Freelancers are a key component of the finance sector’s strategy to build a flexible workforce. Currently, 66% of finance companies use freelancers weekly to boost operational flexibility. Some 38% integrate freelancers into teams for independent tasks, while 26% have freelancers lead projects. A large number of executives (83%) are open to hiring freelancers during high-stress periods, especially for financial reporting (22%), strategic planning (19%), and audit preparation (16%).

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Layoffs Hit 50% of Finance Firms; Fintech and AI Skills in Demand” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source: Small Business Trends

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