Microfinance Insights Magazine releases survey report on human resource challenges

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Mumbai, May 15 (ANI/Business Wire India): Microfinance Insights (www.microfinanceinsights.com), the quarterly print publication that covers the sector, conducted an online survey on Human Resources Challenges and Solutions to find out more about the challenges in the microfinance sector.

In a competitive market, where the microfinance sector is competing with non-profits and commercial banks for talent, microfinance institutions (MFIs) have cited human resources issues like staff retention, turnover, recruiting and training as their most challenging.

The online survey from February through March 2008 revealed that although microfinance has been promoted as a tool to empower the women, the presence of women in staff and management positions is not reflective of the client base.

More than a quarter of all MFIs surveyed have less than ten per cent women on staff.

The survey also found that non banking financial companies/institutions (NBFCs/NBFIs or regulated MFIs) are experiencing the fastest annual growth (32 per cent), which could reflect their increased ability to grow to scale through outside investments after changing their legal status.

The online survey asked MFIs, consultants, job service providers and microfinance investors about their human resources issues and perceptions. Ninety respondents from 31 countries participated in the survey, which was conducted online. The abbreviated results follow:

--51 per cent of MFIs surveyed label human resources issues as the most challenging in comparison to financial issues, technology issues and turnover issues.

--When charting the growth of MFI staff over time, non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs or regulated MFIs) are experiencing the fastest growth (32 per cent) in terms of staff size, whereas non-profits (22 per cent) and banks (11 per cent) are growing slower.

--For MFIs and consultants working in microfinance, finding strategic thinkers with experience in microfinance is the most challenging (63 per cent), in comparison to finding talent with capital markets experience (16 per cent) or basic operations experience (21 per cent).

--Nearly half (46 per cent) of MFIs said that staff turnover is a concern, but not their biggest concern.

--The most important criterion in MFI recruiting is local knowledge. It ranked higher than international knowledge, management degrees, capital markets experience and local language proficiency for all levels of MFI staff.

--More than a quarter of all MFIs surveyed have less than 10 per cent women on staff and only 9 per cent of all MFIs have a staff comprised of more than 75 per cent women.

--Nearly half (46 per cent) of all MFIs surveyed have less than 10 per cent women in their management team.

--A surprisingly large number (81 per cent) of institutions in South Asia reported having less than 50% women on staff.

Microfinance Insights will continue to launch surveys to coincide with every new issue.

The next issue, due in July 2008, will focus on the "Mainstreaming of Microfinance" and will include results from a survey currently in progress.

Microfinance Insights, published by Intellecap, is a dynamic, fast growing niche publication with over 5,000 readers who praise the magazine as a valuable resource and a thought leader in the microfinance sector.

Published in India, the magazine is international in scope, which is reflected through articles focusing on global trends and initiatives.

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