Simply Sharia Human Capital

Nurturing and connecting talent for the Islamic finance industry

Talent Development Goals

The development of Islamic finance human capital is critical to building a more productive, nimble and innovative industry. Simply Sharia Human Capital (SSHC) hopes the eight Talent Development Goals (TDGs) will help achieve that objective.

Set the Goal. Make the Difference.



Benchmarking Global Islamic Finance Education

  • Form a global network of industry associations to develop and agree on professional standards
  • Create a quality code with set criteria to maintain Islamic finance (IF) education standards; defining (a) the conceptual framework for the academic subject; (b) the curriculum, assessment, consistency and delivery of the programme; and (c) the competencies and skills graduates are expected to gain against the ‘real’ needs and skills gaps of the industry
  • Every IF course should commit to signing up to at least five criteria benchmarks by 2020

Talent & Leadership Programmes

  • Commit to Talent Development, making it a part of the company culture, Human Resource strategy; aligning it to the workforce skills gap, training support, mentoring and succession plans
  • Create Pilot Leadership Programmes with an ‘open call’ to employees looking for fast track leadership pathways. Include training and orientation, increased awareness of structures and processes, strategic input/direction and knowledge and understanding of the key issues confronting the organisation and surrounding business landscape
  • Collaborate to create Internship/Industrial Placement Programmes of varying durations (3 months, 6 months, 1 year) which allow rotation between institutions – for instance in the UK, 15-20 interns could rotate among the six fully-fledged Islamic banks working across functions and departments from retail, treasury, asset management, corporate banking/financing, legal, compliance, operations, Sharia etc
  • Pool funds to create a ‘Graduate Programme’- similar to the Waqf Fund created by Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) as an initiative to sponsor, nurture and train graduates; partnering with top universities and selecting candidates through a rigorous process

Sharia Scholar Development

  • Collaborate with international Sharia regulators and industry bodies to create a framework offering CPD training to all Sharia scholars
  • Create a pre-requisite for Sharia scholars to take a set number of CPD hours a year
  • By 2020 make it mandatory for Sharia scholars on boards and working in their individual capacity to be up-to-date on industry developments. Furthermore, Central Banks and regulators of local economies to ‘screen’ Sharia Supervisory Board’s (SSB) and individual scholars with a set criteria of minimum financial qualifications covering the relevant industries and/or sectors in which they are seeking to serve; ensuring scholars are aware of the latest industry developments and trends
  • By 2020 central regulators for Sharia scholars to have all potential scholars registered at their platform and set a quota for local IFIs to have their Sharia Supervisory Board (SSB) to mentor the junior scholars over a two year period

Islamic Finance Data Building

  • Create strategy, policy and governance to breakdown data in different areas within HR functions relating to human capital: skills shortage, capacity, recruitment projections, means of recruitment, salary guide according to job specificity and scale, dedicated hiring managers, interview application process, interview process etc
  • IBF institutions should commit to sharing data for research and development purposes via their websites, annual reports or through a collective forum for Islamic finance human capital for example, creating a cross-border intranet portal to share information. Relevant data can be compiled and uploaded onto this portal for greater accessibility through utilisation of NDA and/or domestic patent rules to prevent intellectual theft. This in-house/cross-border R&D data sharing is exceptionally important for banks to meet the growing threat from fintech
  • Create Data driven marketing strategies. Market research is pertinent to measure and assess consumer needs and preferences across segments given change and digitalisation of the global landscape. Market research needs to be based on a sampling frame for greater accuracy that can only be in existence if there exists relevant transparent data

Marketing, PR & Education

  • Make marketing and branding a key function of your business
  • Build Islamic finance perception; raising awareness of the sector through its business and shared DNA; create an industry narrative inclusive of Islamic attributes, highlight crucial values of responsibility and be creative
  • Create and promote a framework consistent with internationally recognised best practice in the overall global finance industry; promoting transparency, governance, openness etc
  • Educate consumers about ‘brand Islamic finance’ through the underlying principles of the proposition; use technology and innovative platforms and channels: blogs, social media, events, media, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), training; create brand ambassadors, thought-leaders; motivate staff, potential employees and Millennials

Female Participation In Islamic Finance

  • Make female inclusion in the workplace a strategic priority at all levels
  • Commit to supporting female business owners through Sharia-compliant funding, start-up surgeries, mentoring, specialist relationship managers and dedicated networking events
  • Build inclusive workplace policies for women including incentivising female entrants through internships, offer flexible hours, identify and remove obstacles to female inclusion in the workplace, train women employees to harness female business owners and create career pathways to leadership
  • Set and monitor annual targets that increase the number of women at all levels of the organisation

Human Resource Blueprint

  • Make Human Resource (HR) visible, aligned and proactive as a strategic partner in the business needs of IF institutes
  • Identify and establish employee development needs, training shortcomings, performance gaps and an annual development process for employees
  • Translate HR activity into a detailed process: having the right number and level of people, in the right structure and location, supported by the right data and technology

Supporting Entrepreneurship

  • Commit to start-up hubs, mentorship schemes for entrepreneurs; allocate dedicated advisors within institutes to help develop ideas, finance scholarships for entrepreneurs and nurture entrepreneurship and social enterprise as a part of social corporate responsibility
  • Banks and other Islamic institutes must be proactive in sponsoring incubators for entrepreneurs, digital innovations across Fintech and workshops to help entrepreneurs in developing and bringing ideas to market
  • Work with Government to pool funds specifically for the purpose of encouraging, supporting and nurturing Islamic entrepreneurship

Talent Development Goals

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