After the customers (who pay the bills), the most important asset of any company is its employees, the people involved in making sure that what was promised to the customers is delivered. The exercise of hiring people is key to the success of any bank.

By choosing the right person the bank makes the first, important, step to ensure alignment with the goals, principles and values of the company and the delivery of these to the market. It is essential to bring on board employees who will go the extra mile to deliver the company’s proposition, who will innovate, and be an important part of the success.

Hiring an employee has three steps:

  1. Build the job and employee profile description;
  2. Search and select suitable résumés (Curriculum Vitae/CV) from candidates;
  3. Interview candidates and make a hiring decision.

Build a job and employee profile description

Any job description must include:

  • Job title;
  • Job description;
  • Place of work;
  • Remuneration and Benefits;
  • Minimum required expertise and academic qualifications.

Job Title & Job Description

It is important to use a title that both the Human Resources (HR) department and any candidate will easily understand. Some companies try to attract employees with fancy job titles that do not reflect the role, nor the remuneration offered. Such tactics are useless, as it will attract people that are not adequate, and it will prove to be a waste of time and money.

This describes the responsibilities of the role, which activities will be involved, what sort of challenges and goals the role will have, and the minimum experience required.

When publishing a job advert, the hiring manager or the HR department must provide a brief description of the bank. This should include information such as the bank’s segment or business, a brief description of the products and services offered, and the company’s goals and vision, such as growth, geography expansion or diversification. The aim should be that this brief description will help attract the right candidates seeking banks with this profile.

Place of work & Remuneration and Benefits

By defining the place of work it helps HR to seek candidates in the right vicinity, as transfer or expat packages may not be available, with such benefits being only offered to key or very specific technical positions. Providing the place of work helps candidates when deciding to apply, as some people have issues to move out of their geography, , even with extra compensation. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 remote work has increased significantly, so in that case, it is important to mention it if a job is wholly or partly remote.

Together with HR, the hiring manager must define the remuneration and benefits offered for the role. Clearly defining the salary and benefits avoids any issue of processing the job fulfilment –  with HR able to be very clear to the potential candidates of the remuneraton package they should expect. Sometimes when dealing with key or very specific technical positions it is advisable to have a range of salaries and benefits as some employees are difficult to find. When the ideal candidate is identified, the bank should not lose them because of a rigid remuneration package.

Remuneration is not only about salary. It also includes bonuses and commissions, holiday entitlement, health and dental insurance, food and transport allowance, possibly a company car, and any clothing or uniform allowance. There are many ways to build a remuneration package, and each will have a different financial impact in terms of the total expense to the company, due to tax implications. Here, it is important to analyse the market and the bank’s competitiveness.

Minimum required expertise and academic qualifications

This is a very important part of a job description. Being clear what is required will increase the level of suitable candidates and should discourage ‘adventurers’ or people that send résumés trying for any opportunity, whether or not they are qualified. With clarity the pre-work to select candidates for future interviews will be much easier.

The manager must define the minimum expected expertise, years of experience and academic level achieved, avoiding phrases such as, “Requires a Bachelor’s degree, but a Master’s is desirable”. If it needs an employee with a Master’s degree, say so! Do not be vague. If there is a specific certification or course required for the job, make it clear.

Finally, when placing a job advert, explain how to apply, and set timing expectations of how long it will be before people will receive a response to their application. It is important always to provide feedback as a sign of respect to candidates, even if it is just a simple SMS, email or WhatsApp message response. One never knows when there will be a need to contact the candidate again. Maybe the applicant was not right for the role now, but may be needed tomorrow- so it advisable always to go through the whole process keeping the doors open.

Perform a detailed analysis of the Résumés (CVs)

Once the hiring manager or HR has advertised the positions or used a hiring company to help  obtain the résumés of as many qualified candidates as possible, it is time to reconcile each résumé with the job description. HR or the hiring manager will benefit from a precise, clear job description, as the selection process will be a reconciliation exercise of the minimum parameters defined in the job description against the résumés received.

After the first reconciliation, it is important to obtain a copy of any mandatory course or certificates that are required for the role before the next phase of interviews. Some jobs -for example selling regulated products – require certification and relevant documents must be submitted for verification.

Once the résumés have been reconciled against the job description it is time to prepare for the interviews.

An additional filter that can be used  before the interview is to perform a consistency test using social media such as LinkedIn. This will identify possible inconsistencies with the information already provided by the candidates. The more senior the position, the more important it is that these checks are completed before inviting candidates to the next phase.

Another option is to provide the job description to specialised hiring companies, which will complete the advertising or search work and select the best candidates for interviews.