Maximilian Then, head of resourcing for Singapore and Hong Kong at ANZ, explains how an enhanced recruitment strategy reduced average hiring time to only 25 days, as well as boosted gender diversity. 

With a history of more than 180 years, ANZ is committed to building lasting partnerships in 34 markets internationally. ANZ’s Singapore journey started in 1974 through its representative office. Since receiving its Qualifying Full Bank licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2010, ANZ has further entrenched its presence in the country with a wide range of products, services and insights, and some 2,000 employees.

To support the bank’s agenda, the HR team has focused on attracting, developing and retaining a highly diverse workforce to meet customers’ needs.

However, an internal review of its hiring practices highlighted a worrying trend which reflected a decrease in the number of local hires. In addition, local employee attrition was above the market norm for the financial sector.

These factors drove the team, led by Maximilian Then, head of resourcing for Singapore and Hong Kong, to make enhancements to ANZ’s recruitment rigour that ultimately impressed the judges at the Asia Recruitment Awards 2016 to hand ANZ the gold for the Best Recruitment Evaluation Technique.

He spoke to Human Resources’ Aditi Sharma Kalra: “Enhancing our evaluation techniques has enabled ANZ to screen quality candidates faster, efficiently honing in on specifically tailored role requirements, removing the opportunity for unconscious bias and adding extra emphasis on some of our core people priorities, including gender equality and developing local talent.”

Strategy: Driving rigour in recruitment

Over the course of 2015, ANZ’s recruitment team established a continuous improvement plan encapsulating five new initiatives. One of these was the introduction of questions during the pre-screening application process, via the Taleo Recruitment System. Not only does this include business-specific questions tailored to roles, but it also helped ANZ identify a candidate’s legal right to work to factor into the process upfront.

In addition, ANZ’s Singapore candidate summary form, which provides line managers a consistent framework to evaluate talent, was refreshed. It now includes metrics such as the inclusion of a female interviewer on every interviewing panel, gender-balanced interview shortlists and consideration of local Singaporean talent for all roles in alignment with the commitment to develop local talent.

Results: Boosting local talent by 2%

A review of the recruitment process post the implementation of the new initiatives showed that ANZ’s average time to hire externally is only 25 days, proof the improvements in recruitment evaluation techniques are speeding up the interview and selection process.

The strengthening of selection criteria has contributed to great results, including a 2% increase in Singaporean talent, 49% of external hires being female and an employee attrition rate which is now within banking sector norms.

ANZ is tracking well to further improve on these figures in 2016. While these numbers continue to be monitored, ANZ’s awardwinning team is extremely pleased with its progress and this team’s focus on continuous improvements remains unwavering.

Read the full feature: The secrets to designing a top-tier recruitment strategy

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