Winning Secrets: Citi Singapore

Citi Singapore took home the gold award for 'Excellence in Graduate Recruitment and Development' at the HR Excellence Awards 2021, Singapore.

In this interview, the Citi Singapore Campus Recruitment & Development Team talks about the importance of engaging the future generation of diverse leaders in their "language", and how crucial (and beneficial) this is when it comes to recruitment and development.

Q What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?

In this digital age, engaging the next generation of employees requires us to recognise that our potential candidates and employees are digital natives. With that in mind, Citi is taking a 4Cs (content, channels, consistency, and collaboration) approach to connect with them where they are digitally active, while giving them the power to choose content that is relevant for them. For example, we focused on targeted virtual events such as the 'Banking for Non-Banking Majors' webinar that is dedicated to students reading non-banking/finance academic majors.

Q How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

The 4Cs approach has helped us to achieve our HR priorities of excellence in recruiting for, and running the analyst programme. During the development process of this strategy, we also set Citi’s new leadership principles of 'We Succeed Together, We Take Ownership, and We Deliver with Pride' as qualities that we wanted to embed within the programme, which we managed to do, and thus also achieving a wider organisation goal.

Another example of how the strategy has helped us achieve our HR priority is through the diversity in candidates that we had. Through our intentional efforts to curate relevant and forward thinking content for student beyond our usual target groups, we were able to successful engage with students who may not have previously consider a career in banking.

Our senior leadership is very committed to our campus programmes, and its members are strong advocates of candidate engagement. This strategy would not have come to fruition without their input and advice.

Senior leaders have actively represented the Bank via their delivery of virtual presentations, participation in videos and their unwavering support in areas from content generation to delivery.  The campus recruitment team prides ourselves on our strong collaboration with multiple stakeholders and key leaders within every business function.  

Q Unexpected roadblocks are part and parcel of executing any initiative. What were some of the barriers that you and your team experienced while rolling this out, and how did you successfully get past them?

COVID-19 has accelerated a sweeping wave of digitalisation on all fronts but has also resulted in a sometimes overwhelming flow of information. Our challenge was to cut through this chatter to distinguish ourselves as an employer of choice and effectively engage with the student population.

The Citi Campus team takes a unique approach towards digitialisation; one that stems from the idea that candidates are able to decides what they want to see, hear, and engage with at their fingertips. With numerous potential channels of information, it’s not easy to reach our target audience. However, with the 4Cs strategy, we were able to successfully overcome the ‘noise’.

A key example of our success in getting our information to the target audience is achieving more than 100,000 social impressions for our social media campaign to hire for our Global Consumer Banking business.

We could only do this through intensive research and feedback that shaped the channels used for the campaign, as well as the kind of content that would be engaging for the students.  

Q As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your gameplan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?

Citi is a data-driven organisation, and we believe that data is critical in building all our initiatives. We routinely track various indicators for all our recruitment initiatives including metrics such as the diversity ratio, offer-to-join ratio, application-to-offer ratio, event participation to application ratio, attrition percentage, return offer percentage, engagement results, etc.

One programme which met or exceed all our expectations in these metrics was the 'APAC Virtual Reality Experience'.

We were extremely successful in broadening our student outreach to candidates from all around the world, and cementing in their minds that Citi is an employer of choice. Through this virtual experience, students are able to learn more about our Citi culture, our business programmes, and have the opportunity to network with our representatives through exclusive sessions which provide a deep dive into the assigned tasks and modules.  As a result, the student engagement levels significantly increased, and led to increased application numbers for our programmes.

Another example is our 'APAC Early ID Leadership Programme' where we engaged diverse candidates early on in their degrees to join a robust training programme. With the immense time and commitment provided by the business and our leaders, these candidates reported having a truly a meaningful and worthwhile experience which resulted in high conversion rates into our summer internship programmes.

Q What would you say are the top skills and attributes of today’s successful campus teams?

One of the top skills is comfort with technology and data. Data is becoming the foundation for everything that we do and the ability to derive meaningful information from data is increasingly becoming an important skillset to have.

The second is openness. We all need to be open to diverse opinions and views, and in the HR context this could mean being open to incorporating things like data analytics to get deeper insights from employees, or expanding the pool of candidates than an organisation traditionally recruits from.


Image / Human Resources Online

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