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A leading bank attracts high-flyers for a fast-track programme


Leading Bank


Shortage of qualified talent


43 candidates placed

What was the impact?
  • 200 graduates sourced

  • 110 in-person interviews conducted by Morgan McKinley

  • 200 graduates sourced

  • 57 candidates submitted to the bank for an interview

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Banks want to identify and attract top graduate talent. But with little or no experience, graduates have to be carefully assessed for suitability. There is also a requirement to carry out compliance checks. In this instance time was of the essence: the client needed to ramp up an important service at a time of acute talent shortage.
The client

The client is a leading bank, one of the top two in its domestic market, and employs 11,000 staff worldwide. In its 2016 financial year the bank achieved an underlying profit before taxation of just under £200 million.

The challenge

Competition for top graduate talent is intense in the banking and financial services sector. This particular bank,  which is a longstanding client for Morgan McKinley’s contingency recruitment services, turned to Morgan McKinley to source the talent for a fast-track programme run in conjunction with the Institute of Banking. Specifically, the bank needed to ramp up its MARS (Mortgage Arrears Resolution Strategies) division because of the high level of demand for these services at the time, and the acute shortage of qualified talent: employees performing the role of Mortgage Support Associate require Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA) status. It normally takes up to a year to pass the two QFA modules required to fulfil the criteria.

The solution

Consequently the bank decided to pioneer a six-week internal fast-track programme in partnership with the Institute of Banking. Staff were to be hired on a temporary basis, only converted to permanent hires on successful passing of all the QFA exams within the six-week period. The bank covered all costs for the education and qualification.

Morgan McKinley sourced and screened 200 candidates across two phases, drawing on our extensive national database, all major jobs boards and a targeted social media and referral campaign. In doing so we clearly communicated the purpose, terms and conditions of the offer to set the right expectations.
We successfully completed all necessary compliance checks and co-ordinated and facilitated a number of assessment centres over the course of the project, with full aptitude and psychometric testing (including numerical and verbal aptitude tests and the occupational personality questionnaire (OPQ) test).

We also conducted background compliance checks, in conformance with the bank’s policies.
Following the assessment centre phase we conducted 110 in-person interviews to further reduce candidate numbers by 50%.

57 candidates were then submitted to the bank for a second interview, with Morgan McKinley coordinating all aspects of candidate care and management. By the end of the project 37 candidates were hired directly for the programme with a further six hired into other areas of the business.

The benefits

Benefits to candidates: Today’s graduates expect the hiring process to be fair and, having grown up in a world of instant communication, they want rapid and constructive feedback on how they got on in screening tests and interviews. To meet this need for its clients, Morgan McKinley has implemented a raft of process improvements such as setting up new assessment centres. Morgan McKinley recruiters are tasked to provide useful feedback to all applicants throughout the process, whether successful or unsuccessful. This ensures a worthwhile experience for all.

Benefits to the client: The bank achieved its target of filling all places on the programme with talented graduates, as well as making some additional direct hires. The high level of candidate care also helped the bank to reinforce its reputation as an employer of choice.

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