Metro Bank advocates hiring for attitude to beat great resignation
Companies across the UK are facing significant recruitment challenges, but Metro Bank believes its hire for attitude and train for skill ethos combined with its strong company culture will help it buck the trend. The company currently fills more than 40% of its vacancies from internal recruitment.
“Internal promotions not only boost colleague morale, but they also ensure a good cultural fit,” explains Metro Bank recruitment manager Grace Pressland. “Promoting from within enables us to speedily fill key roles ensuring business continuity.”
Research shows that nearly one in five UK workers are looking for a new job and the UK’s top banks have 3,000 vacancies.
“People often believe there is a need for a raft of qualifications and lots of barriers to enter banking, but at Metro Bank this is not the case as we hire for attitude and train for skill,” explains Grace Pressland, recruitment manager, Metro Bank. “We are constantly feted for our customer service and that correlates directly with the type of colleagues we hire. We want people who love to work in teams and we look for zest, enthusiasm and empathy more than GCSEs, A Levels, degrees or even past banking or financial services experience.”
Metro Bank recruiter Ula Ruta couldn’t agree more. She joined the Bank as a customer service representative after she was put on furlough from her job in the catering and hospitality industry. “I had never considered a career in banking, but when I was furloughed I was researching for another customer facing role. I was tempted to apply for Metro Bank despite having no banking experience because the advertised role stressed the importance of personality.”
Ula joined Metro Bank in September 2020 and was then promoted to the recruitment team in April 2021. She adds “I can’t believe how quickly I have progressed in the Bank. I love my new role as I am now looking for people like me to join us.”
Metro Bank has a strong personal and professional development culture and looks to grow its own talent from internal promotions. Colleagues are actively encouraged to move between teams or to try something new or expand their skills. Grace Pressland, explains, “We organise shadow days so colleagues can get a taster before making their decision to apply and we have a mentor programme to support their development too.”
Varela Jimngang who has been with Metro Bank for three years moved from her role in business support to the press office team last year having previously shadowed press officers back in 2020 to understand what the work entailed. “My background is in marketing and communications and I wanted to grow my career in this area. Being able to shadow the press team gave me a real insight into the work involved and what would be required from me. It’s a small team and vacancies rarely come up – but when the team expanded with a new role last year, I jumped at the chance to apply for the role and the shadowing meant the team already knew about me – giving me the edge over external candidates.”
Pressland concludes: “Thanks to our partnership with Cranfield University, colleagues can also study the UK’s first fully-funded masters-level apprenticeships for banking professionals – we have had more than 140 colleagues complete apprenticeships and we can offer courses in human resources, learning and development, leadership, commercial banking and more.”