NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank are still dealing with the aftermath of a severe technical glitch last month which affected millions of customers across the UK. Andy Taylor, Regional Marketing Manager of Employer Brands at RBS, acknowledged “the understandable anger” of the public caused by the knock-on effects of IT problems at the banking group. However, he added “the irony is that when we are in the headlines visits to our website go up and applications go up”.
It seems that although the current negative publicity surrounding RBS and NatWest might not appear to be good news for the banking group’s employer brand – it could have a silver lining as far as attracting talent is concerned. From a recruitment point of view, ‘come fix the bank’ is a novel selling point, and if handled correctly, this fiasco could result in the acquisition of previously untapped talent.
The “absolute key” said Taylor was to ensure that RBS’s brand promise was reflected in the candidate experience and journey. “We are doing a lot of work throughout the organisation to achieve that and to make that the case,” he said. RBS was constantly engaged in understanding and testing how perceptions of the bank translated into the recruitment space, and used “lots of metrics” to achieve this, Taylor added.
In a letter to the Treasury Select Committee, Stephen Hester, RBS’s Chief Executive, blamed the computer problems on an ‘error’ in its Edinburgh office. Mr Hester is expected to be called before the committee to discuss the problem and he has said that the bank would publish the details of its investigation.
The findings of this analysis should, in theory, create a demand for opportunities for Interims who can implement crisis strategies and advise on damage limitation within the domestic financial services industry. This is positive sign for recruitment in the industry, particularly within the IT, PR and HR sectors and especially for those at Interim level.
Human error is inevitable, but by enlisting professionals to develop effective prevention and management programmes, RBS Group and other financial institutions can help safeguard themselves from similar occurrences in the future. Mr Hester has said that this problem had led to “knock-on effects” that were “substantial and required significant manual interventions”. I’m sure there are many Interim candidates up to the challenges that lie ahead
Robert is Financial Services Director at Venn Group, the specialist provider of temporary and interim staff across the UK. Robert has over twelve years experience of managing recruitment teams within the financial services sector.
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