Scotiabank is the first financial services company to use online applications instead of resumés

As the financial-services sector seeks to rebuild trust in their brands and rebuild productivity, they’re doing it with a new method of recruiting. Scotiabank hired 4,700 employees this year and says it continues to hire aggressively next year. But Scotiabank has the strategy in place to hire the best talent, regardless of location. As a result, the bank says it has become the first financial services company to switch to a fully digital applicant experience. Rather than posting a resumé, candidates who are applying for Scotiabank’s recruitment are manually entered in an electronic screen.

It’s a bold move for a bank that has long prided itself on the fact that it has “first-class offices in every community,” said Mike Navarra, Chief Human Resources Officer for Scotiabank. Navarra continued: “When we think about the benefit we get from localization, we think about being able to keep employees in communities, giving them access to learn and teach on-site. We’re also able to scale faster, so it’s more cost-effective to open a new location. So what we saw was an opportunity to take advantage of a technology that we already have in place to help us solve some of these challenges, which is this online format.”

Scotiabank’s goal with this change, Navarra said, is to help organizations at a whole different level. “For us, we’re looking to have that reach not just our existing employees, but to our candidates. We’re trying to make an impact at a very local level because we know that as one of the top five highest-scoring banks, we have the ability to open our doors to many other organizations.”

Speaking of a “wow,” Navarra said they’re not there yet: “The experience you’ll see, it will be similar to what you see on your TV screen:” but at Scotiabank, the candidate could still be given a photo ID, and placed in a region or office in their local community.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our process, to find new ways to lead and to advance innovation,” he continued. “We think it’s going to be a very beneficial for us, and it’s going to be beneficial for the organizations that we work with as well.”

With a goal to hire 10,000 new employees by 2020, Navarra said Scotiabank is keeping its eye on the future. “We can’t just sit there and focus on what we’ve done in the past.”


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