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Scale Your Culture: HR Tech Helps Metro Bank Grow 33 Percent Yearly

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In 2010, Metro Bank attempted what no company had dared in a 100 years: launch a new consumer bank in the UK. Since then, their growth has been staggering and—to keep up—their workforce has expanded by 33 percent every year. Their Talent Acquisition team sustains rapid business growth by employing a modernized applicant tracking system in order to hire with impressive efficiency, catalyze diversity and inclusion initiatives, and bolster company culture. Since implementing dashboard data reporting, they’ve been able to save 80 hours a week because their recruiters no longer have to compile updates for managers. Metro Bank is also able to propagate their employer brand by leveraging recruitment marketing functionalities that are fully branded, in-house and centralized.

"It's probably the only ATS I've worked with where all the recruiters are happy to use it."

Paul Mouland, Recruitment Operations Manager, Metro Bank

About Metro Bank

Metro Bank was founded on the proposition of being a Main Street bank with a service-oriented culture. They started in London and have grown to 67 locations and counting. Their retail banking model is winning over consumers while also winning awards from the business community and repeatedly being voted by employees as one of the UK’s top places to work.

HR Challenges

For each of the past eight years, Metro Bank’s workforce has increased by 33 percent. With the company less than a decade old, Metro Bank faces the additional challenge of being a very young organization. Their HR department needed technology that would allow them to be extremely efficient while instilling a strong company culture. As a retailer of financial services, Metro Bank also knew that their candidate experience was linked to their customer experience and needed to be as outstanding. Metro Bank’s strategic positioning additionally relies on being an industry innovator, so they also needed agile tools to support continuous evolution for their strategic initiatives—such as D&I goals.

Solutions for Efficient Hiring, Driven by Company Culture

Metro Bank’s commitment to a strong employer brand begins with candidates: they have been able to maintain a 100 percent response rate to applicants, despite fast growth year after year, by employing Avature’s automation features and available chat-bot integrations. Hiring is entirely centralized, and in 2018 Metro Bank hired over 2,000 people and had around 75,000 applicants go through their Avature ATS. Although a very young organization, Metro Bank has succeeded in forging a company culture that runs deep with employees. They created the slogan “One In, One Up” to communicate this culture and also utilize employee referrals to help the organization achieve rapid growth.

Creating a Culture of HR Innovation

Metro Bank is dedicated to leading the field when it comes to employing HR best practices, from salary transparency to optimizing job post language in order to encourage the most diverse applicants possible. By using a centralized platform to manage all requisitions, they’re able to add a D&I footnote to their job ads in just one click.

All new employees, from tellers to the CFO, receive the same introduction to Metro Bank’s culture during a two-day onboarding program. These happen at the assessment centers where they interviewed, fittingly named “The M Factor.” A positive employee experience has built Metro Bank a strong employer brand, and the TA team mines this whenever they have a new requisition. Opening the position triggers an automated request to the hiring managers, which asks them to publish a review of Metro Bank on Glassdoor to help build enthusiasm about working with the team. Employee experience continues to be a priority, and as employees look to grow in their careers, Metro Bank supports them by removing traditional requirements—having taken into account which skills can be trained for—and funding certification programs.

"Internal mobility is embedded very strongly from day one. We've taken ownership with a workflow step that indicates whether we’ve got our best candidate pool for the short list or not, which gives insight to the hiring managers ahead of recruitment to say, ‘This is what we’ve done already, and this is what we think we can do next about it.’"

Paul Mouland, Recruitment Operations Manager, Metro Bank

In addition to adapting job ads for D&I, Metro Bank also easily tailors job ads to target other specific audiences, such as internal candidates. When current employees apply to an open position, they have a much shorter application process where they need only complete a short questionnaire that updates their profile in the Avature people data platform. Metro Bank also organizes programs and events to help employees learn about other areas before applying. Metro Bank’s HR strategy has been successfully evolving alongside business drivers, despite industry upheaval as banking has shifted to online and mobile apps.

Using Data Analytics to Optimize Talent Acquisition

"The configurability is straightaway the most important thing. I literally change something within a workflow, a process, or a template every single week. Without that, we absolutely would be dead in the water."

Paul Mouland, Recruitment Operations Manager, Metro Bank

With the analytics and automation features of Avature ATS, Metro Bank has been able to use a workflow to highlight whether a short list includes a diverse candidate pool. They’ve been so successful that they’ve made their goal to deliver a really diverse short list every time, for every role.

Another success for Metro Bank has been saving every recruiter three hours each week thanks to the reporting features in their one-platform solution. They do a lot of ROI analysis using Avature’s functionality for creating unique, trackable links. Unique dashboards for each role help each team member take responsibility for keeping their own data clean. Data is even shared directly with the executive board, so they can access up-to-date KPIs from the TA team in the same place where they receive reporting from other areas like customer service, finance, and sales. The finance team also has a specialized report, which they can reconfigure themselves, that lets them work out the future business cost of any ongoing headcount.

The Future

Metro Bank doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon, so data analysis is essential to their continued success. One goal set by the TA team this year is to cut in half their already low reliance on agencies. And in addition to their aforementioned aim of a diverse short list every time and for every role, they also are considering other ways to prevent bias—such as making CVs anonymous with Avature’s parsing capabilities. As the industry continues to evolve, you can bet that Metro Bank’s team will be employing automation in order to focus their time on strategic tasks and partnering with the business.

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