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Human capital 29 Sep 2016

BBVA: Tech talent wanted

Fundamental transformations are underway in the banking and financial industries as a result of the unstoppable technological innovation they face. Demand for digital products and services is on the rise and consumers are adopting them, with greater and greater ease. This significant change in customer habits and in the use of business channels has numerous implications for banks, especially regarding the need to attract people with strong technical skills.

The profound changes occurring in the banking business, especially the commoditization of their services, are the reason behind the growing search across all areas for people with technical expertise. Never before has the demand been so clear and constant.   But are technical experts joining banks at a slower pace than they would like?

The challenge now is to turn banks into companies capable of attracting these students, who traditionally look at technology companies when considering their job prospects.

It seems so. According to the recent Universum study ‘Attracting STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] and Business Students to the Financial Industry’, companies in the financial sector need a segmented recruiting top talent. This segmentation is even more important “when the aim is to recruit technical and technological profiles, such as those with a professional or educational background in user experience, online banking and IT security.”

Until now, people with these types of resumes preferred to work in other types of industries. Why is this? Are current banks sufficiently appealing to attract people with these profiles to work with them? Indeed… or at least the banks that are leading the sector’s digital transformation.

Ana Escurín, BBVA Global Head of Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing, explained this recently: “Thanks to their educational and professional background, their analysis skills and versatility, people with technical knowledge have a lot to bring to the banking sector. The challenge now is to turn banks into companies capable of attracting these students, students that traditionally look at technology companies when considering their job prospects.

But BBVA already is, in a certain way, a technology company. Almost all current areas of business are demanding technical profiles, especially in the fields of engineering, mathematics and physics. We are talking about crucial core segments such as Global Risk Management, Asset Management, or Corporate & Investment Banking.

BBVA’s big data teams have been working for years in key areas for the bank.

A good example of this is that all of the bank’s big data teams across the world – mainly Spain and the U.S. – have been working for years now on areas as essential as customer analytics, processes, risk and fraud or other new digital products. In this line, BBVA and Stratio recently partnered to create Datio, a joint venture that is developing the bank’s big data architecture.

Also, Artificial Intelligence is a key line of work for BBVA. In fact, for some time now, the company’s has been working based on the premise that the future of banking will be “hands free” and driven by a DIY – Do It Yourself – culture. To achieve this, more than ever, the company needs to attract and retain the best technology talent.

There’s an actual coexistence of mixed profiles: professionals with a technical, quantitative, design or development background, for instance, that come together in the paradigm of financial services

For all these reasons, tech talent is playing an increasingly pivotal role in BBVA. These new employees are joining the company attracted, not only by the projects that the company is currently developing, but also by the way in which the bank works. Both Agile methodologies and scrum teams are becoming an increasingly important part of BBVA’s workflows, even in disciplines that are not even remotely connected to these modalities. This fact is especially attractive for millenials in general, and for the so-called stem profiles (science, technology, engineering y mathematics), in particular.

It is obvious that the horizons have expanded, and it is not hard to find in BBVA a broad diversity of professionals, ranging from an engineer with an interest in finance, through a developer or designer wants to take part in the technological and innovative products on which the bank is working.

At BBVA we can already talk about the actual coexistence of mixed profiles: professionals with a technical, quantitative, design or development background, for instance, that come together in the paradigm of financial services, our core business.

To stay up to date on the latest career opportunities at BBVA, please visit BBVA Careers and follow us through LinkedIn.

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