The Group’s workforce
Banca IFIS continues investing in human resources: the number of employees rose from 618 at the end of 2014 to 724 at 31 December 2015. 585 are on open-ended contracts, 66 on fixed-term contracts, 53 on apprenticeship contracts, and 20 are foreign employees. It should be noted that the Bank is committed to stabilising employment relationships, transferring over 40 employees to open-ended contracts in 2015.
This positive growth trend is related to the Bank’s constantly growing commercial presence, the significant investments in the DRL segment, the consolidation of an organisational structure oriented to technological innovation, and also the need to support a market where risk management remains a priority.
The new positions were mainly in relationship management with client companies—the Bank's historical core business (sales account managers, credit analysts, and counterparty analysts); in the support and management of non-performing loans (Analytical Management, Call Centre, Operating Service, and the Back Office's Assessment structure); technical support (organisational, IT) as well as legal support (especially in Retail Disputes). The Non Performing Loans Area continues to hire Credit Consultants from all over Italy to strengthen its internal network of financial agents.
In 2016, the workforce is expected to grow double-digit once again, and the areas concerned will largely be the same as in 2015.
Recruitment, Training and Development
Recruitment is the Development Service's most resource-intensive activity. Looking for the most qualified and motivated candidates to join the various operating/business areas, in order to ensure the quantity and quality of staff is consistent with the Group's strategic and growth targets, is challenging. However, we are aware that we are giving employment opportunities to skilled people mired in a stagnant job market.
Spontaneous applications received through the Bank's institutional website as well as the various social networks, and especially LinkedIn, have now become the main recruitment channel, reflecting the Bank’s innovative and technological approach.
The selection process for most job openings is conventional (CV screening, motivational interview, technical interview, etc.). For two positions—the Sales Account Manager and the Financial Agent/Credit Consultant—in 2015 the bank carried on with the massive recruitment processes it started last year. Candidates are first invited to a “Web Streaming Open Day”, which introduces them to the Bank and the job and allows excluding those without the necessary motivation. This is followed by Skype interviews, allowing to select a shortlist of candidates that will advance to the Assessment stage. The Assessment Centre measures the specific professional and personal skills required for account managers and consultants through targeted and diversified individual and group tests, developed with the help of external consultants. Specifically, in 2015 the Bank held 8 Assessment Centres for Credit Consultants and 6 for Sales Account Managers.
During the year, the Bank also participated in recruiting initiatives promoted by Italian universities (Finance Day of the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Career Days at the Universities of Padua and Florence), which allowed to identify young graduates with potential to hire on apprenticeship contracts.
2015 saw several training initiatives and growth opportunities at Banca IFIS, with significant investments in people's development through activities focusing on technical/functional issues, soft skills, and management skills. The 2015 training plan was based mainly on the findings of the performance appraisal system, the “Performanagement”, through which managers reported the training needs of their employees.
Here below are the main training programmes carried out:
- training programmes divided by skill level (Basic and Advanced);
- introduction of an E-Learning platform aimed at offering “blended” training programmes and monitoring the progress of those enrolled;
- preparation of a digital training classroom to promote the digitisation of behaviours and learning;
- standardisation of the Experience Learning model for all training activities, in order to enhance operations and emphasising the focus on performance improvements.
Specifically, the training activities carried out in 2015 were aimed at developing the skills of specific figures of the various Business Areas, as well as keeping them up to date on the main professional trends:
- training for CMT: intended to promote the professional growth of Account Executives at the Group's branches through in-depth discussions of financial analysis, technical-legal aspects, and behavioural skills (17 participants);
- Apprentice training: 2 programmes for employees on apprenticeship contracts, with in-house classes on the Bank's technical-operational aspects (26 participants);
- Pharmacies BU training: programme intended to promote the onboarding and integration of the new BU's employees through in-depth discussions on the bank's systems and procedures (8 participants);
- CrediFamiglia School: a training programme (which replaced the previous NPL Academy) aimed at preparing professionals specialising in non-judicial debt collection operations for non-performing loans. It involves the preparation for the OAM test (OAM stands for Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori, the Italian association for agents and brokers) as well as theoretical and practical training, enabling participants to work independently as credit consultants (25 participants);
- sales account managers: training programme intended to train and develop the technical/functional/sales skills of Credi Impresa Futuro's new sales account managers. The programme lasted six weeks and was taught by in-house and external teachers (4 editions in 2015, for a total of 35 participants);
- Top Management workshop: a two-day event hosted by Ambrosetti focusing on corporate culture and continuous improvement. The programme was created based on the feedback from the Management appraisal programme (28 participants);
- Scrum Master Certified: course intended to develop structured ICT skills using the “Scrum Master” approach (12 participants);
- LinkedIn: a project for all the Bank's employees designed to explore this tool, consistently with Banca IFIS's social approach (247 participants);
- IT security, conducted through the training project “Stay aware, Stay secure”, which involved all the Bank's staff in an innovative team game. This course coincided with the launch of the new E-learning Platform (700 participants);
- English language courses: the Bank continued to provide English language courses to employees divided according to language proficiency tests. 98 participants attended the courses (up from 2014, excluding 1-1 sessions/translations and language consulting services with managers). In addition, in 2015 we also launched the first step of a training programme dedicated to 10 specific professional roles and intended to rapidly advance their business English proficiency through a “blended learning” approach; the participants who pass the first test will attend a full-immersion programme in 2016;
- cash flow analysis: a specialist course consisting of 3 editions and intended to assist with cash flow analysis (35 participants);
- Soft Skill training: based on the training needs emerged from the appraisal system, the Bank hosted courses on Communication, Analysis and Problem Solving, Planning, Scheduling and Time Management, Result-Driven Approach, Teamwork and Spirit (76 participants);
- Permanent Professional Training offered by “The European House-Ambrosetti”: once again in 2015, the Bank offered executives the opportunity to participate in this service reserved for Italian top managers. The initiative was in part funded with training vouchers trough FONDIR (an Italian association promoting the continuous training of management personnel) (15 participants);
- anti money laundering: targeted initiatives for Retail Funding employees as well as online courses for all new hires offered through the E-learning Platform (112 participants);
- Security and safety: courses for new hires, refresher courses for all staff, and specific courses for security and safety officers. (79 participants).
As for the management and appraisal of human resources, the performance appraisal system Performanagement proved to be effective and will be used also for 2015, after undergoing some improvements. Also the “New Hire Mentoring” project, aimed at helping new employees joining the Bank, delivered strong results.