Hiring millennials in a digital age

United Overseas Bank’s managing director and head of group human resources Jenny Wong talks about talent – building a pipeline of talent for the future and equipping current staff with the right skills to be future-ready. Q How has your attitude about hiring talent changed in recent years as a result of the tech developments in the finance industry?

A We have seen a great deal of changes taking place in banking, particularly on the retail side of the business. Customers do everything through their mobile phone or laptop, from cardless cash withdrawals, instant issuance of credit cards, paying for purchases to buying unit trusts online.

 I find that the millennials of today possess most of the qualities that the banking industry needs to continue to stay relevant to customers.

At UOB, millennials make up almost half of our workforce and our millennial customer base is growing by double digits every year.

Here’s what UOB is looking for in the next five years:

•Creativity : In addition to technology, we are also looking for those who can think creatively about new ways in which the bank can add value to our customers’ needs such as in the areas of travel and dining.

•Critical thinking skills: The ability to simplify complex data into tangible assets.

•Values: Such as having an enterprising spirit to explore new solutions and being accountable for long-term implications. Our decisions and actions are all essential for the jobs of tomorrow.

Therefore, when I hire someone, I evaluate the person’s ability to think imaginatively, to make sense of new technologies and apply it in a way that creates value for our customers. An example of thinking creatively would be to tap Singaporeans’ love for food to engage with them more. UOB processes an average of more than 900,000 dining transactions on our cards annually.