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Case Study

Onboarding Agile: Streamlining the Annual Technical Talent Intake Process at a Global Investment Institution with Cprime


Company Details

Industry: International Finance and Investment Banking

Company Size: Nearly 300,000 employees

Location: USA, with regional offices worldwide

Products: Asset management, banking, commodities, credit cards, equities trading, insurance, investment management, mortgage loans, mutual funds, private equity, risk management, wealth management

Cprime Services:

The Problem

This major international financial institution had a global challenge — getting their talented new hires up to speed quickly across six time zones.

Background

Few institutions in the financial sector offer greater depth and breadth of services than this Cprime customer. The bank serves the international banking and investment community on several levels. In addition to commercial and retail banking services globally, this industry leader is also a custodian bank for many of the financial industry’s largest hedge and investment funds.

The Challenge: Efficiently Onboarding Exceptional New Talent on a Global Scale

Software and IT infrastructure are the keys to creating the products and services required to maintain a competitive edge in the global finance industry. However, feeding that requirement demands a constant influx of new talent. “The bank has a high demand for software engineers. Each year the demand increases, and the firm struggles to meet this requirement,” says Stephanie Rowe, Cprime Account Director. So the bank’s challenge was twofold — finding and recruiting new talent and onboarding recruits efficiently to get them up to speed as productive employees.

To deal with the issue of onboarding, the bank’s human resources department created a program. The program takes newly graduated engineers straight out of university and establishes them on a two-year accelerated career path.

The objectives of the program were clear — to find and train exceptional new talent and foster innovative thinking to forward the institution’s business objectives using agile, collaborative methodologies. It focuses on innovation in all disciplines, from creating customer-facing digital and mobile applications to brainstorming and designing new ways to leverage big data or improve trading and payment systems. It promises recruits an opportunity to develop coding skills and work with leading-edge technologies like AI and ML. “Simply put, this program is central to the bank’s ability to grow,” adds Stephanie.

A Time for Change—Developing a Dynamic Curriculum with Cprime

While the goals of the program were well-established, the rapid annual growth of the program’s intakes and the increasing pace of technological change were proving problematic in terms of cost, logistics, and maintaining a dynamic curriculum. “The bank’s legacy training vendor, a management consulting firm that helmed the program for years, had become prohibitively expensive. The executive sponsors gave the impression they weren’t particularly pleased with recent outcomes,” says Stephanie.

Cprime, meanwhile, had established a strong relationship with the bank through previous successful engagements. “We built an important reputation with the client. The bank values our work, and we developed a high level of trust as their advisors in other areas involving curriculum development and creating bespoke training programs,” says Stephanie. “They believed that Cprime coaches were well-suited to the work, our pricing was competitive, and we offered high value. When we indicated we were interested in the project, the executive sponsors said yes.”

The Solution: Making it Happen—Practical Training with Real-World Applications

Cprime began the initiative in 2019. “In the first year, the program was limited to North America and EMEA with in-person training sessions in various cities. In the next year, 2020, the bank planned to extend the program to include locations in Asia. Then the pandemic struck,” says Stephanie. “As a result, we had to pivot. So we canceled face-to-face training, and our training and tech teams moved the program onto Zoom and Adobe Connect. Consequently, the sponsors were happy with the demo, and we rolled out the training remotely and on schedule.”

“Our partners at Cprime are instrumental to the renewed success of the program. They value our training as much as our internal team does, and we look forward to continuing with them face-to-face in 2022.” — Executive Sponsor

Expanding to meet organic growth

Initially, Cprime provided 50 associate agile and technical coaches to conduct the onboarding. Soon, that number climbed to over 70 as annual enrollment grew from 1,500 to 2,000 inductees across six time zones. “The training grows organically every year as demand increases around the business,” says Stephanie. “The program’s geographic scope expanded again in 2021 to include additional North and South American sessions. Plans for summer 2022 include resuming in-person training across the organization.”

Delivering practical rather than theoretical value

Stephanie Rowe and the Cprime team didn’t just pick up where the previous vendor left off. Instead, they re-invigorated the intake using internal agile practices to enhance the curriculum and teaching methods. “We are taking a hands-on, workshop-based approach,” she says, describing the new coursework focused on agile working methods and how they tie into the bank’s internal practices and systems. “It all works toward delivering practical rather than theoretical value.”

Streamlining delivery

The Cprime team also streamlined the course from 14 days down to 10. This further reduced the bank’s financial overheads and allowing greater coverage across the organization. “In some locations, we are delivering multiple inductions to keep up with the demand, and in 2022 we will train over 2,000 new employees between March and October,” says Stephanie. “We touch upon all the different aspects of the bank’s business. When they are done with the coursework, our training candidates are ready to move on to Operations, HR, Global Technology, Commercial Banking — anywhere the bank needs them.”

The Results: A Mutual Accomplishment

Three years into the engagement, with preparations for a fourth season underway, management at the bank quickly acknowledges that the program has exceeded expectations. “Our partners at Cprime are instrumental to the renewed success of this program. They value our training as much as our internal team does, and we look forward to continuing it face-to-face in 2022,” remarks one of the bank’s key project champions. Above all, the students agreed. They rated the experience as a 4+ out of 5 in a closing survey of the materials, coaches, relevance, and overall experience.

“Delivering the training was demanding but ultimately rewarding thanks to the agile attitude of the inductees and executive-level support we received,” says one Cprime associate. “It encouraged us to continue adapting and evolving the program in the training room and between deliveries.” The entire Cprime associate team mirrors the impression, giving their coaching experience a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 84 on a scale of –100 to 100 — a metric NPS creators Bain and Company rate as “World Class.”

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Featured Team Members

Stephanie Rowe
Cprime Account Director

Stephanie is a Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Scrum Product Owner and Prince2 qualified. Stephanie has a calm, laid back approach and works well under pressure. She is passionate about problem solving and delivering an outstanding customer experience.

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