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Reading between the lines: ANZ’s latest recruitment drive

Will they get here?

Will they get here?

It’s been a mixed bag of positive and negative news for ANZ. We heard last week that the firm wants to hire 70 commercial bankers in Asia. On the flip side, we know the firm is also likely to miss its Asian targets.

ANZ CEO Michael Smith earlier aimed to more than double Asia Pacific’s share of profits to 20 per cent this year. Given that this doesn’t look likely now, how will the region’s performance affect its recruitment drive, if at all?

Fewer hires

A headhunter who declined to be identified, suspects that the number of actual recruits will be less than those announced, especially since the firm has retrenched some staff in Asia. “Support bankers, credit analysts and credit approvers have already been cut. If they are downsizing, how can they be aggressively looking for sales people?”

Our anonymous contact adds that it can be tricky for the firm to source for talent. Commercial banking is typically dominated by the local firms and foreign banks like Citibank and Standard Chartered, which have a more visible track record in Asia. “Given how uncertain economies are looking these days, people are reluctant to move unless there’s a huge compensation pull. However, it may still be difficult because of the job cuts.”

That said, moving over to ANZ can pay off. Another headhunter, Gary Lai, managing director, Charterhouse Partnership, South East Asia, says the firm is an above-average pay master, falling into the 70th to 75th percentile.

Where the jobs are

Farida Charania, chief executive officer, Nastrac, says the bulk of hiring is likely to be in Indonesia, China and Vietnam. “It’s hard to say how achievable this recruitment target is. A slow market and available talent could make it easy, but it may also be difficult given the firm doesn’t have a very strong presence in those markets.”

As a whole, the commercial banking sector looks relatively buoyant in Asia. Lai says: “A lot of banks are going back to basics like retail and commercial banking, so there is quite a bit of hiring going on. A lot of local banks have already tapped on the MNC market, now they’re looking at SMEs.” Charania shares a similar view, saying: “Yes, commercial bankers are usually in demand, especially those targeting the mid-market segment.”

Who’s hiring? Our anonymous source says most firms, from local banks to Bank of China, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank, are.

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