Opportunities can always be found if you know where to look, and if you think the time is right to start a new chapter in your career, you might want to cast your eyes towards HSBC.
The international bank has recruited 16 people at its global Contact Centre in Malta since the start of the pandemic and plans to boost its employee headcount by 100 this year.
“I believe this showcases that not only do we have our people’s best interests at heart and have been really focused on making sure that our employees wellbeing is at the forefront of what we do, but also that we are able to be adaptable in the face of adversity and turn a challenge into an opportunity,” the contact centre’s head Donna Falzon said.
“HSBC is a fantastic place to grow your career, with so many different paths to choose from and a wealth of knowledge which has been accumulated across the bank on a global scale,” she continued.
As a Contact Centre Generalist, you will be entrusted with handling customer calls from HSBC’s UK customers, resolving their needs at first contact where possible and directing them to the appropriate department where not.
You will be expected to complete necessary research and customer follow-up, achieve key performance indicators and maintain appropriate risk control and compliance across the board.
Your skillset must include an ability to empathise with clients, excellent customer-serving manner and problem solving skills, a good command of written and spoken English, and an ability to multi-task, such as answering, typing and toggling through different screens while assisting customers on call.
Flexibility works both ways and employees are expected to work shifts including weekends and public holidays, however HSBC also prides itself on offering their people flexibility and has recently offered Life-Flex to existing staff where shifts can be ‘built’ around the employee’s own preference.
Salaries start at €17,000 and come with enticing benefit packages such as staff rates on mortgages and loans with HSBC, medical insurance coverage, significant life event leave, childcare and summer school subsidies, eye/hearing tests and prescription subsidy’s and hundreds of discounts from retailers across the island.
You can also be placed on a talent development programme, which will allow you to progress your banking career into duties such as department management, quality assurance, training, finance, recruitment and social media.
“I started my career with HSBC 10 years ago as a Contact Centre Generalist supporting the bank’s customers and over the past 10 years I have worked my way up and taken on a number of new responsibilities and roles, including being a coach, Team Manager, Audit Manager, Department Manager and Operations Manager,” Falzon recounted.
“I am now the Head of Contact Centre and responsible for all of our people and departments on site, so there is certainly the opportunity to have a long and varied career with us!”
So what about the ‘new normal’?
HSBC reacted promptly to the health authorities’ social distancing advice and all its 386 employees are now working from home after being set up with remote access within four days. New recruits have also been adjusting to working from home within 3-5 days.
The bank delivered laptops, desktops, office chairs and work spaces to their employees’ homes and its staff are making use of technology to communicate with each other and provide one-on-one coaching sessions.
It has also set up a “share point” which provides support for the mental wellbeing of their staff, remote working guides and an interactive chat to help people stay connected with each other.
HSBC has also gone beyond its call of duty in assisting its employees, setting up a support team to provide its employees considered vulnerable and those in mandatory quarantine with contactless deliveries of food and non-prescribed pharmaceuticals.
And to promote its workplace culture while respecting social distancing, it has introduced wellness activities, such as talks, podcasts and mindfulness sessions, for its staff as well as fun ‘nights out’ such as quiz nights, online competitions, activities for International Dance Day and a book club.
Job interviews and training are being conducted virtually using various platforms, meaning as a new employee, you will get to start working before you get to meet your new colleagues face to face.
While quite a daunting prospect for a new employee, Falzon said there has been so much praise for HSBC’s trainers who virtually held their hands while taking calls.
“It has been a really proud moment seeing how people have worked together to make this a great success and a positive experience for our new joiners,” she said.
In fact, you can take it straight from the horse’s mouth:
“I never thought it would be possible to get our training virtually, but here we are! What was the best thing during our training was that even though we’re not in the same room with our coaches, we’ve got huge support coming from all of them. I really enjoyed my time during the academy because even with the pandemic going on we were given the opportunity to work and to learn, and all remotely. Yes, there were a lot of challenges coming with each day, but as we’ve had such an amazing support, it felt easier.” Jovana Simic
“At first when applying for the role as a CSR for HSBC, I was slightly intimidated as it is such a massive company with so many responsibilities.
However as soon as I started the interview process, I realised that it’s not that intimidating. Personally, despite people saying that the interviews were hard, I found it quite easy and straightforward thanks to the information and clarification provided by the HSBC recruitment team.”
“Everyone I have met and spoken to so far in the company is an absolute delight and although while you are in training you will have to digest a lot of information, it is very well worth the time and you can take it at your own pace as the team of trainers are all absolutely brilliant at what they do. You will be fully supported from day one with any queries that you might have.”
“Once you start taking calls you will be paired up with a coach who will assist you with developing your skills to the best of their extent. Now from a personal point of view I never imagined myself being a CSR, but as soon as I started taking live calls I honestly fell in love with it and it has become one of the things I look forward to everyday – being on the phones and helping people.” Galin Kalev
2020 doesn’t only have to be the year of the pandemic but can also be the year your career takes a new and rewarding step forwards.