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Specialist head office hiring - Metro Bank  and Consort Group – a case study

Metro Bank became the first new high street bank in the UK for more than a century with the opening of its Holborn branch in Central London in July 2010.


Specialist head office hiring - Metro Bank and Consort Group – a case study

Metro Bank became the first new high street bank in the UK for more than a century with the opening of its Holborn branch in Central London in July 2010.

The bank now has 12 branches (or stores, as it terms them)and has plans for a network in excess of 200 by 2020.

The decision to outsource
The medium-term  would entail outsourcing a number of process driven areas, such as IT and recruitment, to niche partners, organisations that could demonstrate that they were ’best of breed’ and which could provide flexibility and scalability as the organisation grew.

Metro Bank is a business that is built on the power of entrepreneurship and the more we talked to Consort Group, the more we realised we were dealing with people who believed in it just as much as we do. The best entrepreneurs build successful businesses because they are committed to delivery, because they understand the value of great customer service and because they don’t come to you with problems, they come to you with solutions.  We are building the next big thing in high street banking through passion and commitment and we were convinced that Consort Group would help us to do that because they were as passionate and committed as us.”

Developing the head office team
Consort Group’s first priority was to rapidly expand the Metro Bank’s head office and create the programme team that would build and implement the requisite infrastructure. That would mean sourcing at first 20, and subsequently 40, high calibre professionals from key disciplines such as risk and compliance, finance, project management and operations. All this needed to be done at the height of the international financial crisis when such people were extremely cautious about making career moves and the challenge was intensified by the fact that Metro Bank was still to be awarded a UK banking licence.

Consort immediately put together a structured recruitment campaign which mapped both the financial services and contiguous markets to identify likely candidates and supply intelligence to Metro Bank on reward and conditions offered by competitors to this level of talent. The Consort team also worked closely with Metro Bank to shape a compelling employer proposition which emphasised, not just technical and managerial capabilities, but the importance of ‘buying in’ to great customer service. Yet, despite the daunting nature of the project, Consort had the programme team in place and operational within a very short space of time.

What the client says
“Consort Group provided us with a way of keeping our recruitment costs well under control and everything we needed to create our core head office team,” says Metro Bank’s Head of People Development, David D’Souza.
“However what’s been really impressive has been the way that they always get things done, when they need to be done. They really are amazingly flexible, never quoting service levels or falling back on what might or might not be in the contract – it’s always about achieving what is necessary to make Metro Bank more effective.”
“You hear the term ‘working in partnership’ everywhere these days and in many cases it means little or nothing. But not with Consort Group. Right from the very beginning they completely bought into what we were doing, becoming almost a part of us, to the extent that it’s often been difficult to tell where Consort stops and we start when it comes to our recruitment. The quality of what they do is simply fantastic.”

Don’t miss the Retail Bulletin’s 4th Retail HR Summit, taking place 9th October 2012 in London W1. Sponsored by General Dynamics Information Technology, the theme of the day is: Recruiting, training and retaining top talent to drive profit and engage the multichannel customer. Confirmed speakers include Tesco, Carphone Warehouse,  Pets at Home,  John Lewis,  Caffè Nero,  The Co-operative Group - Food, Argos and Homebase,  Republic (Retail) Ltd,  Matalan,  Damart,  Debenhams,  General Dynamics Information Technology,  eploy. Click here for programme details and registration.

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