The Journey of Evolution in Recruitment - a State Street case study

State Street is a global financial institution, one of the top 10 biggest in the world, dedicated to asset servicing and management. Its in-house recruitment team is predominantly operating out of London, handling recruitment within 30 countries with a collective workforce of over 39,000, Andrew Morland, Regional Talent Acquisition for EMEA, explains. The talent team has a strong relationship with HR business partners and country heads, partnering with them at executive level and involving them in the preparation of a role and offer management.

As State Street is expanding into new locations, talent volumes are also going up as a result, with a particular focus on executive talent that can take up leadership in new business units. The organisation has seen its executive headcount grow by 156% across the last 3 years. “This has required additional headcount into talent pools we haven’t looked at before,” Andrew adds.

Challenges and solutions

In a fluctuating market, revenues are directly linked to asset values so State Street’s talent teams are encouraged, where possible, to avoid agency usage. “But event when we do work with agencies, we try to ensure better governance around that usage to get better price points. We are also using video conferencing technology to overcome long-distance challenges and only fly over final stage candidates before making a hire,” Adam Walker, EMEA Lead for Executive Search & Sourcing, explains.

The candidate journey at State Street is fully digitised through the use of a modern ATS to provide an efficient experience. All conversations with candidates are tracked through feedback forms, covering everything from stakeholder expectations to core company values, to help improve interviewer accountability. The talent team then collates and displays a matrix of rankings to hiring managers, to give them a full picture, Adam adds.

Onboarding plays a key role in the hiring process at State Street. With a global employee onboarding team of 40 in-house partners, they manage the pre-boarding of new hires from point of offer until their first day, ensuring the contract is signed and all right to work and background checks are in place.

While attrition rates may be low, this ultimately has an impact on innovation, as younger talent doesn’t get the opportunity to come in with fresh ideas to impact the business bottom line. “We had to up the quality of our direct delivery in terms of candidate insights and quality and review how target candidates align to our core competencies.”

Targets and initiatives

State Street are making sure Diversity and Inclusion is not just a simple box ticking exercise for their talent team. Internally, leadership is taking an active role in this initiative, talking at key industry events and writing blogs on the topic. Diversity metrics are aligned to wider business goals, with the introduction of unconscious bias training in interviewers and the use of gender-neutral job ad generators like Textio. A diverse interviewer panel is also key in bringing in a diverse slate of talent.

Future focus is also on internal mobility. “We acknowledge that by moving people around they develop better and the business does so as well, as different parts of the organisation bring in different perspectives,” Andrew says.

The team is also looking at utilising AI in interview scheduling and talent pipelining. “We are using chatbots on our careers site for associate hires.” They are also working on building chatbots into assessment for better and quicker screening. “From a volume perspective we need to find better ways to select who is right for the role from both skill and culture perspective.”

View Andrew Morland and Adam Walker's presentation

Andrew Morland, Regional Talent Acquisition Manager EMEA, and Adam Walker, EMEA Lead for Executive Search & Sourcing, State Street

"The Journey of Evolution in Talent Acquisition at State Street"