The BBVA Microfinance Foundation and Bancamía, its institution in Colombia, have reduced staff turnover to less than half. In 2016, annual turnover rate was above 30%, and this trend is fast reversing thanks to a new selection process. Both the Foundation and Bancamía found out that the main reasons for this result is due to lack of motivation and the workload. A large proportion of employees who resigned have been working for less than a year with the MFI.
The high turnover rate was visibly impacting costs, resources and time, thus translating into less availability and quality of service for clients. This led to a reevaluation of the selection process and to its eventual adaptation, which encouraged Bancamía to choose future employees based highly on their motivation and their affinity to the institution’s social mission, without putting too much weight on their academic qualifications.
To achieve this, “it was necessary to generate employee loyalty”, explained Carolina González, director for Recruitment at Bancamía. Víctor Herrero, head of Recruitment and Employee Experience at BBVAMF agrees and adds that, “before, the urgent need to fill a vacant position made candidates ‘ideal’ if they had the required skill set needed for the job”. This process proved to be useful in the short term, but on the mid and longer term, it became the cause of early employee turnover.
A more innovative and inclusive recruitment procedure
Aware of the relevance of taking part in this new digital era, the Colombian institution has started to manage the greater part of staff recruitment through computer-based tools. It has created its own job portal which pools all applicants. In less than three years, the portal received more than 75 thousand candidates, showing how well-positioned Bancamía is in job offers.
Another critical change has been opening possibilities for a wider range of academic qualification and educational attainment when looking for an Ejecutivo de Desarrollo Productivo (loan officer), making the process more inclusive. The current procedure not only considers the academic achievements of the candidate, but also their experiences and other relevant knowledge, but not without going through a selection based on their “social” calling, motivation, and how fitted they are to perform the task at hand. They don’t even have to necessarily have a college degree. This is how candidates’ profiles are studied, to see how they match with the institution’s mission statement and the group dynamics.
Even the structure of the current job interviews have been modified, and a group activity has been added to see how candidates fare in a team setting, as their values and social aptitudes are evaluated. This way, recruiters are allowed a better glimpse of which candidates are more motivated and have greater affinity with the institution’s activity.
According to the research done by the Foundation and Bancamía, “this paradigm shift is not only good for the Foundation, the MFI and the entrepreneurs we serve, but it’s also motivating for the recruitment team, who feel the mission statement and how important their role is, as well as the responsibility they bear when it comes to constituting new team members for the MFI”.
Positive outcome for everyone
Two years after the implementation of the first modifications, not only was Bancamía able to cut down the early turnover rate. At the same time, it was also able to balance workload among the branch offices, increasing motivation among staff. Additionally, it was able to overcome the challenge of quality versus quantity recruitment, without the process taking too much of the recruiters’ time. All of these have increased the area’s efficiency, as it currently faces less need for recruitment. Clearly, this has been a valuable project not only for the MFI, but most of all, for the employees who make up the whole of it.