We enable our people to become the professionals they want to be

ING has chosen to become the go-to platform for financial needs where clients are offered new, digital ways of interacting, says head of ING GSO in Bratislava, Bea de Rijk

BratislavaBratislava (Source: SME)

What is or was the decisive factor for ING to open one of its two service centres in Bratislava? Why pick Slovakia?

ING is always looking for new opportunities to centralise and harmonise as our mission is to empower our customers to stay one step ahead in life and in business. ING decided that the best way to do so was by opening shared service centres. Our reasons for choosing Slovakia were the positive and flexible business climate for international multinationals, the multiple language support in the local market, the highly-skilled and motivated workforce, the number of young graduates here and Slovakia’s central location in Europe. Even today, we reap the benefits from this decision. This gives us the necessary confidence that our teams can handle upcoming transformations and the expected, considerable growth in 2018.

Which countries does the service centre in Bratislava serve and which services do you cover for the company?

ING operates in more than 40 countries globally. We serve most of these countries through a wide array of banking services. These services include global screening and alerts handling, knowledge of the customer, the opening and closing of accounts, and support for payments, lending, channels and trade finance.

How many employees work at ING GSO right now? Are there any plans for further growth, be it in the number of employees or in the scope of services covered by the Bratislava office?

Currently, our headcount totals about 500 employees. As we expect to absorb new services and higher volumes for our current offering in 2018, ING GSO is set to welcome a whole new range of colleagues.

What are the qualities that ING GSO looks for in an employee? Who are the suitable candidates for jobs at your organisation?

ING boasts a strong corporate culture, which we call the “Orange Code”. We expect our employees to follow a set of principles (be honest, prudent and responsible) and behaviours (take it on and make it happen, help others to be successful, stay a step ahead) that support our mission statement.

In terms of skills, banking knowledge or expertise is a plus, but not a must. We believe that if you have the right mind-set, our wide variety of training programmes and development tools will enable every employee to become the person and professional that they want to be. Our people are invited to mark out their own path and express themselves within the broad boundaries of ING’s vision.

Employers, including shared service centres, are competing for the ever-scarcer qualified labour force. How does your centre cope with this problem? What does ING GSO offer to its employees?

What matters the most is the promotion of one’s unique corporate culture. If people know you exist, where you are located and what you stand for, they will find you. To get the word out, we now visit Slovak universities where we offer guest lectures and provide a no-nonsense description of our activities. Young graduates understand that we are here to help them kick-start their career in the way that they want.

Taking a step back, we’re a truly international company that offers countless contacts and opportunities in a global context. Moreover, ING is rapidly becoming far more than your regular traditional bank. We have chosen to become the go-to platform for financial needs and offer clients new, digital ways of interacting that move at a fast rate and are accessible for clients in any location. This makes finance fun and easy. And by working at ING GSO, you contribute directly to this platform strategy.

One of the myths about shared service centres is that they do not offer possibilities for career growth. How does it work at ING GSO?

This is indeed a myth. If you define career growth as a means of expanding your skill set and growing personally, our company is the place for you. We are moving to an organisation with fewer management layers and more authority for self-steering teams. This means that everyone will be called on to use a whole new range of skills to fill different roles: captain of the day, agile coach, process expert, chapter lead, etc. Employees will broaden their horizon by moving more easily between teams and will develop a much wider skill set.

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