“Leading with Humanity in Talent Acquisition: The Standard Bank, Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) Journey”

Refilwe Gaobepe, Head of Talent Acquisition, reflects on the human first philosophy driving the culture at Standard Bank CIB.

By Refilwe Gaobepe

At a time where the critical importance of people in the workplace has received heightened focus, I believe Standard Bank CIB stands out for its unwavering commitment to its ‘Human First’ cultural intent. This human-centred-philosophy goes beyond the theory by embracing each person’s individuality in the workplace through looking for ways to support making our people’s dreams possible, fostering meaningful development and supporting each person’s passions. The result is a working environment that is vibrant and authentic, aiming to provide our people with the right support and direction. I believe that this is what sets Standard Bank CIB apart.

Having joined Standard Bank CIB in 2023, it is clear how the intentional emphasis on a human-centred approach over the last decade has played a pivotal role in shaping our organisational culture. This has resulted in an environment where our people are not only empowered to navigate their roles but also to flourish on a profoundly human level. The tangible effects of this cultural intent are seen in the genuine sense of belonging our people experience within Standard Bank; as well as in the way our people consistently demonstrate dedication to our clients, each other, and the wider communities we serve.

As a Talent Acquisition professional, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing a profound evolution in the employment landscape over the last few years. The seismic shifts caused by COVID-19 haven’t just altered our working environments – they’ve prompted individuals to reassess what brings meaning, passion and purpose to their lives, as human beings. Today’s candidates, more discerning than ever, seek employers who not only allow them to use their experience, skills and knowledge; but who are able to align with their personal values and offer genuine opportunities for them to thrive. This is only possible within a human-centred organisation.

The ascendancy of automation and artificial intelligence in the world of work has also made the capacity to think adaptively and embrace ongoing learning indispensable. Today’s candidates recognise this reality, valuing upskilling and reskilling as integral aspects alongside competitive reward and flexible work arrangements. At CIB, we actively prioritise delivering high-quality learning experiences for our people, acknowledging that continuous development serves as the key for progression. In the dynamic Financial Services industry in which CIB operates, learning about sustainable finance, artificial intelligence and technology specifically are some great ways to be as prepared as possible to enjoy a meaningful and fulfilling career path into the future and to realise your dreams. Our global work environment, coupled with opportunities for geographical mobility, further enhance the appeal for candidates aspiring to cultivate diverse experiences within Standard Bank’s CIB.

Company reputation has emerged as a decisive factor for candidates too. Candidates seek affiliations with brands that align with their personal values and offer a sense of security. Gone are the days when candidates felt fortunate just to be considered for possible job opportunities; and so organisations must prioritise creating a positive and engaging human-centered experience to attract and retain top talent. While competitive pay remains pivotal, presenting a comprehensive human-centred offering to candidates that addresses diverse needs and promotes wellbeing elevates an organisation’s overall appeal. This is what Standard Bank CIB aims to achieve.

I am of the belief that organisations must shift their focus and re-evaluate how they engage and meaningfully connect with potential candidates. At CIB, we strive to see people in their entirety; moving beyond the confines of a conventional resumé and considering factors beyond standard qualifications. Our priority lies in finding individuals who can collaborate effectively, devise innovative solutions and appreciate diverse perspectives, all while demonstrating a commitment to excellence. While certain capabilities remain non-negotiable for specific roles, we truly value cultural fit and alignment with our vision and cultural intent. By embracing this ‘Human First‘ approach, we underscore the pivotal role each person plays within our broader team in fostering growth within our organisation and ultimately on the continent of Africa, which we call home.

At CIB, we are proud to be ‘Human First‘ and to contribute towards a continent and workplace where humanity takes center stage.

Refilwe Gaobepe: Head of Talent Acquisition, Standard Bank CIB

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and don’t miss out on regular updates from the YourLuxury Africa team on all things luxurious, beautiful and inspiring.