Interview with Elli Michaelides, Senior Talent Partner at TSB
Name: Elli Michaelides
Title: Senior Talent Partner
Which schemes are available at your company for 16-24 year olds? Do you offer internships? Are there apprenticeships? What about graduate schemes?
At TSB, we currently offer Intermediate (Level 2) apprenticeship schemes in our customer-facing areas. These are award-winning and have been recognised as one of the top ten in the country. This gives 16-24 year olds the opportunity to work at the frontline of the finance industry.
We also offer internships and industrial placements opportunities at TSB. This gives candidates the chance to work in a role with real project experience, as well as completing a 12 month calendar of activity which introduces what we do from a customer-facing area, up to director level. All of our placements complete work where apprentices’ knowledge and skills gained at university are drawn on in a real business environment.
Although we do not have a structured graduate scheme at TSB, we look to recruit graduates in to many of our technical roles. Developing our people and supporting career progression is high on our agenda. Together with the different role opportunities available, TSB is definitely a fantastic place for graduates to work after university.
What do your recruitment schemes looks like? E.g. length, departments, period of the year.
Our apprenticeship scheme duration is 18 months, industrial placements are 12 months, and internships vary from four to 12 weeks.
Apprentices are placed predominantly in customer-facing roles, i.e. our Branch Network or Customer Call Centres. We place industrial placement candidates in our specialist areas. To date, these have been in our Treasury, Finance, and Risk functions. Internships are more flexible and can be undertaken company-wide.
Our intake is largely aligned with the academic calendar, but we are small enough to be flexible, therefore intakes can be adjusted to suit different circumstances.
How long does the recruitment process take?
We expect that from application to start date, the process usually takes between ten to 12 weeks.
Can candidates work abroad?
TSB is a UK-based bank, however it is part of a bigger international group, Sabadell. This may create some future opportunities for candidates with the right skills to work abroad.
What do you skills do you look for in a candidate?
We look for technical skills and experience relevant to the role, and how a candidate can put these skills into practice. For entry level roles where experience is not so relevant, we assess on attitude and mind set, to ensure candidates are a cultural fit for TSB. We are proud of our heritage and our strong values, and we love to see candidates show us a little about who they are.
What do you think adds to a candidate’s profile?
The profile is the chance to engage a prospective employer, so use this to make it relevant to the role that is being applied for. In addition, providing information about part-time, holiday work and hobbies is a good way to make yourself stand out from a crowd, and often says something about the kind of person you are.
What advice would you give to candidates for their application? And what about their interview?
Make sure you check your application to make sure there are no mistakes. It is important to make sure your answers are specific and not vague. Job adverts are clear about what the role responsibilities are and what skills are needed, so use your application to showcase why you are right for the role. The interview is about making that come to life and engaging with the people around you. Any opportunity to differentiate oneself should be maximised.
Which common mistakes do applicants make?
Not thinking about the motivational fit. It is important that you have a think about why you are applying. What is it about a company specifically that interests you? Make sure you do some research – it’s a great way of demonstrating that it’s not just the job you want, but also that it’s the company you want to work for, too.
What have young recruits gone on to do at your company?
Our apprentices have gone on to become talented line managers, coaches, and data analysts. As this is the first year of industrial placements and interns, we are hoping that once they graduate, they will want to come and join us permanently. We have one example of this so far.
Where can candidates apply?