Employer Branding

How The Royal Bank of Canada Attracts Talent Globally

To get a Canadian perspective on the world of employer branding, we sat down with Estela Vazquez Perez to understand the approach she has taken to help maintain Royal Bank of Canada’s high performance culture.

Have a listen our chat below or read on if you want a full summary of our conversation, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

What are your talent challenges?

When I took the job I was thinking, “Well, you know, I’m seeing these stats and the grass is green, so what are we going to fix?” The challenge was about sustaining high performance and engaging people. You can’t sleep and hope that everything continues. So, personally, day-to-day, I need to work on differentiating the organisation. That’s a hard thing to do because we have very strong banks in Canada. So, in terms of differentiating, we need to have a good way of communicating and having a clear vision of the future, and also compelling career propositions.

So that was a challenge for me and with that being said, the job gets very interesting when you can bring this to life through people’s beliefs and presenting that value proposition. Specifically with talent challenges, like many, it’s about attracting and retaining tech talent, that would be number one. Two would be including youth in the conversation of co-creating the future and the last one, if you split from youth or tech talent just in general, we need to hire people with the right attitude. I’m trying to move beyond what skill set you to need to work in a company. Everybody’s getting ready for that and developing the skills, but finding the right attitude is tough. It’s hard to select.

So, those are my three focus areas for now. Key challenges that just don’t go away and I think they’re going to be stronger. This is not just for the future of this company, but this is for the future of Canada in general, the world, right?

How does your work with talent attraction address these challenges?

Multiple ways but I’ll mention three. One that I’m working on right now is our employment brand content strategy, and this is to show cool things happening at RBC. So, people have these ideas of what the bank is like, but then we show them that we have all these amazing aspects. We are very good at connecting personal aspirations to our collective ambition, and then we’re also transforming culture and driving the future of banking. The greatest technologies sometimes get invented right here and we’re helping people in other parts of the world to keep things safe for our clients.

Although, sometimes just story-telling is not good enough. You have to show people how that happens, for example how a young intern might come in and became a part of this great technology that we now have patented. So, we’re working on that. That’s one part of doing it. Another part is a good strong employee brand platform. So, we design employee experiences to connect hearts and minds so people deepen their understanding of why we are here, why we exist, and why we’re in this company. That’s a good selection tool and, at the same time, an attraction tool. But then we need to connect them to what’s in it for them, to have exceptional experiences that give them a good life, and they can continue to be with us.

The third point will be to amplify the strategy and action in a digital way. This is really about enabling. Enabling marketing communications, change management, human resources, to bring these conversations to life in the digital platforms that are available. You can say maybe your career site, maybe your Instagram account, maybe our Twitter account. So, we have experts managing those channels and I bring that integration to have a story that makes sense and that it’s the same across those channels.


In terms of ROI, have you got any results that you can share with us?

We have a good position, so I’ll tell you about our results here in Canada:

Glassdoor have also named us as a great place to work, and named our CEO as one of the top CEO’s on their website. He’s very liked and very much approved. That made a big change in some target markets, as we had a tough time with that before. As you can see we have gotten great results, but in terms of my own result and what is my talent; this year we increased our ideal employer ranking with students in technology. That’s one of our big challenges, so advancing 25 points in one year, it’s just so many people being part of this success. It’s tough to say 25 points in financial services for top tech talent.


Connect with Estela on LinkedIn.