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Bank of Singapore harnesses AI to screen graduate talent

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Bank of Singapore turned to artificial intelligence to help scour through applications for its management and technology associate programmes in a bid to improve the efficiency and fairness of the selection process, according to the bank’s head of human resources.

As of January 2019, more than 450 fresh graduates and final-year undergraduates had applied for Bank of Singapore’s Management Associate (MA) Programme — a one-year rotation across various private banking departments — and Technology Associate (TA) Programme, a newly created two-year programme developed to groom specialists and drive transformation within the bank.

To narrow the number of hopefuls to a shortlist of just 80, Bank of Singapore’s human resources team applied its AI capabilities to facilitate a “more efficient and unbiased selection process”.

Jeffrey Chiam, Bank of Singapore

“An AI programme was deployed to screen through and interpret the information submitted during the application — for example, education qualifications, curricular activities and work experience — for both programmes,” Jeffrey Chiam, global head of human resources at Bank of Singapore, told Asian Private Banker.

In addition to the AI screening process, MA hopefuls completed online personality and cultural tests, while TA applicants were required to pass a coding test designed to “assess the technical skills of the applicant in a practical setting”.

“About 80 applicants were eventually selected to participate in Bank of Singapore SuperDay 2019 to undergo further assessment before the crème de la crème were chosen to be part of the two programmes,” Chiam explained.

Bank of Singapore’s SuperDay 2019

At SuperDay, which was held earlier this month, MA applicants worked in groups to solve case studies relating to crisis management and private bank operations, while their TA counterparts completed 30-minute-long coding assessments. All applicants were then invited to network and participate in one-on-one interviews.

Recently, Bank of Singapore has stressed the important role technology — including AI — plays in human resources. Last year, the bank’s employees in Hong Kong received formalised training on coding and artificial intelligence, and at its annual Learning Carnival in October, the bank focused on ‘future’ workplace skills, including computational thinking and machine learning solutions.

“Things are moving at a rocket-like speed and we have to keep adjusting and learning as an organisation,” Chiam told Asian Private Banker at the time.

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