The Lloyds Banking Group Digital Graduate Scheme, the first programme of its kind among UK banks*, has now celebrated its first year, recognising that young digital talent and fresh ideas are increasingly needed as the industry develops digitally. Twenty-nine graduates were selected from amongst 3,000 applications, with a further 10 graduates to join the Digital division at the end of September. This group forms part of more than 300 new graduates who joined Lloyds Banking Group in September 2015, sourced from more than 20,000 applications coming from across the globe.
The Group’s digital banking franchise has more than 12 million active online users, over 7 million active mobile users and represents 60% of the total retail sales of the Group. With such a large and growing customer base using digital services, it comes as no surprise so many graduate applications are received to join the digital division. In fact, Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to graduates is reaping results. In the last year the Group has moved from 80th to 63rd place in its ranking in the Guardian UK 300 which lists the best companies for graduates to work. This rise in rankings has seen it surpass the likes of Facebook (72) and McLaren (68). LinkedIn have also taken note, recognising Lloyds Banking Group this year as one of the best companies in the UK for attracting and keeping top talent – the only bank listed in the top 25.
We sat down with the Business Committee Chair of the Digital Graduate Scheme, Geoff Mossman, who explains more about what this programme aims to achieve:
“The Digital Graduate Scheme is about bringing in the best talent into the Group and providing the best experience to ensure the graduates wish to continue their career with us. The Graduate Business Committee is designed to work with the Graduates end to end, from recruitment onto the program all the way to providing the graduates with 3 great placements around the Digital division with carefully selected line managers within the business, to supporting them rolling off the program.”
The graduates receive an incredible amount of support for their development too. Line Managers, Mentors and Buddies are all tasked with making sure the experience of graduates in the workplace is crafted around their skills and strengths, as well as being responsible for their learning and development. In the same way, graduates have the opportunity to have a say when it comes to rolling off into a new placement, meeting their future Line Managers before the actual new role begins.
“We’ve flipped the process on its head and we ask Line Managers to request a graduate to work with them. We then interview each line Manager to ensure they would support and develop their graduate, and they have a great role for them to do. These are then scored and ranked and the very best roles are offered for the graduates to choose. The final part of the process is a speed-dating style event. Graduates and Line Managers get to network with one-another to find out more about the role and get a better understanding of who they may be working with.”
How does the initial application process actually work?
“Applicants for the graduate programme first complete an online application, along with online numerical and cultural assessments. On successful completion, they are then invited to an online strengths-based video interview. The final stage is a one day assessment centre where applicants are assessed through a strength-based interview, group exercise, innovation pitch and a written exercise. The day also gives applicants the chance to meet some of our current graduates and find out what it is like to work at Lloyds Banking Group.”
So, what do the graduates have to say about their first year in Digital Banking?
Giulia Trevisan, digital graduate in her second placement, told us:
“One of the best things about the LBG Digital Graduate programme is that you get to experience different Line Managers and roles over three eight-month placements, while your Mentor follows you during the entire scheme and beyond.”
When asked about her experience in the roles she covered so far, she says: “I am now in my second role and I couldn’t be happier. I keep receiving fantastic support from my Line Manager and the team. From the beginning he has shown support and willingness to teach me the different elements I needed to know and more. He always makes sure I am on track towards my career and personal development goals and never gives criticism that isn’t constructive. I am growing as a professional every single day.”
A final tip came from Geoff for anyone who wants to apply to the scheme.
“Remember, there is no magic ingredient to becoming a successful graduate. All you have to do is ensure you enjoy the work you do, be passionate and interested, and never forget about your own development.”
If you want to know more about the life of digital graduates and are interested in being part of the team, visit the Graduate Careers page for more information.