When DBS announced its annual results late last month, chief executive Piyush Gupta said the bank would continue hiring, although it would do so “judiciously”.
In an unusual move, which DBS says recognises the “key role it plays in society”, the bank has now revealed details of its staffing plans for 2020 – and it is hiring on a larger level than expected. DBS said in a statement late this afternoon that it will hire more than 2,000 people in Singapore alone this year, despite the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Of these, more than 1,000 are newly created roles (additional headcount) for both fresh graduates (700 positions) and experienced staff (360). The remaining 1,000 positions are “business as usual” (BAU) jobs, which likely means replacements for employees who leave.
In April, we predicted that technology professionals stood the best chance of getting jobs at DBS this year. Gupta’s Q1 results presentation suggested that tech projects will be among the investments “prioritised” even as DBS cuts costs elsewhere, and the bank noted a “significant uplift in digital activity” in the opening quarter.
It’s perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that all the 360-plus newly created jobs for experienced professionals are in technology. They include more than 300 positions in UX/UI, data science, fraud detection compliance, as well as consumer and institutional banking technology. DBS is also looking to hire over 60 people in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, full stack development and data analytics through its talent development programmes, which help tech professionals kickstart a technology career in financial services.
CEO Gupta said job seekers are “understandably anxious about the dearth of opportunities available” as companies in Singapore tighten their belts. “While DBS is also prudent in our outlook, as a key employer in Singapore, it seemed right to us to not just continue with hiring for business-as-usual activities but also to actively create new jobs where we can, so as to help more people tide through this difficult period,” he added. “In particular, we want to do our part to avoid having a ‘lost’ generation of young graduates in Singapore whose career prospects are jeopardised because they are unable to find jobs due to the pandemic.”
Of the 700 graduate jobs that DBS is opening up, 500 will be apprenticeships for local graduates under the SGUnited traineeship initiative. These last between six and 12 months, but many are then converted to permanent roles. The remaining 200 grads will be hired into a range of the bank’s existing programmes, including the graduate associate programme, the applied wealth management track, and the analytics capability enhancement programme.
Adding 1,000 people to DBS’s current 12,000-strong Singapore headcount is a fairly significant increase of about 8%. In 2019, DBS’s global workforce rose 6% to 28,419.
DBS said the remaining 1,000 BAU jobs will still be recruited “judiciously”. Since the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore in February, DBS has already made close to 500 hires to fill replacement roles in client advisory, data, digital, technology, and risk and control.
Separately from its hiring announcement for grads and experience employees, DBS said its annual internship programmes also continue unabated. It expects to take on about 400 interns in 2020.
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