ProCredit Bank: Prioritizing staff long-term success over short-term gains

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 02/05/2023 | 16:23

ProCredit Bank’s way of dealing with colleagues is unique, as it believes more in people and dialogue than in positions or titles. Andreea Ichim, the company’s Deputy General Manager, sat down with Business Review to talk about the ways in which the bank has been keeping its employees satisfied.

By Anda Sebesi


How would you define your HR policy?

Our HR Policy supports the strategic development of the ProCredit Group and reflects our identity as a development-oriented commercial bank with strong ethical and value-based foundations. As our ethical approach to banking and respect for human dignity is fully integrated into our corporate culture, the relationships between colleagues as well as the ones we have with our clients and third parties are based on mutual respect, avoiding any form of discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, religion, origin, sexual orientation or age. We are proud of the long-standing norm of gender equality at ProCredit, with 38 percent of senior managers and an even higher proportion of 48 percent of middle managers in the Group being women. This balance was the result of our approach to individual development, and not that of a planned strategy of achieving quantitative objectives. The core elements of our HR Policy include: intensive staff recruitment and integration through the international Onboarding Programme for newcomers; permanent staff development training; a transparent salary policy; and a structured staff assessment process.


What were the main initiatives the bank dedicated to its employees last year?

In 2022, we increased the number of paid vacation days we allocated to our employees. This initiative was implemented to allow our staff members to spend additional time with their families, particularly in the years after the pandemic, which were marked by heightened levels of stress. Also, considering the high inflation, we decided to mitigate some of the adverse impact on remuneration by increasing the value of the financial benefits we provided to our employees.

In addition, 2022 represented a highly significant milestone for ProCredit Bank Romania, as it marked the 20th anniversary of its establishment and operation in the country. On this occasion, we invited all our colleagues to celebrate two decades of making a positive impact on the development of the Romanian economy.


What is your strategy in terms of attracting and retaining talent?

Our approach to recruitment is centred on people. We focus on candidates’ attitude, willingness, and capacity to engage in dialogue, their readiness to question, learn, and challenge assumptions, their ethics and understanding of democracy. We intensively hire young graduates with little or no experience, aiming to build long-term professional relationships. 29 percent of ProCredit Group staff started their career with us. We also look for a wide variety of educational backgrounds, as creative problem-solving strategies can come from people who think out of the box.

The training process starts with the Onboarding Programme, which is designed for newcomers. Over 32 percent of our current colleagues, including management members, joined us via this programme. For experienced employees, specific job and Group-wide courses are offered regularly. The next level of training is provided in our unique ProCredit Banker and ProCredit Management programmes, which take place in our campus in Germany, the ProCredit Academy.


3 HR challenges for the banking sector in 2023

  • Remote working for companies located abroad will accelerate the “brain drain” from emerging economies;
  • The steep curve of digitalization in the banking sector may outstrip the pace of development for new professionals’ ability to master modern technologies;
  • The recent turmoil on international banking markets might make the sector less attractive on the labour market.
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