RISING talent from a non-traditional pool

As advancements in technology further propel firm’s like J.P. Morgan toward a workforce of the future, it is important that organisations re-assess hiring and recruitment processes in order to minimise the talent gap and ensure a diverse pool of candidates.

J.P. Morgan’s long-standing partnership with the Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) has seen a swathe of successful mentoring and support programs come to fruition over recent years.

Working alongside ABCN, Talent RISE implemented a pilot program focusing on entry-level careers in information technology (IT) for underserved youth called InRoads. The program aimed to engage students in Sydney and Melbourne aged 16 – 17 from disadvantaged public schools in areas where youth unemployment is highest.

The InRoads program provided technical IT and employability skills training and job placement opportunities to students and was implemented in three phases:

  • Program planning and consultation, student recruitment, and workshop launch
  • Series of employability workshops led by J.P. Morgan mentors where students had an opportunity to work in a project team to simulate a real world problem
  • Work with TalentRISE to place students in entry-level positions within the IT and technology industries, providing additional hard skills training before and during the process of matching the candidate with a suitable employer (between 200 and 250 hours)

Andrew Collins, Service Operations Manager with the Desktop Support team at J.P. Morgan, commented on how organisations can broaden recruitment horizons and look to non-traditional solutions for a diverse talent pipeline.

“One of the challenges many organisations face is accessing a pipeline of diverse talent. For young people, accessing a job without experience is a significant barrier for them,” Collins said. “Being prepared to provide on-the-job training and trust the hiring of an individual that does not necessarily meet all the criteria that is traditionally set out for a role, creates a range of opportunities,” he added. “It’s also worth re-thinking potential versus credential.”

Skills can be learned. Personal competencies are what matter. Based on past experience, Collins observes that candidates from Talent RISE demonstrate strong personal competencies. The Australia desktop team is a tight knit team which relies heavily on knowledge and workload sharing across a broad range of requirements. “For this reason the personal nature and ‘fit’ of the individual is as important as ticking all the boxes across all technical aspects, which in many cases can be taught on the job,” Collins added.

Collins also encourages mentorship as he believes that the process benefits existing and senior employees as they get involved and invested in the company’s future while helping nurture the junior talent pipeline.

Consider the potential, not the past.

“Kit Taetiengtum joined the firm in the Australia Desktop Support team through TalentRISE in 2020.

When we interviewed Kit, she showed a real passion for technology. She even makes her own mechanical keyboards. But what really shone through was Kit’s genuine nature. She came across as an honest, trustworthy person and a team player.

Kit joined our team at a challenging time last year when the company started remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and she was unable to physically meet her new desktop team colleagues until December. This did not, however, stop her from learning the different aspects of her role and getting involved. In a short period of time she felt comfortable to investigate and troubleshoot end user issues by herself at their desks.

Kit had been part of the Talent RISE Program for over a year and had strongly demonstrated her people networking skills, which would translate to an ability to interact with our team members and the general end user population at J.P. Morgan. I have every confidence that Kit will continue to flourish and become an integral part of the team.”

Andrew Collins, Service Operations Manager