HR strategy for account manager development
Following an 18-month IPC project on institution and capacity building for cashflow-based MSE lending operations, Tianjin Rural Commercial Bank (TRCB) contracted IPC to assess the quality of its account managers. This assignment included classifying each individual account manager according to job descriptions and profiles which could be suitable. As a former Rural Credit Cooperative, TRCB faced an issue shared by many such institutions in China: staff were often selected many years ago in a less competitive economic environment and now lack many of the skills to cope with today’s requirements in financial institutions. Such staff frequently lack the necessary educational background and have not received the necessary training for their current positions. Recognising the potential to improve the performance of its 900 account managers, TRCB decided to provide training to its most promising staff through a learning programme similar to the training activities during IPC’s MSE-lending project. However, TRCB’s previous attempts to identify qualified account managers to participate in specialised training had fallen short of expectations, so the bank requested targeted support from IPC.
IPC implemented the following tasks:
- Diagnostics of the bank’s HR management system (strategy, structure, systems and staffing)
- Diagnostics of the lending process, specifically the tasks performed by account managers
- Defining, with relevant head office departments (especially HR and credit department), functions in the lending business of the bank, and subsequently creating job profiles and requirements
- Developing a methodology to assess all account managers in the bank: CV screening, questionnaire (self-assessment), evaluation by supervisory staff, written tests
- Conducting account manager assessments with the bank, resulting in individual recommendations for job function allocation and training needs
This project provided the bank with a clearer picture of its 900 account managers, including individual recommendations. It likewise laid the foundation for subsequent cooperation between TRCBs and IPC on developing the bank’s SME-lending capacities.