Color & Control:

Job hunting in the financial sector

Interview with Kim Toews

Q) What advice can you give about finding work in financial sector.

A) We post a variety of different level positions across the bank and no matter what the position, support and accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities. We have both full– and part-time positions available and different roles such as marketing, technology and communications as well. It’s wise to attend recruitment events and network as much as possible. Better yet, find an industry mentor who can provide guidance. If you’re just starting out, consider internship and graduate programs. At HSBC, you can register for Talent Communities to be contacted with appropriate opportunities.  

Q) How can I stand out in a crowd? 

A) Be persistent and don’t sell yourself short by not listing skills you’ve acquired beyond the workplace. Don’t just say what you think they want to hear. Be authentic and genuine. Where possible, include measurable details that truthfully and clearly articulate your work history and skill set. Play around with the formatting but keep your resume easy to read. Resumes that don’t look like all the others make a reader pause, which may be all that is needed to get a little longer consideration.

Q) Is there a particular region where more positions are available?

A) We have operations in every region but our largest concentration of employees are in BC and Ontario. HSBC supports hybrid working for many roles which allows employees to agree with their manager on a workstyle that best suits their role and circumstances, potentially including working from home all or part of the time. 

Q) Can you share the bank’s approach to hiring and your success rates?

A) Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our business. We have a gender balanced board and executive committee. About 45% of our employees identify as a member of a visible minority and hiring people with disabilities is an area of focus. We have a dedicated Diversity Recruitment Relationship Manager who supports applicants who self-identify as having a disability. In the last month alone, we’ve established seven new community partnerships and hired three individuals from the disability community.

Q) Can you discuss accommodations and how you handle disclosure?

A) Our Workplace Accommodation Policy recognizes an individual’s right to privacy and confidentiality. This policy also extends to job applicants who require accommodations to participate in the hiring and selection process. 

Q) How much importance do you place on career development for people with disabilities within your workforce?

A)  A lot. At HSBC, we encourage collaboration, the pursuit of new skills through training and diverse thinking to help shape the future of the bank. That includes working with our Ability Employee Resource Group to support career development for employees with disabilities. 

Kim Toews is Executive Vice President and Head of Human Resources, HSBC Bank Canada


Spotlight on Adrian Cheng

I am an Operations Risk Administration Associate, at HSBC. Four years ago, I was just finishing my geography degree at UBC. I learned on the job and applied myself to the task of delivering customer service. 

Because there is a stigma-driven fear around disclosure of invisible disabilities, initially only my hiring manager knew of my disability. Now, I have a strategy for disclosing to other managers but I am still working on disclosing my autism and ADHD diagnosis to my colleagues.

Learning to advocate for my accommodations in a large environment did present a learning curve. Previously, I minimized my exposure to over stimulating environments so I did not know how my sensitivities would alter my performance and well-being. This caused a huge amount of stress. 

Now, there is a system for requesting workplace adjustments and equipment accommodations and I’m looking for opportunities to expand my horizons. I am studying project management and I serve as National Co-Chair of HSBC’s Employee Disability Group. We help identify opportunities to improve disability inclusion and diversity measures ranging from physical spaces to best practices. I would love to see more career mobility for minority groups but, I must say, HSBC has made real progress in removing barriers since I started working here. 

Adrian Cheng is an Operations, Risk and Administration Associate and National Co-Chair of Ability ERG at HSBC Bank Canada.

Photo: Rodnae Productions, Pexels

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