Banking group Absa says it wants to hire around 250 highly-skilled professionals in the coming months, to supplement its in-house skills development programme which is focussed on digital transformation in the financial services sector.
Absa employs 27,160 people in South Africa alone, with 619 branches, 8,660 ATMs, and 104,544 point-of-sale (PoS) devices.
An Absa spokesperson said that the bank has seen a significant increase in demand for technology and security skills in the market, amid a greater focus on digital innovation in financial services and other industries.
This shift towards digital has been driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank said and has been highly disruptive to traditional banking practices over the last year.
Banking services have evolved rapidly in recent years, with a growing focus on digital, mobile and online-first banking. Physical branches, as a result, have been shrinking or closing down across the industry.
This process shifted into high gear in 2020 and 2021 following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing a rethink of strategy, products and services.
The bank says it has seen an accelerated switch to digital channels, becoming the preferred channel among retail customers. It has also reported a ‘faster than expected erosion of the role of branches in product distribution, requiring branch model redefinition’.
It says it has been on a journey to evolve IT architecture to support the massive transfer of customers to digital channels.
“In addition, we have seen a number of new technologies that are transforming the way we work. At Absa, we continue to focus on developing our people and equipping them with next-generation technology skills e.g. cloud, through initiatives such as our Skills Guild with Amazon Web Services.”
The bank said that it is making significant investments in the training and development of its workforce, and supplementing this through external hiring. It said that it is searching for 250 technology roles across the business.
Specific skillsets it is looking for includes:
- Engineering (Platform, Data Engineering / DevOps / DevSecOps);
- Data Science;
- Machine learning; and
- Product-specific skills.
Some of the listed job opportunities can be found here.
Hiring spree in banking
The tech skills listed by Absa are highly sought-after across the banking industry and are also in high demand by competitors including FNB and Capitec. Both banks have in recent weeks signalled a hiring drive with a particular focus on tech.
FNB chief executive, Jacques Celliers made a call for a “collective effort to avail economic opportunities, better employment and career prospects to quell talent migration to overseas markets”.
He also encouraged local talent that has moved overseas to consider returning for opportunities in domestic markets across the African continent.
To expedite its fintech and platform-related aspirations in banking, insurance, investments and telecommunications, FNB said it will recruit 300 additional experts with engineering, technology, data and quant skills.
The group said it is looking for
- Industrial engineers;
- Software developers;
- Cloud engineers;
- Cybersecurity specialists;
- Data and quant scientists;
- Systems and solutions architects;
- Test engineers;
- Chemical and mechanical engineers;
- Business and systems analysts;
- Customer and user experience specialists; and
- Content and design specialists.
Capitec, meanwhile, said that it also aims to fill around 300 positions over the next few months, filling positions for graduates to senior professionals.
Specific skills it seeks includes:
- Business analysts;
- Analyst developers;
- Data engineers;
- BI analysts.