Dirk Marzluf, Head of Technology and Operations at Santander Group
Dirk Marzluf, Head of Technology and Operations at Santander Group

The ‘Be Tech! with Santander’ recruitment programme aims to find the best and brightest technology talent to help Santander become the best open financial services platform. Dirk Marzluf, Head of Technology and Operations at Santander Group, shares the details of the programme, through which the Bank hopes to recruit 500 professionals in Spain alone in 2020.

500 is a lot of people, why the sudden burst of recruitment in this area?

One of the five pillars of our technology strategy is to have deep technological skill in our teams. As important as it is today, technology is sure to become an even more important differentiating factor in the market. Today in Santander almost 75% of these skills are outsourced and strengthening our own skill base is critical. Furthermore, we are increasingly using Agile methodologies which favour internal resources as their interests are fully aligned with the long-term success of the Group. So we are hiring 500 technology engineering resources in Spain alone in 2020, 3,000 across the Group. But we’re also focused on upskilling our existing team. 2020 is the year of skills!

What will these new recruits bring to the Group? 

We have a strong technology team today, and we can be proud of what we have all jointly achieved. Our new colleagues will further strengthen the team by growing our internal scale, but also by bringing additional technology skills and outside experience more rapidly than we could scale up internally. I’m a firm believer that diversity in experience creates a stronger team. 

Although the programme has been active for a few months, the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic makes it especially striking that a bank like Santander is looking for 500 positions. Has the pipeline for candidates increased as a result?

It’s great that Santander is strong enough to be able to hire in these difficult times. People matter, skills matter and Spain is a great country to scale up our internal teams. Given the challenges for the overall economy I expect a strong pipeline for our open positions, helping us to find people with the right values and skills to grow an already strong team.

Santander wants to be recognised as a top technology employer, what more do you think needs to be done to achieve that? 

Banking has always been technology heavy, and technology will shape the industry going forward, so it’s important we can attract the best talent as a top employer, but we’re not there yet. We need to be more active with universities, and startups. But internally we also need to shift our own mindset towards “technology skills matter”. We need to become more an engineering company using modern technologies like public cloud, being the place to be in the industry. But we are progressing well, and our current hiring approach will be key!

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