This past February, I participated in the job day on Twitter with #JouwBaan (YourJob), presenting myself as an ideas generator and pancake maker. You wouldn’t think they’d need somebody like that at today’s bank, but I was invited to spend a day at ABN AMRO. I obviously wasn’t planning on making pancakes at ABN AMRO – I wanted to find a job via social media!
The best thing I discovered after the introductions was that ‘ordinary’ people work at ABN AMRO.
Sander Oord Job seeker
I was introduced to various departments and employees during my day at the bank. I got to take a peek at the Recruitment department, for instance. Veronique Remmers and Rutger Groenewegen (both Marketing Specialists) talked about how they rate messages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This was an enlightening meeting. Which messages are perfect, and which are way off target? I had an open talk with Robert Turner (Webcare Supervisor) about how people at ABN AMRO work and how they deal with social media. Which signals do they pick up on, and how do they respond? Florence Meesters (Dialogue Manager) clarified the main strategic objective: to strengthen ties with clients. To achieve this, the bank listens closely to internal and external target groups.
After lunch, it was time to get down to work with the Webcare Advisors. I started with a chat on the ABN AMRO website: a visitor to the site had a question which I was allowed to answer. It was great being able to do this independently. I then observed the proactive part of social media: approaching people, congratulating them, giving tips, etc. This is an entirely different, yet also effective, way of communicating on social media. And lastly, I visited the Complaints department and viewed various Dutch complaints sites. This, too, is an interesting way of communicating with clients.
The best thing I discovered after meeting Veronique, Rutger, Robert and Florence was that ‘ordinary’ people work at ABN AMRO. Come to think of it, I never actually realised that the bank isn’t a machine, but that it’s run by people. I had always thought of the bank as an elegant office building, a skyscraper on the ring road of Amsterdam, where you are required to wear a pinstripe suit. But no, ABN AMRO wants its people to work at the bank on their own terms. You can post messages on social media in a personal manner, for instance. At the end of the day, I got a present: my own advertisement with a text in Dutch, which roughly translates as ‘So you think your presence on social media should get you a job? Tell us!’ I’ve now had a look at various departments of the bank. To be honest, I think ABN AMRO devotes as much attention to people who apply for a job on social media as it does to traditional job applicants.