The banking industry is a highly regulated powerhouse that stabilizes the economic environment of nations around the world. Banks store sensitive, personal information about their clients, and commercial banks often house more valuable inventory -- cash -- than other retail operations. Bank employees, from executives to tellers, must have a higher level of integrity and trustworthiness than employees in most other industries, making the role of HR in banking that much more important.
Certain jobs do not really require a thorough background check, but any job in a bank definitely does. Human resource departments in banks must go the extra mile to uncover the criminal and financial history of job applicants, for the safety of their clients and their organization as a whole. Banks are highly unlikely to hire candidates with financial fraud on their records, for example, due to the sheer weight of temptation a position in a bank would place on someone with that kind of history.
Human resources departments must design and monitor work processes to reduce opportunities for internal theft and collusion. HR policies separate cash receiving, storage, processing and disbursement, and record all activities via video surveillance. In the event that an employee attempts to steal from a bank, the HR department must handle the legal paperwork and administrative processes required by court proceedings.
As with other industries, HR professionals in banks have a hand in making decisions for pay raises and promotions. Bank workforces are unique in that they often have two methods of paying employees: salaries for back-office and other personnel, and commissions for sales employees. Promotion decisions for salespeople selling loans and other financial products differ from decisions to promote administrative staff. Banks' HR departments must manage both equitably and strategically to develop the workforce.
The banking industry is highly competitive, and banks constantly navigate a legal minefield that can devastate companies that step out of line. Finding the right executives is crucial in any industry, but especially one in which competition is so fierce and legal compliance so important. Human resources professionals in banks must go the extra mile to recruit the best executive talent in the banking field, allowing their organizations to thrive and grow into the future. Human resources departments in corporations must gain approval of the board of directors before bringing someone in to fill an executive spot, as well.