How might one get a role at NAB Labs?

The acceleration of change in Fintech is the biggest disruptor for the banking sector. Parallel to this, the internalisation of digital services from large corporations is the biggest threat to the agency landscape.

The emergence of 'internal agencies' has created a pathways, whereby potential staff members can receive the benefits of working for a large corporate company, without the compromising the focus of of agile collaboration. 

The Challenge

Aspiring candidates are competing with highly skilled peers for new roles within the internal agencies. NAB Labs is an initiative from the National Australian Bank product and marketing team to ideate and prototype short, human-centered design focused solutions. The admiration within the industry means that roles are in short demand. The key to displaying value and thereby landing a role at NAB Labs is not publicly documented and therefore requires investigation to understand 'How might one get a role at NAB Labs'. 

Identifying the Opportunity

The first step undertaken in the investigation was to gather primary information from a NAB Labs employee. By using the popular Linkedin social media tool - we were able to directly contact a NAB Labs staff member and discuss upcoming opportunities. It was during this research that a 'Service Designer' role was identified as a viable opportunity.

"We are looking for collaborative people who have experience in human-centered design, research, service design and innovation" - NAB Labs employee.

The feedback established that NAB Labs placed a large emphasis on agile collaboration and experience with service enhancement. Demonstrating experience within these areas would therefore allow the NAB recruitment team to see value from the supplied experience portfolio. By demonstrating value through the supplied CV, the NAB HR team opted to offer an interview.

Investigating the 'Fit'

It needed to be established if role was in line with our theory: that NAB Labs could provide the benefits of a large corporate company, without the compromising the focus of of agile collaboration. It was also necessary to see if the candidate would be the right organisational 'fit' to not jeopardise the outcome of getting a role at NAB Labs.

We decided to approach NAB employee 'James' outside of Labs, to investigate internal perceptions of the team. After a series of questions, it became clear that the corporate culture within NAB fostered meritocracy and innovation. James flagged a risk that the organisation was restructuring and job security could be an issue. James disclosed that the hiring strategy is often around the ability to demonstrate value with new ideas. This insight lead to the creation of the below prototyped ideas.

Demonstrating Applicable Experience and Innovative Thinking

In line with the theory that demonstrating practical value would be way in which you would get a role at NAB Labs, the following prototypes have been created. One idea explores the human centric approach that NAB takes to providing real and honest consultation to their customers. The other idea looks at a practical demonstration of the candidate process, using UX and service design tools.

Idea 1: A chat-bot to help first home owners

Last week of the day of the publication, NAB launched a chatbot for UBank designed to help users walk through the homeloan process. This tool is designed to help customers get advise on their homeloans. As it is powered by IBM's Watson, the chatbot is extremely powerful for processing inbound information. 

Where the chatbot falls down is creating a conversational interface that can be reactive to sudden market changes. 
Our theory is that a conversational interface that assists a group of people into specifically receiving the correct information on a particular topic would be useful.  Click on the 'BOT' tool in the right hand side of your screen to use prototype.

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Promoting the tool.

By using existing marketing channels, NAB could specifically target users who could be looking to purchase a property for the first time. With clear messaging, the chatbot could be widely promoted (see example mock up the the right).

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Building the tool.

Motion AI was used to create a very basic chatbot, that came from my research into the federal budget superannuation scheme. Many economists believe that the saving scheme is less effective than many long term saver accounts with the banks.

This chatbot follows that workflow and the prototype can be tested by clicking 'BOT' in the bottom right of the screen. 

Idea 2: Journey mapping the candidate process

Treating the candidate experience as relatable tool, we created a journey map to show the potential candidate pathways at NAB Labs. This has been created as a practical example of the skills required for the role. The intent here was to demonstrate applicable experience in a creative way that would hopefully aid in placing the candidate into a role.

Click on image for larger view.

Click on image for larger view.

The Outcome 

The outcome of the challenge is yet to be seen. The working theory is that this literature will increase the potential of role fulfilment with NAB Labs. We are expecting to enter into the interview process (Phase 3) in the week commencing 22/ May/ 2017. Details of the outcome will be posted and examined in the following weeks.