Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 6, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Citi Canada was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2019):
- Citi Canada recognizes exceptional performance and achievement through a variety of initiatives, including the online Citi Gratitude platform (with redeemable points), the enterprise-wide Progress Awards, the Canada Wave program for members of the cards collection teams, and Leaders in Excellence
- Citi Canada supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments to 75% of salary for up to 17 weeks -- additionally, the company provides parental top-up for adoptive parents, to 75% of salary for up to 8 weeks
- Citi Canada offers generous referral bonuses as an incentive for employees to recruit candidates from their personal networks, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 for successful hires
Self-learning is key to career growth at Citi Canada
At Citi Canada, Ian Ng thrives on the challenge - the challenge of delivering cutting-edge financial technology in a stable and functional system. "These are systems that move money, so they are quite complex," he says. "There is risk in operating these systems. This is both satisfying to me as well as something that might keep me up at night."
Citi Canada is part of Citigroup, the global financial services organization that operates in 160 countries and jurisdictions. The firm employs about 1,400 people across Canada, including 1,200 in Toronto and Mississauga.
"The majority of our professional-level hiring is for technology roles," says Christine Discola, Country Human Resources Officer. "That is where we are experiencing the growth in our franchise. However, we also have a strong focus on our finance undergaduate program."
Citi Canada seeks developers who can create applications that excel in the global market - from integrated platforms that leverage big data in order to identify market opportunities, to innovative products that disrupt the traditional banking model.
"We have a dynamic, innovative environment that is focused on enabling progress for our clients and the communities we serve," says Discola. "Innovation is at the core of what we do. There is a strong focus on ethics and responsible finance in everything we do."
Positions for which the Greater Toronto operation has recently hired include Java Development Team Lead, Big Data Technical Specialist, Senior QA Analyst, Business Unit Analyst, and Senior Business System Analyst.
Ng has been with Citi Canada since 2012, including the past three years as Senior Vice President, Capital Markets, Rates Technology. He manages a team of 70 developers who deliver systems and projects that support Citi's sales and trading teams globally.
"I've seen transformational change every year that I've been here," says Ng. "We have a very can-do attitude. With a bank this size, you might expect things would be more slow-moving. Instead, it's quite fast-paced. Because Citi is so global, we have a mix of people from different cultures. Such a diverse workforce contributes to our success."
So, too, does Citi's emphasis on professional development. "Recently, we rolled out a new digital platform for self-learning," says Discola. "Early adoption rates are encouraging, and we are working to increase adoption to 100 per cent over time."
Ng benefitted from Leading at Citi, a program which helped him transition from being an individual contributor to becoming a manager, then a team manager and then a business group leader. For technologists, a parallel program called Engineering Excellence helps them not only become better developers but also be able to influence and lead across the firm.
Citi Canada has a formal mentorship program, called CANNECTIONS, to which prospective mentors and mentees must apply to participate. The mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet monthly for one year.
Ng arranged an informal mentorship last year in which a director helped him identify skills he would need to assume a larger role in the organization. "Having someone outside your immediate management team advise on ways you can be more effective in the organization is valuable," says Ng.
He is now acting as a mentor, participating in a program called Prometheus to develop female technology employees who are at the assistant vice-president level or below. "I meet with the individual bi-weekly and it's up to her to set the agenda for each meeting," he says.
"We have other developmental programs for high-potential senior women," says Discola. "We also have a women's network at our Toronto and Mississauga offices." With over half of Citi Canada employees being women, there is no lack of participants.
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 17, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Citi Canada was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2019):
- Citi Canada manages a number of New Graduate/Campus programs to provide recent graduates with opportunities to gain career-level experience -- each program includes mid- and year-end performance reviews, regular check-ins with HR, and networking events that bring participants of each Campus Analyst stream together
- Citi Canada offers a $2,000 to $10,000 relocation allowance to new graduates hired into full-time positions to assist with relocating and the costs of starting a new career
- Citi Canada offers a number of unique philanthropic opportunities for participants of its Analyst programs, including ServiceCorps for incoming technology analysts (a 1-year fellowship at a non-profit or public organization) and Citi Volunteer Africa for participants of the Corporate and Investment Banking Analyst streams (junior bankers help low-income entrepreneurs in Uganda for a 5-week period)
Citi Canada focuses on technology - and ethics
When she graduated from the University of Toronto three years ago, Vaishali Goel was pulled in two directions. She had earned a dual degree in computer science and bioinformatics, and was interested in both fields. Receiving multiple job offers, she accepted Citi Canada's, and joined its entry-level Analyst program.
"The program allows you to work in rotation in two different teams and acquire a variety of knowledge and a breadth of skills," she says. "It begins with a month of training, both technical and for professional development. I thought this would be a really good opportunity to jump-start my career."
Goel, 26, has not been disappointed. A Production Support Analyst, she is part of a team that monitors the software applications of Citi's equities trading desk, guarding against service interruptions. The Indian-born technologist enjoys belonging to a global company. "I work with people all over the world on a daily basis, and that's exciting," she says.
Citi Canada is part of Citigroup, the global financial services organization that operates in 160 countries and jurisdictions. The firm employs about 1,400 people across Canada, including 1,200 in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont. About 15 per cent of employees are age 30 or under.
The majority of Citi Canada's new hires are technology professionals at various stages of their careers, including recent graduates with a technology degree who enter the Citi Canada Analyst Program. The program also hires young people with undergraduate degrees in commerce or finance. (Citi pays referral bonuses to employees who recruit new talent from their personal networks. These incentives range in value depending on the level of the role.)
Citi's new hires around the globe take a one-day onboarding program online, absorbing the firm's mission and values, including the importance of ethical behaviour. "While we're looking for innovative ways to push the boundaries of financial technology, there is a strong focus on ethical culture at Citi," says Christine Discola, Country Human Resources Officer. "That is embedded in everything we do. We also equip our leaders and managers to develop our people and create a rich, challenging work environment."
The company emphasizes internal training. Employees can access Leading at Citi, a program which helps them advance from an individual contributor to a manager. There are additional programs for employees moving from team manager to business group leader. For technologists, a parallel program called Engineering Excellence helps them not only become better developers but also be able to influence and lead across the firm.
Prometheus, a one-year leadership program, is offered to high-potential female technologists who, like Goel, are at the Assistant Vice-President level or below. "It's a really great initiative," she says. "It gives you exposure not only to your mentor but to other site leaders and to women on other teams. You gain a large network of female employees, who are working in the same place, that you didn't have before. There are real objectives and real deliverables. It forces you to stretch yourself and grow your leadership skills."
Citi recognizes exceptional performance through its online Citi Gratitude platform. "At its basic level, Citi Applause, staff can send colleagues a personal message on a task well done," says Discola. "Higher levels of recognition, which have to be approved by managers, earn points that are redeem- able for monetary awards." Vaishali was recognized twice (with two prizes of $125 each) in 2018 for her efforts in disaster recovery tests at the data centre.
Citi gives its employees one paid day off annually to volunteer for a cause of their choice. In addition, Citi has a Global Community Day every year when its staff around the world give back to their communities on the same day. Goel was one of several employees who volunteered that day to tidy up Lakeside Park in Mississauga. "Community involvement is a key part of our engagement effort," says Discola.