While recruiting for potential talent, the recruitment team at the bank faced several challenges. One of the challenges was competing against other industries for talent acquisition and how to make their management trainee programme appeal to fresh graduates. 

Historically, the application process for their management trainee programme was manual and standard. Yet, the bank receives approximately 9,000 applicants every year, which is challenging to manage manually. The bank wanted an accelerated application process that is more engaging and responsive to candidates while differentiating themselves from other banks and companies.

The management trainee programmes were previously managed by a country. Now, the bank’s headquarters want to manage it regionally in batches as the bank wanted to foster an ASEAN culture where participants get contact time as a regional cohort with an ASEAN perspective to their work.

At the same time, the bank wanted to cultivate its talents with cross-regional and cross-industry exposure as the banking industry is now working with new digital businesses and shifting IT approaches (e.g. agile) into other domains. As such, they wanted to hire graduates who were highly adaptable, disciplined and accountable.


Our consulting team at Accendo chose to go with an automated, digital and non-conventional approach to management trainee programmes. 

Submitting an Application

Candidates were instructed to apply through ‘Simplify’, an automated applicant tracking system on Accendo that collects various data points about candidates. 

Measuring Cognitive Performance

Those who met the requirements were then asked to sit through ‘Cognify’, an interactive game-based assessment that measures cognitive ability and is globally normed to meet not only ASEAN but also global standards. 

The application funnel and candidate data were then presented in a dashboard for the ease and convenience of the bank’s HR department while reviewing the candidates.


Candidates who were shortlisted for the final stage will then participate in an assessment centre co-designed by Accendo and the bank where the staff from different regions were trained by industry experts and equipped with skills to assess candidates. 

The assessment centre exercises were designed to be interactive and engaging, utilising different media and approaches where candidates were allowed to demonstrate their adaptability.

The assessment centre exercises also captured the candidates’ behaviours based on the bank’s graduate competency framework, reflecting a management trainee’s job expectations and environment while aligning to the bank’s business direction.