Standard Chartered Bank is continuing its relentless march towards becoming a Hong Kong employer of choice. Its global workforce stands at 73,000 from more than 100 nationalities, and the wholesale and consumer bank is looking to hire more top-notch professionals this year. 'We've hired 250 so far this year. Depending on the needs of the business growth, we're not certain about the number we will hire by the end of the year,' said Linda Downs, head of resourcing, northeast Asia, Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong). 'Last year, we hired around 500 to 600 people.' The note-issuing bank is now looking to hire fresh graduates and experienced professionals, such as a director of securities execution in its consumer banking department and a senior implementation manager for the wholesale banking operations. The bank has received more than 55,000 applications from local graduates for its trainee programme, but only 32 applicants will be hired. 'We have a very robust training and development plan for our customer experience roles. These are our frontline staff and they're critical to the bank,' she said. 'They're key to our growth and they're the people you meet when you come into our bank.' As for experienced professionals, Standard Chartered was looking 'for high-calibre individuals who align to our values', Ms Downs said. 'When recruiting, finding people with the right technical skills [is a priority]. 'If we're hiring an IT person, their technical competence [is key]. We're hiring not just for today but tomorrow.' Fern Ngai, head of human resources, said she believed the bank's values made it an attractive place to work. She added that Standard Chartered was committed to its people and to the community. And, for the community, the company has a seven-pillar model towards sustainability. This involves protecting the environment, tackling financial crime, sustainable finance, improving access to financial services, investing in the community, being responsible in its selling and marketing, and making sure the company is a great place to work.