Chase CIO Gill Haus Discusses Recruitment, Agile, and Automation

The world of banking and finance is facing a massive change in innovation, adding to the need to adapt to new evolutionary cycles in FinTech. As clients want more resources and direction in their finances, organizations like JPMorgan Chase must respond wisely in a way that contrasts with their sheer size.

Jill House, head of consumer and community banking (Chase) at JPMorgan Chase, spoke with InformationWeek about his organization’s approach to finding the right tech talent to meet innovation demands, the growing importance of automation, and the personalized guidance it’s following.

When considering technology recruitment, what skill sets is Chase seeking, to meet current needs and also for what might come next?

At the base of what we do, we are building complex features and services for our clients. We have approximately 58 million digitally active customers; They rely heavily on our services. The technology behind all those products and services we offer. We are looking for the ideal engineers who have a background in Java, Machine Learning Engineers, and those who have mobile experience as well. We also have technologies that are in “legacy” – systems we’ve had for many years and we’ve been looking for engineers who understand how to use these technologies. Not just to support them but to update them. The key to our practice is also making sure that we have these engineers and talent in general who are adaptable…because the market is constantly changing.

Why this is important is not only so that we can get talent and help us build great solutions; It is also a great opportunity for talent to develop themselves. We provide our employees with opportunities to use these new technologies whether it is a public cloud, a private cloud, or machine learning. Also, to grow the breadth of their experiences, whether they’re working on mobile technologies, backend systems, or some other solution that touches millions upon millions of customers. We offer our employees the opportunity, whether they are a junior software engineer, we have programs like our Software Engineer Program where we bring in talent from universities and training camps to do the training. We provide things across the organization where our talent can contribute and learn with teams to build solutions, learn to use other technologies, and become more adaptable.

Jill House, J.P. Morgan Chase

Are there certain technologies or methodologies that came into play recently that Chase wanted to adopt or look at?

We have taken a big step to be an agile organization to organize around our products versus organize around our business. The reason for this is that we need to be able to build solutions quickly and that those local teams – product, technology, data, design leaders – are better able to see what’s happening in the market, make decisions quickly, decide what to build or what service to provide, and make sure That we apply it to our clients in exchange for regulating it in a way that makes it more difficult to operate.

The transition to agile working style is really fundamental for us to compete.

other [part] They are the same skills. In our domain, it’s completely machine learning. We have a lot of data about our customers, about how customers use our products. Clients ask us to provide them with ideas or guidance. If you go to our mobile app, we have something called Snapshot that tells you how you spend money compared to other people like you, and ways you can save. Machine learning is the core and the power behind making this happen.

Mobile engineering is very important to us as more and more of our customers are moving to be digitally active in the mobile space. We want to be where our customers are.

What isn’t often talked about is a lot of our back-end services, the main Java programming that we do, that enables all of this. From APIs to the public cloud because when you deposit money, you are using these bars. When you implement machine learning models, you are still using a lot of those bars.

While we focus on a lot of new features, we also focus on updating our kernel as this is very fundamental to the services we provide.

In terms of tech talent exploration, is there a focus on finding new graduates from schools that offer the latest skills, and retraining existing employees to take advantage of their institutional knowledge as well?

All of the above. Our goal-driven culture is really a big factor for us. Money is the center of people’s lives. If you can create a positive experience for customers using their money, whether they are able to save more, pay for something they didn’t expect, or prevent fraud for them, it provides an incredibly positive benefit to that individual. this is important. Many people who join this company or are already working want to make this positive impact.

One of our software engineering programs is called Tech Connect, and it’s the way we get into software engineers who might not have come through with traditional software engineering degrees. It is a way for them to pursue training here and find a role within the organization. We also have a Software Engineering program where we look at entry-level candidates coming from colleges with computer science and other engineering degrees. For the employees we have here, we have programs like Power Up, located in 20 JPMorgan Chase technology centers where more than 17,000 employees meet on an annual basis. There they learn all kinds of different technologies, from machine learning to data to the cloud. This not only allows us to train the people who are here but also makes joining the company compelling.

What are some of your guiding principles as the CIO?

We want to remove barriers for people who are about to do the jobs we want them to do so they can build amazing experiences for our customers. That’s the main focus for us, but so is diversity. Diverse teams are more creative and productive. We must do it. In addition, we know that our clients are diverse and we should reflect that as well.

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