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Interview with a Principal Avaloq & Temenos Recruiter: The Go-To Expert for Core Banking Roles

Interview with a Principal Avaloq & Temenos Recruiter: The Go-To Expert for Core Banking Roles

09 July 2024 by Grant Brummer
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In the fast-evolving world of fintech, Avaloq & Temenos stand out as leading providers of core banking systems. To get an inside look at the career of a top recruiter in this niche, we sat down with Toby Jacobs, our Principal Core Banking specialist recruiter at Skillfinder International. Toby has been recruiting for five years and has built a reputation for matching highly skilled people with opportunities at great employers in the industry.

In this interview, we explore his journey, insights, and why he’s the go-to person for Avaloq & Temenos roles.

Interviewer: Thanks for joining us, Toby. Can you start by telling us a bit about your background and how you got into recruiting for core banking?

Toby Jacobs: Recruitment’s been my only job. I began my career in another niche market outside of banking and technology and although I enjoyed recruiting from the start, I realised my skills were better used in another market. Before, I recruited in the construction industry for geospatial surveyors – it’s so niche you haven’t heard of it, but I have worked hard to become a leading recruiter in this market.

 My mum was an IT recruiter and began her career in the late 90s with Skillfinder’s Founder, Darren. I heard great things about him so when I was looking for a new job it was an obvious choice for one of the companies I interviewed for. I had four different companies I was interviewing for but dropped the others as soon as I received this offer. Luckily, I already had great business development experience having built a desk in my last company, and with a strong track record of placements I was given the opportunity to grow a desk at Skillfinder.

When i joined the team at Skillfinder they had been working the core banking recruitment market for over 15 years, and different recruiters working here had focused on it at different times, so it was ripe for an improved and targeted approach. I enjoy learning about different things, I enjoy watching a lot of YouTube on niche topics, so learning about private banking and core banking software has been interesting. It helps make the job much easier and people actually want to talk to you (mostly).

 Interviewer: With other products out there, what drew you to focus on Avaloq and Temenos within the fintech industry?

Toby Jacobs: Being completely fresh to banking and tech, I didn’t know about other software to start with. There was a reason Skillfinder was already in Avaloq and Temenos markets, and that’s because they’re both industry leaders in private banking software. I did work other tech roles when I started here but I saw how saturated the markets were.

 I saw the gap for niche recruitment in the area and got to work doing a good job – clients need a hard-working recruiter with a growing network and that’s what I’ve got to offer. Along the way there’s been room to grow into Temenos, the language/ function is very similar, so it’s been easy to provide value there too.

 Interviewer: For those looking to further their career in core banking software development, what advice would you give them?

Toby Jacobs: If you’re already working with the software you’re already halfway there. If you’re not, get to know PL/SQL and private banking to put yourself in a good position when applying for junior jobs. Well-paying jobs in the industry will require knowledge of complex coding, so if you’re stuck doing maintenance and small code tweaks, it’s worth moving to writing fresh code. You’ll also want to specialise in a banking topic/ module, or complimenting modules. Being a jack of all trades but a master of none can make it harder to progress. This is all easier said than done but since you’ve asked me the question, I’ll say it how it is.

 Keep up with topics in private banking, what new regulations are coming out related to your areas/ location, can you get formal training on private banking so you can be a more valuable asset to your employer. If you’re in consulting, keep up with your certification since end clients generally want that. If you’re interested, why not learn complementary technology like Java and API tech so you can get involved as private banking technology catches up with the world.

 And if you’re open to furthering your career elsewhere – call me. I speak with employers weekly, I’ll know more than what you can find on the web and through your friends, and I’ll represent you properly. You’ll also get prepped and guided through your interviews, help with negotiations, and I’ll make sure you’re the preferred candidate as much as I can. On top of this, you’ll save loads of time whilst also being able to fully explore your options to make an educated decision on your next move.

 Interviewer: Can you share a memorable success story from your career?

Toby Jacobs: I’ve brought on some big-name clients to Skillfinder, walking past banks on the street and pointing them out to my friends is fun – I am one of those people, who takes pride in being able to solve a problem. I helped a hiring manager at one of those banks build a case for opening a new office location so that they could have access to more talent (an overused word but it fits well for this). We made a lot of placements with them in quick succession, the hit rate was high, and they’re all enjoying their new jobs.

 Apart from that I’m grateful for the career I am building for myself, I get to speak to interesting people every day, and help them build amazing careers too. So that’s a success story.

 Interviewer: Lastly, why should companies and candidates consider working with you?

Toby Jacobs: There’s lots but it boils down to the level of service, honesty, and attention to detail I provide. For a candidate I’m a one-stop shop for Avaloq, you’ll know you’re properly exploring the market. I’m a good listener but I also ask lots of questions, so I’ll get to know what you really want from your move. Since I’ve got great client relationships, I will properly discuss this with your prospective employers to make sure we’re getting the right fit.

 If I’m working with you, it’s because I’ve done my due diligence and know you’re worth representing (same for my clients). I’ll give you my recruitment knowledge to perform well at the interview, I’ll give you tailored preparation, and help to negotiate the best salary and rates to name a few things. I don’t work over capacity, so I’ve actually got time to care about the process. The people I work with (even the ones I occasionally don’t place) will often refer their friends so that’s a sign I’m doing something right.

As an employer, your brand is crucial to successful hiring. Especially in such a small market. So, the level of service people experience throughout the recruitment process needs to be high, they deserve it, but you also deserve a top-notch experience. Working with me you can trust that you’re represented by a recruiter who knows what they’re talking about. From the moment we have our first meeting, I’ll find out what you’re looking for and how to sell your brand, and market that properly to my network.

Once you’ve got your eye on someone you want to hire, losing out on them is a kicker. To combat this, I need to make sure both parties are fully aligned. From my first interview with a candidate, and throughout the process, I’ll be understanding what they want and aligning that with the opportunity we’ve discussed making sure it’s a good fit. So, this care and attention will make sure you’ll have a successful hiring process from start to finish.


 If you’re looking for new A* employees or the next step in your Avaloq or Temenos career, Toby Jacobs at Skillfinder International is the person to contact. His expertise, dedication, and personalised approach make him the go-to recruiter in the market. Reach out to Toby and take your career or your team to the next level with the best in the business.

Connect with Toby Jacobs on LinkedIn for more career insights and updates. - Toby Jacobs on LinkedIn

Discover the latest opportunities in Avaloq & Temenos. Explore roles Toby Jacobs is currently hiring for and take your career to new heights! - Toby Jacobs at Skillfinder (skillfindergroup.com)