Sarah K. White
Senior Writer

Capital Group invests big in talent development

Jul 29, 2022
HiringIT Training 

The financial services firm has been recognized as a top employer for tech workers thanks to its commitment to long-term career growth.

10 targeted training bullseye
Credit: Getty Images

For financial services company Capital Group, competing in tight IT talent markets is all about the long run.

“We focus on the long term,” says Global CIO Marta Zarraga. “Every single decision we make is based on the healthiness of the organization long term.”

That focus includes not only the firm’s customer-facing strategies but also its commitment to investing in the development of its employees, a strategy that is paying off, as evidenced by Capital Group’s No. 3 for employee satisfaction among large financial services companies, according to Global BPO research firm The Everest Group.

Zarraga, who had a clear picture of Capital Group’s commitment to its employees as early as her interview process before joining the firm, attributes Capital Group’s success with employee satisfaction in significant measure to its focus on career growth.

It doesn’t hurt that Capital Group offers compensation at what Zarraga describes as the “top percentile of the industry.” But it’s Capital Group’s emphasis on career development through its extensive portfolio of training programs that has both the company and its employees on track for long-term success, Zarraga says.

Exploring new horizons

Capital Group’s talent development programs include internal bootcamps, “learning journeys” for developing subject matter expertise, mentorships, even an internal talent marketplace where employees can post their skills, which helps promote more movement within the organization.

Marta Zarraga, global CIO, Capital Group

Marta Zarraga, global CIO, Capital Group

Capital Group

This emphasis on fluidity is at the center of many of Capital Group’s career development options, which include internal self-paced learning programs for employees with coursework tailored to help them learn skills to work in other areas of the business. For example, if a data team member wants to increase their skills or move to a data engineer position, they can embark on a curriculum for up to two years to gain the right skills and experience.

Even those signing on for their first full-time job have the opportunity to explore career paths at Capital Group. The Technology Rotational Experience (TREx) program is a 25-month career development program that gives participants the chance to work across three different IT teams right out of college. Cohorts of the program complete one nine-month and two eight-month rotations in areas such as solutions engineering, software development, architecture, emerging technologies, technology support and operations, information security, or business operations management.

Sarah Ortiz is one Capital Group employee who took advantage of TREx when first joining the company. “The TREx program gave me the space to learn, develop, and customize an experience for my career development,” she says. “I got to work on teams as a full stack developer for our Investment Group, as a cybersecurity engineer pentesting our applications, and as a cloud engineer delivering scalable infrastructure solutions in AWS.”

The program hosts regular meetings and get-togethers for cohorts so they can check in on their skills and career development and even connect with leaders through an ongoing speaker series.

“Along with the different teams, TREx gave me opportunities to work on committees, participate in hackathons, talk with leaders regularly, and present my work to large audiences and senior leaders,” Ortiz says. “Now, with the guidance and support of the TREx program I am permanently joining our Cyber Security team as a cybersecurity engineer, and I could not be more excited for my future career growth at Capital Group.”

Zarraga agrees that TREx can be a key stepping-stone for new hires: “I think it’s incredibly important to allow new grads to rotate around the organization because it gives you this direct experience around all of these different areas and it gives you the opportunity to learn about [the different] facets around all of these roles,” she says. “But then we also give people the opportunity to have direct placements, when they find places that they really like.”

Sharpening skills

Bootcamps are another way Capital Group is setting up new hires for long-term success. Aimee Oz [they/them], a software development engineer at Capital Group, started in 2021 as an intern and participated in the data engineering bootcamp that was offered to all new team members.

“The bootcamp broadened my understanding of key concepts in data engineering. It provided an overview of cloud computing and data lake essentials and introduced me to Pandas — an open-source Python package used for data analysis,” says Oz.

Oz says the program made them feel valued at the company and reinforced the internal culture of growth and learning. “I can show up as myself and develop the skills and confidence for my career in software development within the financial industry. From early on my contributions at work have been respected, and I’ve found it very easy to reach out and ask questions to people on different teams,” they say.

The bootcamp helped them better understand how important the ingestion and standardization of data is and how collecting and structuring data using a common format can help build better API responses, Oz says.

Investing in future leaders

Capital Group is invested in developing talent at every level — from interns and entry-level employees to those who have an eye on leadership roles. The company works to provide internal growth opportunities for employees, promoting roughly the same number of people that it hires externally, Zarraga says. Creating career and leadership paths for employees gives workers the option to grow within the company, rather than having to leave for outside opportunities to level up.

Brian Paul, a market data technology manager at Capital Group, says he was initially drawn to the organization after leaving a different financial services company because he saw the emphasis Capital Group places on associate development. He feels Capital Group is a company where he can “flourish and build a career” with the “right support from leadership and self-motivation.” Seeing a clear path forward in the organization and having the right support can do a lot for employee engagement and morale.

Paul participated in the company’s Capital Emerging Leader (CEL) program, which is offered to employees looking to advance into leadership roles. The program helps those interested in leadership “with finding their authentic leadership styles, growing their networks, and providing confidence in one’s self in preparation for potentially stepping into a people leadership role,” Paul says.

The company also has a strong focus on supporting women associates so they’re in line for promotions, Zarraga says, adding that Capital Group works hard to pull from diverse talent pools and to establish practices that ensure they are removing potential biases. Efforts such as these are part of an emphasis on equity and inclusion at Capital Group to ensure all employees are on a fair playing field and that they feel comfortable and welcome in the organization.

“We look into how we can develop and how we can support our colleagues and we’re very focused on ensuring the well-being of the associates and also the communities where we live,” Zarraga says.

“I would say that the combination of long-term [focus], really strong compensation, and looking after associates’ well-being, career, and self-development — I think all of that makes the company incredibly strong, and this is why we are ranking so high [with our employees],” she says.