Transforming the Candidate Experience at Citizens Bank

Meet MaryAnne Pelland. Mary is head of talent acquisition strategy and services at Citizens Bank, and she and I recently had a conversation infused with contagious passion, gratitude, and optimism around TA.

Interestingly, MaryAnne studied biology, intending to be a doctor, but morphed her passion for helping others into an early career in staffing scientific talent, then insurance, then Citizens Bank, where she’s been making a difference for 17 years.

Indeed, MaryAnne’s team is innovating around customer empathy, DEI, and candidate experience. Additionally, skeptics of AI-driven candidate engagement and skills-matching software will want to listen closely to the well-thought-out use cases Citizens Bank has constructed to essentially transform the candidate experience with TA technology. (Equally inventive is Citizen’s approach to retraining and repurposing branch banking employees during the pandemic.) 

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MaryAnn and I talked about a range of topics, including: 

  • How Covid-19 was a wakeup call for pivoting and innovation
  • Using technology programs and projects to increase candidate experience
  • What we can learn from Disney’s “3 o’clock parade” question
  • Finding opportunities to learn new skills and evaluate what is and isn’t working
  • Owning your confidence to show up as your best self
  • Establishing a healthy work-life balance and stepping away when necessary

Check out my conversation with MaryAnne by clicking on the embedded conversation below. (And find more interviews with talent leaders here.)

Erin McDermott Peterson is a Partner and Global Talent Acquisition Consultant with PeopleResults. She previously led talent acquisition and RPO for some of the most successful organizations in the world including Accenture, Aon Hewitt, and Amazon. She translates her unique global experience to help her clients with their TA Strategy, employment branding, candidate experience, talent technologies, onboarding, and recruitment process outsourcing decisions.

Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPeterson or connect via email at