How To Fill Empty Positions At Your Credit Union

teal and yellow people sitting across from each other at a gray desk

There are a record number of credit union job openings, and yet, nobody is getting hired.

Just reading this opening sentence has some of you thinking about the minimum wage movement for $15 an hour, and how you can’t compete with the national burger chain down the street. Toss in a year-over-year inflation rate of 8.6% in May – the largest annual increase since December 1981 – and the struggle to find frontline credit union workers just got even more complicated.

Wages (how we pay) alone is a linear way of thinking. Do you need to examine your pay structure? Yes, and you should. You’ve got to be competitive. But it is only one of a three-legged stool holding your credit union back. Let’s discuss the other two.

How We Hire

Earlier this year we wrote an article for our credit unions to use in their internal communications that encouraged their staff to share job openings. It wasn’t a mandate, but a simple ask. If they enjoyed their job of helping others achieve their financial goals, it is certainly an idea worth spreading.

One credit union pushed back on the article, calling it “entirely inappropriate.” They said it was “HR’s job” to share job openings – not the employees. The internal article never ran with this credit union. It should be noted that 17% of the total number of positions at this credit union remain unfilled.

Nationally, there was a time when most jobs were filled from within. According to a LinkedIn survey, only 28% of talent-acquisition leaders today look to internal candidates to fill vacancies. Why the shift? Instead of us investing in training and development, American businesses, including credit unions, depend on the former employer to have done it. Only it doesn’t tend to work out so well. Why? Because chances are the former employer had the same viewpoint. And thus we have this cycle of trying to hire candidates we don’t have to train, who probably didn’t get the training at their last job.

What’s the No. 1 hiring method? Studies show employee referrals are five times more efficient than other sourcing alternatives. However, employee referrals only make up for 7% of the overall job applicants but about 40% of them get hired, according to an article by Talentech.

It doesn’t make sense to me when we solely rely on online job boards to bring in qualified candidates. We are taking the “person” out of “personnel” when we rely on Indeed and ZipRecruiter. Within our credit unions, we have networks of influential and professional people we should be tapping.

Here’s the gut punch: We talk a great relationship game with our members, but we lack the foresight to develop meaningful connections with our own employees. Your employees and the people within your network hold the keys to cheaper, faster quality hires. 

This reminds me of another credit union that has had success in finding excellent frontline talent. Do you know where they find them? Local bars and restaurants. These are people who know how to establish rapport, always have something to say, and know how to get information from those they serve.

How We Work

The third leg in the stool is how we work, which can encompass what we believe, how we train and how we communicate with others.

I’m reminded of Simon Sinek’s take on the Four Seasons Hotel. After receiving incredible service from a barista named Noah, he discovered Noah had two jobs, one at the Four Seasons and one at Caesar’s Palace. But Noah loved one job over the other.

“At Ceasar’s Palace, the managers are trying to make sure we are doing everything right,” Sinek recalls Noah saying. “They catch us when we do things wrong. When I go to work there, I like to keep my head under the radar and just get through the day so I can get my paycheck.”

But at the Four Seasons?

“Here at the Four Seasons, I feel I can be myself…. Throughout the day, managers will walk past me and ask me how I’m doing and if there is anything I need to do my job better,” Sinek quoted. “Not just my manager, any manager.”

If we are not investing in our people and employer brand, one must question if we are a desirable place to work. Take into account that 86% of females and 67% of males wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation, according to a survey by CR Magazine and Cielo Talent.

Make no mistake, our current staff and employee prospects are vetting your credit union. Ask yourself:  Are we creating the right environment where people love what they do?

Your employer brand is your credit union’s reputation as an employer. It describes your value proposition to your employees.  If employees are motivated by making a good living and taking care of their families, then your competitive edge comes with a systematic and fully integrated approach to the individual’s well-being.

Here’s your final tidbit: Take an inventory of what’s great, what’s not, and what’s holding you back from being the best place to work. It can make all the difference in attracting and retaining top talent.

Let's Get Started!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!