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.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche


Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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