3 Ideas for Better Credit Union Recruiting

Credit unions are people-first institutions. You need great talent with strong technical and soft sk...

Posted by Lisa Farrell, Marketing Manager on May 13 2021
Lisa Farrell, Marketing Manager

Credit unions are people-first institutions. You need great talent with strong technical and soft skills to provide the best service for your members. That means you need a strong credit union recruiting strategy. 

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Competitive pay and benefits are baseline offerings. To compete with banks and other financial institutions, you need to demonstrate the value your credit union offers to prospective employees.

As 2021 moves forward, the economy is poised for growth, and so are credit unions. But growth brings its own set of challenges when it comes to recruiting talent. Here are three ideas for sourcing and attracting the best talent to serve members at your credit union.

Develop a Steady Pipeline

Evergreen recruiting helps you build a talent pipeline that you can draw from in the long term, even if you don’t have open positions right now. “We need to know the best humans that are out there,” says Tansley Stearns, chief people and strategy officer at Canvas Credit Union. “We need to build relationships with them.”

Your credit union recruiting strategy should include using LinkedIn and other social channels to identify top talent and reach out to passive prospects. “LinkedIn allows you to really narrow down what you’re searching for,” says John Short, vice president of human resources at Credit Union of Georgia. “You can pare down the millions that are out there to the couple dozen that you’re reaching out to.” Ask promising prospects if they know anyone who might be interested in a role with your credit union, Short suggests. They’re more likely to reply, but most times will respond on their own behalf.

Once you get a response from someone, set up some time to have a genuine conversation. Those human touchpoints are memorable and help you stand out. “If I can have 15 minutes on the phone with somebody and talk to them about Credit Union of Georgia, I can reel them in,” Short says. Tell success stories of people who work at your credit union now. Relatable stories help people see themselves at your organization, making them more likely to show interest in current or future positions.

Amplify Your Differentiators

To recruit the best talent, your credit union has to stand out. “Top talent is at a premium,” says Wendi Fairchild, senior executive recruiter at LandrumHR. “They have a lot of options to choose from.” Capture attention by highlighting your differentiators at the top of job postings, but don’t oversell it. Focus on piquing candidates’ interests. Your goal is to have a conversation with them to share what makes your credit union special. 

Credit unions are community-oriented organizations, and that can be a great selling point when attracting talent. An independent credit union can develop a more community-oriented culture than the big banks, and that sets your organization apart from competitors in your region. If your organization volunteers within the community, or if employees regularly develop relationships with community members, amplify those aspects of your culture on your social channels.

Since credit unions tend to be smaller organizations, they can offer a career with a greater sense of purpose. Use this to attract candidates who want to work for an organization where they can make an impact, Fairchild says. Highlight individual employees on your social pages to demonstrate options for career paths and mobility, as well as advertise your learning and development program. 

Foster Employer Brand Ambassadors

There’s no better credit union recruiting campaign for your company than passionate employees. If they love working with you, they’ll let others know. Create a mechanism to harness that power. Stearns developed cards for employees to hand out to people they think would be a good fit — people like family, friends, or a customer service representative who helped them with something and embodies the credit union’s values. Some well-branded swag is an excellent way for employees to start conversations with people they think would be a good match at your credit union, Stearns says.

Conduct stay interviews to find out what people love about working for your credit union and highlight their responses on social media and your careers page. “One of the big hurdles is simply building an employer brand,” Stearns says. Use what you learn from stay interviews to pinpoint your employer brand, and communicate your value proposition clearly to prospects. “It’s really showcasing what the credit union has to offer,” Fairchild says. Outline what current employees love about your credit union, as well as what your organization and workplace culture can offer to future employees.

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