You’re ready to stand out in the community and create strong member relationships, but what’s the best way to get there? First, you have to be ready to provide members with what they want, like incentives, digital engagement, and financial education. Along with meeting member needs in a modern way, you need to stay focused on the usual day-to-day needs of the organization. That starts with hiring the best people. The success of any credit union, or really any business, starts with its people. Your employees represent your core values. They turn vision into reality. They make it all happen. That’s why a strong selection process and a solid pre-employment assessment strategy that uses data-backed decision tools like behavioral assessments and cognitive ability tests will set your credit union up for success on all levels.
Myth: We have to just accept high turnover
A common misconception often accepted as fact is that frequent employee turnover is normal, so when the hiring gets tough, it almost doesn’t matter who is hired since the employee won’t stay long anyway. It’s tempting, when that open position is staring everyone in the face and making things harder on the rest of the team, to just quickly find anybody to fill it and hope they’ll stay long enough to alleviate even a little bit of the pressure. Unfortunately, this mindset often creates bigger problems, like inefficiency and expense, making the normal business problems your credit union faces even more challenging.
When working with the unknown, like job candidates you’ve never met before interview day, it’s best to collect as much information as possible to help you make solid hiring decisions. Using data-backed hiring tools is your first defense against making a wrong hire. Instinct and personal judgment can play a small part but should never be the only tools used to select people; too many things can easily cloud our judgment, and some candidates are very good at hiding their faults until it is too late.
When you are ready to start looking for your next great credit union employee, consider these 7 easy tips:
It’s easy to think a formal hiring system is unnecessary. After all, too many bureaucratic layers create unnecessary problems, while everyday business needs can get in the way of following the system perfectly. As a result, rigid selection practices can feel impractical or inefficient. And there is certainly some truth to that; strict processes can be as problematic as no process.
A formal, structured process is crucial, but you need one that works for your culture and is not weighed down by bureaucratic layers that unnecessarily burden the process. Find a balance between haphazard and inflexible. Extremes never work; find a balance that works for your credit union. Having a plan will go a long way toward avoiding long-term problems, like excess training time, performance problems, and unnecessary turnover.
The goal should always be to hire the best. You want talented, capable, dedicated employees. Never settle if you can help it. Of course, this is the real world and sometimes the candidate pool is shallow, but if you start with the mindset of wanting the best and you do the steps to uncover all you can, then you’ll have more hits than misses.
Listing out your needs and the reasons behind those needs will help you set priorities and see your expectations, strengths, and weaknesses in a brighter light. Think about the specifics of your work environment and credit union culture.
Is your credit union fast-paced and hectic with constant little fires to put out? If so, you should avoid hiring people who tell you they hate being rushed or interrupted or that they get overwhelmed easily. While patience and diligence are admirable qualities, they could be liabilities in a turbulent environment. Of course, certain roles might need those traits regardless of the overall culture, so consider all the factors, like the culture of the individual department, the manager’s leadership style, and the basic demands of the job itself. One-size-fits-all is another myth.
It's also a good idea to stay up to date on the latest hiring trends to stay competitive within your community’s job market.
The job post is the crucial first impression you make on a candidate. It’s also a great tool for instantly eliminating people who are not the right fit for the job or your credit union.
Start with being crystal clear about the job. Highlight exactly what the job is, what it entails day to day, and what personality traits are best suited to it. It’s amazing how many candidates are hired and later state they felt misled about the role. Honesty is your best employee retention tool during the selection process. It’s perfectly okay to scare people off from the job in your post. The whole process is about funneling down to the best candidates. The right candidates will want to put their hat in the ring, and the wrong candidates will turn away. If you aren’t honest though, you’ll hire the wrong candidates, and they will quickly feel resentful of the perceived betrayal and leave or perhaps stay but do the bare minimum, known today as quiet quitting. Scaring off the wrong type will help your retention efforts in the long run.
Your job post needs to clearly show who you are as an employer and company. Emphasize your identity and brand. Be daring. Today, employees want to work for an organization that matches their personalities. If your credit union is playful, lighthearted, and full of laughs, make sure your post reflects that. Use humor. But if your credit union is buttoned up, formal, and serious, then be serious and formal in your post. Staying true to who you are will help you attract like-minded people, and people who are compatible with your identity are more likely to stay.
After posting the job, the resumes should start rolling in. Now you can discard the ones that clearly do not meet your needs and whittle down your candidates. Keep in mind that, as you dig deeper into each person’s background, you may uncover more than just a few unpleasant surprises. Research shows that up to 40 percent of resumes include some false or inflated facts!
A pre-employment personality assessment will give you an even closer look at a candidate’s potential. Do their traits coincide with the traits needed for the job? How will they interact with their peers and supervisor? To hold on to strong, productive employees, make sure the people you hire are a match for the demands of the position. Omnia helps to set the “job personality” which shows the traits of an ideal candidate; this way you can see how a candidate’s traits align with the best traits for the job.
The best part is that a behavioral assessment is not a test; there is no such thing as pass or fail. The Omnia behavioral assessment uses the candidate’s responses to a simple word association checklist. It’s a quick yet powerful tool that provides extensive insight into a person’s strengths, motivators, weaknesses, and fit to the role.
To minimize the risk of a bad hire, make sure the potential new hire has the skills they claim to have, especially the ones needed to do the most basic aspects of the job. Use hard skill proficiency tests that are job appropriate (this is important) and designed to demonstrate abilities. It might be a bookkeeping test, a Microsoft Excel or Word test, a cognitive ability evaluation, or a banking terminology quiz. Don’t assume that the person interviewing for your IT position knows how to turn the computer on. Sometimes, people say they know how to do something just to get their foot in the door.
A background check protects everyone: you, your employees, and your credit union. Crime and violence are, sadly, not uncommon in the workplace. Make sure there are no issues from your candidate’s past that make you leery. Negligent hiring can be alleged if an employer fails to exercise reasonable caution when hiring a new employee. Employers could be held liable for illegal or violent action taken by employees who were not subjected to reasonable pre-employment screening.
Self-awareness is a powerful leadership tool. Consider your own management style and encourage all other managers to do the same. To effectively motivate and inspire your employees, it helps if you have a great grasp on what makes you tick.
Do you prefer it when employees consistently ask for your guidance, or are you more in tune with those who regularly make their own decisions? Do you closely oversee every detail big and small, or do you expect your team to fill the gaps for themselves?
While it might sound nice to surround yourself with people who are completely in sync with your own work approach, that’s not always realistic or even wise. Different roles require different traits. The power is in knowing how to adjust your style to meet the individual needs of your employees. It’s one of the strongest employee retention tools you can use.
It might seem completely daunting, and maybe sometimes it will be, to hire and lead a productive, cohesive, and dedicated team, but it is possible. Know what you want, stay true to your non-negotiables, and seek out employees who align with those needs. Don’t settle. Employ people who have the potential to exceed your expectations.