Looking for high potential
It’s important to identify promising candidates even if they might lack one of the skill sets the client wants, such as a specific certification, Shisler says.
“We might advise a client that a candidate is very good and that the special certification is something the candidate can quickly and easily address,” she adds. “I recently recommended a candidate who had a law degree for a C-suite position. That degree wasn’t essential or a requirement for the position, but a lawyer’s analytical skills can be of great use in that particular role.”
Shanley places a high priority on determining whether a candidate fits a credit union’s culture.
“Culture can be hard to define, although it’s the biggest question we ask,” he says. “The credit union board often can’t define it, so we ask lower-level employees to define it. Because all credit unions are member-centric—focused on families or SEGs—what you’re looking for in a candidate is somebody who understands how to introduce different products to the membership, which often depends on the type of SEG you serve.”
Shanley also looks for prospects who understand and embrace technology, especially with regard to outreach to millennials, a sought-after demographic.
“This group is unlikely to have paper resumes—you can find them on social media," he says. "They have fewer expectations about tenure and are more likely to focus on benefits and time off. Managers have to adjust their management styles to an employee base composed more and more of millennials.”
“Technology has changed so much in the past few years,” Shisler says. “Social media has become a prime way to recruit, especially among millennials. That’s why we look at LinkedIn, Facebook, job boards, and other sites.”
The value of hunting
Another wrinkle to recruiting is contacting candidates who aren’t in the market. “We are also hunters and will approach people who aren’t looking for a job,” Shanley says. “We have a huge database: 90,000 financial industry people.”
Compiling that database was a labor of love, he adds. “In the early going, we did it old-school: We picked up the phone and cold-called prospective clients.”
Not everybody looking for a job wants to put their heart into a job, Shanley cautions. “A credit union looking to hire should be aware of whether a candidate is unqualified, or unhappy or unemployed.”
Shisler agrees that recruitment professionals seek candidates who are ready to take the next leap in their career, but might not have sought an opportunity to make a change.
“Most recruits are flattered at being approached out of the blue for an important position,” she says. “They realize their value after being sought out by a professional recruiter and become excited about the next chapter in their career. While comfortable in their current position, the thought of making an
impact elsewhere can be exciting.”