Credit unions have an advantage when it comes to being an employer of choice, according to Heather DeNamur, organizational recruiting and relations manager at $4.5 billion asset Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis.
“Our mission—people helping people—really differentiates us," she says. "It’s a mission that people want to be a part of.”
The challenge for credit unions is making their individual organizations attractive in the markets they serve. DeNamur and Rhonda Hazlewood, director of human resources, at $170 million Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union in Gray, Tenn., addressed the 2023 CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Conference Tuesday in San Diego, laying out a three-step process credit unions can follow to become an employer of choice.
1. Assess. The first stage is all about brand. “Your brand is your reputation as an employer,” DeNamur says, explaining that brand has both an internal and external focus.
Inside the credit union, it’s about culture, core values, staff feedback, policies, practices, perks, and benefits—all related, thoughtful, and intentional.
Externally, the credit union serves the community, participates in social media, receives online reviews, and hopefully receives public recognition.
Why does brand matter? Perception is reality in today’s marketplace, according to DeNamur. Brand offers a competitive advantage and helps credit unions attract better talent.
2. Enhance. DeNamur recommends developing an enhancement roadmap that schedules recurring touchpoints in each team member’s career path, including desired outcomes, roles, and responsibilities.
DeNamur and Hazlewood believe credit unions should develop an irresistible employee value proposition that answers the question, “Why does top talent choose to work here?”
This is a statement that a credit union advertises to team members about the benefits and rewards they can expect to receive in return for their skills, experience, and performance. These rewards include financial, benefits, career development, work environment, and culture.
3. Sustain. “This is about staying aware of trends and monitoring your results,” Hazlewood says.
Among the tools credit unions should have at their disposal are market analysis, internal key performance indicators, an online presence, and networking through local and national organizations and community events.
“It’s also important to have a well-defined intervention plan should you need one,” Hazlewood says.