“There’s increasing pressure to move high-cost/low-value transactions to nonbranch channels or to automate them within the branch,” says Soltis.
Teller transactions have decreased an average 4.4% annually in recent years, according to Novantas—a financial services research firm.
And 30% of branch teller transactions will disappear during the next three years because of remote deposit capture, according to projections from Mercatus, a research center at George Mason University.
To increase the visibility of these employees, their desks often are placed in the centers of credit union lobbies, sometimes even replacing teller lines. One-third of credit unions have these “hybrid” positions—sometimes called “universal employees”—that blend teller and MSR job responsibilities.
These trends and others are prompting some financial institutions to redefine job responsibilities, particularly on the front lines of member service. In many cases, the teller role is expanding to more closely resemble that of the member service representative (MSR).
In some cases, an entirely new position is being created to address all member needs through one point of contact.
These employees conduct transactions, cross-sell services, offer basic financial advice, and help with members’ unique needs.
The expanded job responsibilities typically require higher wages, notes Soltis. This position is so new, however, there isn’t enough history to yield compensation trends.
“As the universal employee position evolves, a consensus of job duties might emerge to form a new, unique position,” she says. “Until then, it’s certainly a trend worth watching.”
PREPARE FOR THE BRAIN DRAIN
During the next two decades, approximately 10,000 baby boomers each day will turn 65. And 72% of human resource professionals surveyed by the American Association of Retired Persons say they’ll have difficulty replacing the skill, knowledge, and experience of retiring boomers.
Companies without formal succession plans run the risk of spending valuable time searching for viable candidates. This applies to all positions, but especially for the top spots. It often takes several months or longer to complete a search for a new CEO. A void in leadership can have a detrimental effect on organizational performance, and can cause the organization to miss valuable opportunities.
Credit unions appear to be preparing for the transitions. About 66% of credit unions have formal succession plans in place, while 14% expect to have plans in place by year-end 2012, according to CUNA’s 2012-2013 Complete Credit Union Staff Salary Survey (cuna.org/compensation). The percentage of credit unions with plans in place is similar to 2011 and much higher than the 2010 figure of 58%.
About 6% of credit union CEOs plan to retire in the next two years, and only 1% plan to leave their credit unions for any other reason. Nearly 80% of CEOs planning to retire between now and 2014 are leaving credit unions that have succession plans in place.
The average age of credit union CEOs is 53.4 years old, with 28% nearing retirement age. About 21% are ages 60 to 64, and 7% are 65 or older. Among those with retirement plans, 61% are ages 60 to 64, while 30% are 65 or older. Among CEOs who don’t know if they’ll retire within two years, 40% are ages 60 to 64, and 27% are 65 or older.
When replacing their CEOs, credit unions are most likely to give internal applicants first preference, followed by giving internal and external applicants equal preference. Nearly half (47%) offer the position to internal applicants first, while 41% post the job internally and externally at the same time. Only 7% prefer solely external applicants.
About 75% of respondents say their executive vice president is qualified to fill the CEO position. And 60% of respondents say their chief financial officer is qualified for the CEO position. Half of respondents see the chief operations officer as qualified to succeed the CEO, while only 22% consider the chief information officer qualified.
“Credit unions are doing a good job of planning for CEO succession,” notes Beth Soltis, CUNA’s senior research analyst. “It’s great to see two-thirds of credit unions with formal CEO succession plans, even though a higher number would be even better.
“Multiple surveys have shown that companies are having a difficult time replacing their CEOs, and planning for CEO departures will be a primary challenge in the coming years.
“But with experts predicting a rise in retirement levels and in turnover, credit unions should definitely plan for the retirement of not just the CEO but of other senior executives and some nonmanagement positions that are essential to their operations.”
NEXT: Beyond base pay