Attracting and retaining highly engaged, skilled staff has always been a difficult challenge. And in this age of lean compensation budgets, this task has become even more difficult.
As the competition for top talent and specialized skills continues to increase, credit unions will need to review and possibly adjust their salary ranges more frequently to ensure relevance and to maintain a competitive position.
Working with senior management, human resource (HR) professionals must make sure credit unions have the strategies they need to compensate and reward essential staff and top performers.
Recruit and retain
Recruiting and retaining top talent will be one of the most important and difficult challenges facing HR executives in the next decade, according to multiple surveys of HR executives.
Many HR professionals say the challenge lies in creating a corporate culture that attracts and retains the best and brightest employees, remaining competitive in the talent marketplace, and finding employees with increasingly specialized skills.
“Financial firms are cutting thousands of jobs because of a slowdown in the mortgage business, a sluggish economy, growth of online banking, and new regulations,” according to a recent USA Today article.
The same article described the financial industry as the “top job-cutter…due to more banks closing branches and building smaller outlets as more consumers bank online.” This isn’t good “press” for HR professionals trying to attract qualified candidates and encourage careers in the credit union movement.
Credit unions’ average employee turnover rate is 12%, with turnover for front-line staff running as high as 18%, according to CUNA’s 2013-2014 Turnover and Staffing Report. Regional variations exist, however. A survey by the HRD Network of credit unions in the western region found average turnover of 17% and as high as 28% for some positions. There most prevalent reasons for employees leaving their credit unions are career-advancement opportunities, compensation issues, or dissatisfaction with managers.
This means the search for qualified candidates will be never-ending.
After exhaustive and expensive candidate searches, it’s essential to retain the employees you worked so hard to attract and bring on board. Adequate training, recognition, and feedback are paramount to employee job satisfaction, which in turn leads to higher levels of engagement and retention.
Credit union HR professionals must rethink their recruitment and retention strategies so credit unions become “employers of choice” in their markets. Consider partnering with your marketing team to develop recruitment strategies. Identify the characteristics that make your credit union unique and a great place to work. Then, find ways to leverage those characteristics to your advantage.
If you’re not sure what those characteristics are, ask your most engaged employees. Research shows that members of Generation Y are particularly interested in working for organizations that have a social mission and exist for reasons other than to maximize profit. Credit unions’ cooperative business model and social mission are a perfect fit for them. Leverage those organizational qualities and differentiators to your advantage.
NEXT: Employee benefits