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Establishing a Winning Team Requires Covering all the Bases

Finding and retaining talent

By Charles Shanley, SPHR, CFS, Executive Vice President

In today’s ever-changing environment, the profitability and success of a financial institution are due, in large part, to the expertise and skill of its employees. However, recruiting and retaining top-notch staff can be an intense process. Whether you are looking for a CEO to replace a beloved leader due to retirement or need to add specialized talent to an existing department, combining an efficient recruiting process with quality resources will give you the best long-term results.

Finding the right match for your leadership needs
Ideally, a succession plan should be put into place long before you are facing the departure of your existing CEO or president. If you don’t already have a strategy in place, take necessary steps toward establishing a plan that ensures a seamless transition to new leadership.

Start with an internal search
There are several benefits to beginning your search from within. Internal candidates are already familiar with the  culture and staff; as well as the opportunities and challenges the financial institution may face.  By establishing an internal path to leadership, you have a better chance of retaining up-and-coming stars. Plus, you will demonstrate to other staff that you reward hard work and loyalty.

One drawback of promoting from within is that you don’t always get fresh ideas from someone who has seen things from a different perspective – or from outside of the industry. To make sure you have the opportunity to select from a broad range of available leadership talent, broaden your search as much as possible.

Accessing external talent
Once you expand your search outside of the financial institution, don’t spend a lot of time and money on resources that won’t bring the greatest results, such as relying solely on newspaper or online advertising. While this may result in a pile of resumes to review, many times potential candidates who have the best qualifications to fill an open position are not actively seeking a job. But they might be interested in an opportunity to increase their skills or move for a position that gives them the chance to grow and gain more responsibility.

If you don’t have the resources internally to conduct a thorough outside search, a recruiting firm can give you access to highly qualified candidates while saving you a tremendous amount of time. Just make sure the firm you select knows the financial industry inside and out.

Plant seeds with all industry connections for cream-of-the-crop candidates
To get a head start on filling positions as they come available, it is important to establish a Human Resources Information System (HRIS). This will allow you to gather and track resumes and applicant information, even if you don’t currently have openings in their areas of interest. Then, begin to build a database of possible candidates.

To find candidates set up an internal referral program to incent staff members to refer candidates.  Also consider establishing a social media presence and taking advantage of trade association membership resources.  If you are looking for entry-level talent, one way to find star candidates is getting to know college recruiters.

Keeping new employees happy and productive
The investment in your new team members is essential.  Here are some ways to ensure they are set up to contribute to your organization:

Welcome them onboard
To keep new employees, help them get acquainted with staff and show them where everything is located so they feel like an important part of the team.

Challenge them professionally
Talented individuals expect to spend their time on worthwhile assignments that motivate them. If momentum starts to wane they may look for other opportunities.

Maintain competitive compensation
Salary offers should be competitive within your market.  Then, consider annual percentage increases and/or bonus opportunities so they have ways to increase their compensation.

Recognize good performance
One of the easiest ways to motivate employees is to recognize performance. Whether it is the CEO or teller, all employees need to know they are appreciated.

To learn more about finding the best talent for your organization, contact Charles Shanley at 866-264-5017 or Charles.Shanley@JMFA.com.

As seen in: 
Northwest Credit Union Association's Anthem- October 10, 2013

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