NEWPORT, R.I. -- Want to attract the best talent to your board? Develop a business plan.
"Basically you have to consider a new approach and do a better job on business planning for top notch volunteers," said Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union Board Chairman and NAFCU Director David Gilbert during his session Developing Outstanding Credit Union Volunteers.
He adds that one resource is the huge baby boomer population.
"Don't focus on age, focus on talent," said Gilbert. "There is a large pool of outstanding, smart, talented people that are available and you have to go after them with the same business plan for any enterprise or endeavor."
He advises credit unions to document volunteer opportunities within the credit union including details on what types of positions are available and explaining the important role volunteers play in the credit union compared to other financial institutions. The next step is to place the literature everywhere from within the branches and at SEGs to the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses or organizations. He also advises better organization of the nominating committee so that recruitment is a year round effort. At APGFCU for the past 10 years the volunteer committee is responsible for preparing and distributing the literature and serves as active advocates of the credit union. Gilbert says the carefully planned professional approach has helped the credit union develop a great talent pool to draw from.
"In addition, don't ask your volunteers to commit for three years or a full year, be willing to accept them just for a special task for example reviewing a procedure or policy," said Gilbert. "It gives them an example of the type of work we do. They discover the fine opportunities here and they want to get more involved. The message this delivers is 'We going after you because of your outstanding talent, experience and skills we need for this important task and look we can be flexible.' A perfect example, we asked one of the area's best attorneys to work with the supervisory committee to prepare an RFP. He worked with us for two months said he didn't know we did this and now he is a leading supervisory committee member."