First Edition CCU Taps Workway For Staffing Needs
PHOENIX -- Who says a small credit union can't outsource for talent?
For the past two years, the $49 million First Edition Community Credit Union has been turning to Burbank, California-based financial industry staffing firm Workway for help in finding the perfect employee fit.
Founded in 1952 as Republic and Gazette Employees' Credit Union to serve the employees of the Republic and Gazette newspapers, the credit union has expanded by opening its membership to include companies in the media and communications industries and to family and friends who are referred by members.
In 2002, membership was opened to individuals who live, work, volunteer or attend school or church in a geographic area around the corporate office in North Phoenix. And in 2003, the credit union further expanded into the community serving a geographic area comprised of 42 zip codes.
A name change in 2004 to First Edition Community Credit Union, better reflected the continuing growth and diversity of its membership, the credit union decided.
According to First Edition CU Vice President of Lending/Corporate Operations Lois Johnson, that growth sparked a need for more staff, which proved more challenging than expected.
"Our greatest turnover, like most financial institutions, is in the teller/member service representative area and for us as a small credit union just placing an ad in the paper that we ran for 30 days not only didn't help us find qualified talent, but we were investing a lot of time as well as money in the search going through resumes [and] the interview process and still not finding the right match," said Johnson.
Sometimes smaller credit unions are the ones that most need the assist from a staffing firm, said Workway Marketing Manager April O'Dell.
"In smaller credit unions they are already wearing so many hats that they have the least amount of time to waste," said O'Dell. "We try to keep it simple and customize a plan that works best for them. We know salaries and location are the biggest drivers for attracting talent but there is also a matter of a cultural fit that makes a difference in retaining that talent."
Workway provides temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire employees for the financial industry throughout the United States.
The company specializes in identifying qualified candidates through face-to-face interviews, skills testing and reference checks. O'Dell says the firm's full-time recruiters each average about 20 people a week. There is also a candidate incentive plan for referrals that helps expand the staffing pool.
"Not only are we recruiting all weeklong on a regular basis but combined with our referral bonus plan we become this growing pipeline of potential employees, which makes finding the right match for our clients pretty seamless," said O'Dell.
Viewing itself as a partner, Workway primarily focuses on only submitting those candidates that would work well for its clients. Workway also offers a four-hour working "interview" where the candidate is literally put to work to help both parties gauge if it's the right fit. Afterward, clients can ask the applicant to stay for the rest of day or let them go.
"For us it has been so simple. When we need someone we let Workway know what position we need to fill give the job description and salary range and they send me qualified applicants to pick and choose to interview," said Johnson. "We had five hires from Workway and only one employee left so it has been a great experience and such a timesaver."