The day you graduate, the real world grabs you by the ankles and continues to pull as you desperately try to keep a strong hold on your former cushy lifestyle.
If you're not one of the fortunate few that already has a job lined up, you trudge back to your parents house while Sallie Mae harasses you with letters counting down the minutes you have until you have to send them a check every month for an amount of time that seems endless. You send out what seems like a million resumes only to go on one endless interview after another.
I feel for those that will be graduating college in May and getting thrown into this current job market. I graduated two years ago and have friends that are still looking for jobs in their field. On top of getting slammed with reality, these kids are going to be entering a market of cut backs and lay offs where jobs are few and far between.
This is bad news for those cheery and hopeful graduates who have no idea what's ahead of them, but great news for credit unions. I see a lot of credit unions getting out the message that they haven't been affected by the current economic conditions as much as banks have. Another way to demonstrate that is to show to recent graduates that you can still offer them jobs and work opportunities when other institutions are turning them away.
Graduates are going to struggle to find jobs, they're going to get frustrated and they're going to be open to exploring career options. Now is the perfect time for credit unions to re-examine recruitment processes and create opportunities for these young people who are thirsty for a job.
A huge part of reaching a young audience is bringing that perspective into the credit union on a daily basis. Hiring a young college graduate is the perfect way to do that. Take a look at the areas of Gen Y your credit union is looking to tap into, and figure out the resources you're going to need to have on board to accomplish that.
Get with career services at colleges in the area and let them know what openings you have. Start an internship program at the high school or college level. Students are going to be looking to get as much experience as possible in order to get ahead.
Come May when students are graduating, get out into the community and let them know what opportunities you have available to them. Even bringing in young graduates on a part-time basis will give them a chance to understand the benefits to working at a credit union and get a handle on the industry while they still have time to go on interviews.
If you want to make your credit union relevant to Gen Y, start bringing in young employees who are going to bring in fresh ideas and exposure to other people in their age group. Graduates are going to come out of college into a tough economy and they're going to be a little lost. Now is the time to be aggressive and really see what this generation can bring to the industry.