With the focus on reaching Gen Y members, now is the time to play by their rules to get them in the credit union door as staffers.
According to speaker, author and Gen Y expert Nancy Barry, the key question credit unions need to ask before any recruiting efforts is, "Do we have the employer brand that is attractive to this generation?"
"Do you offer what Gen Y wants? What is your name recognition with the younger generation and do you consistently deliver on promises made in the recruiting process?" Barry said. "This generation wants a sense of purpose, where they come into an organization and do real work that makes a difference. Life comes before work and they want respect, mentors and ultimately to work for a community-minded organization-it's absolutely a great fit for credit unions."
Barry added that with the economy as it is, opportunity is knocking for credit unions to build brand awareness and get these hard workers on staff. She said that when it comes to retention, on boarding is key for this generation. They have to be made to feel just as special 30 days in as they did during the interview.
"They know within the first month-if not the first day-if they are going to stay, so managers should clearly outline their expectations, including their preferred communication style, that first day," Barry said. "Give Gen Y a project they can own, no matter how small, and show them that their input and ideas matter. From the start they want to come in and prove what they can do. They also want immediate feedback and praise and it can be as simple as a thank you or just acknowledging their existence."
Barry cautions credit unions not to buy into the myth that this is the lazy slacker generation because Gen Y, she said, is very hardworking and extremely motivated. Managers need to take the time to understand what makes them tick.
"The biggest challenges Gen Y and really we all face is that feeling that your resume has gone into a black hole and the frustration of not hearing back from someone," Barry said. "Gen Y is aware they need to follow up but often they feel like they are stalking employers so they are not comfortable with that. Either have a system in place where they can check on their status or be responsive in letting them know where you are in the hiring process."
Barry added that if credit unions really want to know how to recruit Gen Y, they should ask.
"Form a focus group with your existing Gen Y associates and new hires and get their ideas and feedback," she said. "Give Gen Y employees a seat at the big table, let them develop and implement a recruiting and retention plan for your credit union and it will be a win-win for everyone. They're happy to lead the project and credit unions will get amazing ideas."