Recruitment Challenges HR Leaders: Onsite Coverage
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Human resources and training leaders from credit unions from across the country traveled to Hollywood, Calif. this week for the CUNA HR and Training & Development (HR/TD) Council Conference, which participants said helped foster valuable connections and taught them ways to improve recruitment, employee engagement and communication strategies at their credit unions.
The conference runs from April 22 to 25 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Sessions covered employee engagement, HR technologies, retirement plans, culture, employee wellness and strategic planning, among other topics.
Sydney Manning, assistant vice president of human resources for the $950 million Clearview Federal Credit Union in Moon Township, Pa., said the top credit union HR issues she hoped to address at the conference were retention and attracting and retaining talent, especially among Gen Y.
“Just as attracting a young membership is hard for credit unions, it’s challenging to attract young employees,” Manning said. “Some of the conversations we had this week about culture and employee engagement, and how to keep different generations in mind, were very helpful.”
The “Emotional Intelligence: Your #1 Success Factor” session led by Colorado Springs, Colo.-based consultant firm Tap Your Genius President Crystal Jonas was especially helpful for Manning, who said Jonas provided a perspective on the power of words in workplaces.
“One thing she taught us was to stop saying, ‘Someone made me do this,’ and to instead say, ‘I chose to do this,’” she said. “She also taught us the importance of perception, and how to give other people a full picture of who you are.”
Grace Thompson, vice president of human resources for the $1.5 billion, Raleigh, N.C.-based Local Government Federal Credit Union, also praised the Emotional Intelligence session.
“It showed us how to change our mindset about the words we use, and allowed us to recognize that words have power,” Thompson said of the session. “We learned that you can either take the mentality of a victim or the mentality of someone in power.”
For Amber Winans, human resources specialist for the $49 million Wexford Community Credit Union in Cadillac, Mich., CUNA Mutual Group’s “It’s Time to Rethink the Goals of Your Retirement Plan” session stood out, as it emphasized the value of not only offering a retirement plan to employees, but taking an active role in helping employees save for retirement.
“It gave me a better understanding of the credit union’s role in helping staff achieve retirement goals, and why that’s important,” Winans said. “When employees retire on time, it benefits the credit union, and when they don’t, there are adverse effects.”
Winans said recruiting the right talent is one of the biggest HR challenges at her credit union.
“This conference gave me a perspective on recruiting, and the right ways to recruit,” she said. “There are more efficient ways to do it, and it’s important to use technology.”
Networking with other credit union HR professionals and picking up tips was an extremely valuable element of the conference, participants said.
“Being able to glean information and knowledge from other people is priceless,” Winans noted. “If questions arise at our credit union in the future, we now have resources to tap into through the people I’ve met here.”
Thompson added, “It’s great to hear what other credit unions of different sizes are doing. There are some small credit unions doing more than big credit unions are, and they offer some cool things to aspire to. That’s the nice thing about working in credit unions – there’s a lot of collaboration that goes on.”