Posts Tagged Credit Union

>Employees: The Other Side of Young Adult Recruiting

Posted by on Monday, 5 October, 2009

>As credit unions have started to confront the decline in young adult membership, most of the conversation revolves around getting new members through the door.

It’s easy to consider the search for young adult gains, however, as a marketing challenge. Tweak the products and get the right message out, and everything will be better, right? Yes, for a while.
A little deeper into the challenge you’ll find a thorny HR problem. Young adults don’t want to work at credit unions. They certainly don’t object on principle, but credit unions are just not on their employment radar.

Consider Filene’s late 30 Under 30 group. Of these two and a half dozen rising credit union stars, not one had considered working for a credit union before they landed their first job at one. Once they did, however, many of them were hooked.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that, according to recent Filene research, employees younger than 30 and those with higher levels of education are less committed to credit unions. The causes of that disconnect are unclear, but if you can’t get future leaders to buy in, how do you get your membership to buy in?

So what’s a credit union to do to attract next year’s shining stars?

Here are four places to start:

1. Get on campus.
Whether at a job fair, through the career resources office, or working directly with professors in classrooms, credit unions almost everywhere need to raise awareness. Nearly 70% of interns receive full-time job offers upon completion of their internships, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. If you’re not offering an internship, you may never even see many of the best students.
2. Cater to them (to a point).
As with sales, recruiting needs to emphasize the benefits to the prospect. A recent Net Impact/Aspen Institute national survey of MBA students showed that three factors far outpaced all others when candidates were asked to name what’s most important in a job:
  • Work/life balance (56%)
  • Challenging and diverse job responsibilities (51%)
  • Compensation (49%)
It’s not possible to reset the credit union’s professional needs, but it is important to emphasize — for MBAs, college grads, or any prospective young professional — how the credit union is competitive on these three fronts.
3. Emphasize social responsibility.
Doing right by customers and contributing to the community is increasingly important among young professionals. The fourth most important employment factor from the survey above was “potential to contribute to society” at 32%. If priorities one through three are in place, credit unions have a clear case to make around social responsibility. In a private survey commissioned by Filene, credit unions were identified as the second most responsible financial institutions, behind only microfinance non-profits like kiva.org and Grameen Bank. Not everybody gets excited about social responsibility, but for those that do, it’s a key differentiator.
4. And if you’re credit union is in one of these 10 cities, you’ve got a little recruiting head start.


Ben’s session A Seat at the Table: Young Adult Directors and Board Advisors will be one of three break out sessions held on Friday, October 23rd from 10:15 am – 11:30 am at the upcoming CUNA Community Credit Union & Growth Conference in Las Vegas, NV.

>Speakers to Post

Posted by on Friday, 2 October, 2009

>Happy Friday blog readers, and good news!

We’ll be featuring several speakers at the upcoming Community Credit Union & Growth Conference as guest bloggers here on the YES CU Blog.

Our guest bloggers will be posting on topics related to their sessions. Look for their posts to be intertwined with regular posts over the next few weeks.

Aren’t you excited!? If you aren’t… WAKE UP! You should be, this is a great way to get more out of the event by starting the conversation early on specific items and issues addressed October 21st – 24th in Las Vegas.

After reading their posts, and other posts here on the blog, you’ll be armed with a better idea of what speakers will talk about. Their posts will get that brain of yours thinking about all that will be discussed at the event and spark your curiosity for more information.

BEFORE, you only had a session description from the event’s Web site or pamphlet.

NOW, you have the opportunity to gain insight and interact with speakers as well as fellow attendees before the event begins!

Got something to say? Ask a question or post your thoughts by submitting a comment at the end of the post. You’ll also have the chance to ask when you attend their session and chat with any of the bloggers you see posting their comments.

It’s the next step in adding value to your attendance at CUNA’s Community Credit Union & Growth conference. So keep your eyes peeled!


>Podcasts and CU Innovators

Posted by on Thursday, 8 January, 2009

>Hello YES CU readers and happy 2009! I want to share the following bit of news about one of our own as we plunge into the new year and refocus on important credit union tasks at hand.

YES CU Blogger, YES Summit co-moderator, and CUNA Councils Web Manager Christopher Morris was recently highlighted as a credit union innovator by the folks over at Currency Marketing.

Listen to the podcast and check out the rest of the details at the CU Brand Blog.

This naturally brings up the question of whether credit unions should podcast. I say yes, because of it’s increasing popularity among the masses, and because podcasting is another relevant way to communicate your message and develop a relationship with members, young and old.

Because it involves technology, you may think that podcasting only appeals to young adults. But with the proliferation of iPods, Mp3 players, and home computing in general, podcasts are becoming more and more popular with all demographics. Although not considered “mainstream” podcasts have increased in popularity over the past few years and there’s reason to believe podcast’s popularity will continue to rise. This chart from a Pew Research discussion on podcasting backs up these assertions.

Click on the chart for a better view…

The folks over at CU Hype Blog aren’t so convinced, so you may want to check out their posts on the matter here and here. The one post does offer 5 things to consider before jumping head first into podcasting, which are good rules of thumb in my opinion. Podcasting is simple, and with a little planning, you can offer something interesting and informative.

That said, there are a number of credit union podcasts out there on the Web you may want to check out. Topics range from member focused information to Movement related issues. Here are just a few that I’ve run across.

Keep in mind I offer no “endorsement” for those listed, this is simply a list of those podcasts I am aware of. Feel free to do a google search, or even search iTunes, for additional content. If you find one you particularly like, go ahead and post a link to it in a comment.

Random CU Related Podcasts I’ve found…

National Credit Union Foundation’s REAL Solutions podcasts
Filene Research Institute podcasts
Open Source CU podcasts
Current Issues in Credit Unions podcasts
Home and Family Finance Radio podcasts
Michigan Credit Union League podcasts
The Golden 1 Credit Union podcasts
Omni Community Credit Union podcasts
ORNL Federal Credit Union podcasts


>Credit Union "Bucks the Norm" and Gets it Right

Posted by on Tuesday, 30 September, 2008

>The “young adult conversation” in credit union world has evolved in the past three years I’ve been Manager of Young Adult Programs here at CUNA. The conversation is no longer about what the issue is and why there is a problem. It is now focused on what can CUs do, and how do they do it.

With that said, I’d like to share how one credit union is addressing the issue of better attracting and serving young adults. Tinker Federal Credit Union launched phase 1 of a financial education site for my generation called Buck the Norm. Check out the site, and this video for more details and to draw your own conclusions…

For this post, I want to focus the discussion on where the folks at Tinker have gotten it “right.” IMHO there are three major areas:

  • Content of site is RELEVANT, connects, and isn’t “jive.” The site is new, so there isn’t a giant amount of content. But what is on the site is written in a way that speaks with the user, instead of talking to the user, and isn’t trying too hard to be “cool.” The articles and blog posts are written in a style that is informative, to the point, and relaxed. The video is edgy, well produced, and makes a strong point. All of this is important because communicating in this manner connects with the audience and doesn’t come across as thinly veiled attempt to hook my generation into buying something. More on that later…
  • Good use of Web 2.0. Tinker provides an RSS feed and uses a button from addthis that enables social bookmarking, where users can share information with friends and promotes organic/viral promotion of their message. This kind of word of mouth marketing is a powerful way to share your message and has a genuine feel to those who receive the message, because it came from a person and not an institution or company. This is important because TFCU is attempting to take advantage of existing structures popular with a large portion of the demographic such as Facebook, Digg, Technorati, and other social networking/bookmarking tools to spread the word.
  • Not directly selling products or services. Actually I didn’t find any links to specific products/services offered by Tinker, only a small link at the bottom to Tinker’s main Web site… which from the user’s perspective, demonstrates a genuine attempt at bringing valuable information to the audience.

But why is that last point important? Because sites that position themselves as being a resource, and then hit you over the head with sales pitches are seen as disingenuous. The user is baited into believing the site is there to provide unbiased information, but then it becomes apparent that the REAL reason the site exists is to sell something.

A good example of this kind of tactic are those Web sites who offer something for free, such as a credit report, but require you to sign up for a service in return. The TV and radio ads, as well as the name of the site itself may suggest that you can grab a free item with no strings attached. However, reading the fine print reveals that the user is, in fact, signing up for a trial membership that is only free for a certain period of time. If the user doesn’t cancel their membership within the allotted time, they are charged for the service.

That’s not to say that providing links from sites such as Buck the Norm to related services and products is a bad thing… it’s all in how you position the site AND the links. For example, MoneyMix (my little project for CUNA) allows subscribing credit unions to provide links directly back to the credit union web site, but these links are displayed in an “ad” like format on the right hand side. There’s no confusion about the main purpose for the site from the user’s perspective and it’s a way for the credit union to demonstrate they can help the user with related products and services. Texas Dow Employees Credit Union’s work with Currency Marketing to produce Young & Free Texas and Resource One Credit Union’s similar attempt My Life My Money are good examples of how products or services can be integrated with a site specifically for my demographic.


>Illinois CUs share piece of student loan program pie

Posted by on Tuesday, 23 September, 2008

>Big news from the Land of Lincoln… CUNA News Now reports two Illinois state agencies and eight Illinois credit unions will work together in a new state program to provide financial aid to as many as 20,000 college students each year.

An article today confirmed that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission approved the arrangement which was announced earlier in September.

Two points I’d like to make…

  1. It’s wonderful to see that kind of collaboration. In fact, the News Now piece mentions that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission had approached six foreign banks to invest in student loans. However, due to the subprime lending crisis, lenders have had to pull out of the student loan arena, says the News Now article.
  2. Student loans in particular, and catering to the needs/preferences of college students in general, are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to truly serving the needs of the demographic and attracting more young adults as credit union members. Not all Gen Y’ers, Millenials, Echo Boomers (or whatever you want to call us) are in college. Many of my fellow young adults didn’t go to college or to a trade school and will be facing a tough road if the economy continues to sour. The needs between a 21-year-old in their Junior year at college, and a 21-year-old mechanic are vastly different… even if they both have an iPhone.

On a slightly related note, our credit union friends down under at BDCU in Australia seem to be doing a great job letting members know they’ve avoided direct exposure to the subprime meltdown. Check out this news piece published in their local paper, the Southern Highland News. Know of any CUs doing the same? Post a comment with a link to the article.


>YES Summit Impacts Strategic Planning

Posted by on Tuesday, 16 September, 2008

>Think the CUNA YES Summit is just another conference? As Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend!”

The event has a history of affecting change and sparking new ideas. In fact, here on the YES CU Blog, we’ve highlighted several credit unions and attendees who’ve directly benefited as a result of their participation at the YES Summit. You can read more about their experiences here, here, and here.

So, in keeping with this theme, it’s time to share how the interactive sessions, collaborative events, and informative dialogue continue to enable attendees to take action when they return to their credit union.

Here’s what Dustin Limburg, Marketing Representative for Wright-Patt Credit Union, 30 Under 30 participant, and all-around nice guy had to say about his experience…

“The 2007 YES Summit proved to be a valuable experience that I recommend to anyone involved with young adults. I had the opportunity to learn the importance of technology and social media in reaching the young adult demographic. We have begun implementation of various social media strategies directly related to the content I took away from this great summit!”

The impact of the YES Summit is also reflected in what past attendees said about the event in their evaluations…

“I felt as though I gained a definite advantage in developing programs for the GEN Y group. The interaction with other credit union professionals gave me many fresh ideas and new contacts for assistance in the future.” – 2007 YES Attendee

“The benefits from this program far exceeded my expectations! I was made aware of concepts and ideas to reach Gen Y in ways that I would have never thought of on my own. I want to make sure that I am doing everything possible to effectively reach, inform and maintain Gen Y and this conference made me feel it is not only possible, but essential! Thank you.” – 2007 YES Attendee

“I have a hard time spending money and traveling to CU conferences. However, I feel that the YES Summit is so important due to the need of CU’s to focus on this demographic. These young adults are the future of the credit union movement and if we don’t dial in their needs, we will not exist!” – 2007 YES Attendee

What about you? Did you attend the YES Summit? If so, how did you and your credit union benefit? Inquiring minds want to know!


>Facebook now has a credit union

Posted by on Thursday, 14 February, 2008

>Have you heard the news? Technology Credit Union is now the official credit union serving Facebook employees.

Check out the following article about the new relationship here…

I wonder if there will be anything that will come of the relationship between the two?

UPDATE 02/15/08: There’s an excellent conversation on this very topic over on the CUES Nexus blog. A nod to Mike Templeton for giving us the heads up in his comment below.


>Take your VITA-mins

Posted by on Wednesday, 13 February, 2008

>Tax season is a confusing time. It’s especially bewildering for those of us “youngins” filing for only the first, second, or even third time in our lives. If we’ve never filed, or are filing for the first time as newlyweds, chances are we don’t have a clue.

In that case, we are likely to spend money on some tax prep software or find a family member or a friend to do it for us. And even if we’ve filed taxes in years past, it’s likely that we’ve relied on the above and/or are now in a financial situation where filing a simple 1040-EZ is no longer an option.

Credit unions have an awesome opportunity here to help young adults (and other populations) in need of tax preparation advice and become an advocate for their needs thanks to the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Essentially VITA sites offer free tax help from trained volunteers for low-to-moderate income individuals and families. You can find more information on the VITA program here at the IRS website.

In fact, it’s such a great opportunity that the NCUA is getting in on the act. They’ve recently teamed up with the IRS to produce this webcast on the issue and continue to offer resources that help credit unions establish VITA sites. Check out what NCUA offers to help credit unions here.

Setting up VITA sites are a great way to serve the community, promote your credit union, and demonstrate you’re an advocate for young adults (as well as other populations in need). By doing so your credit union is perceived as an financial institution that lends more than just dollars by lending a helping hand during a time of need.

You’re also building trust and exemplifying a major tenet of credit union philosophy… people helping people.


>Student reps part of the CU solution

Posted by on Thursday, 7 February, 2008

>

Here’s an idea that folks outside the Credit Union Movement have used with great success… hire student reps to act as roving young adult delegates who advocate on your behalf.

Some call these folks street teams, brand ambassadors, or promotional teams. I call them a great way to communicate to this demographic that your credit union is there to help them out. This approach also adds a personal touch, offers someone young adults can identify with, and personifies your marketing efforts.

Here, take a look at an article describing what other companies are doing at UCLA. There’s also a discussion in the YES CU Community Forum about hiring college students to teach personal finance to their peers.

These efforts can be inexpensive and if given the right motivation and support, they’ll come up with some fun ways to bring a young adult touch to your credit union. Keep in mind this approach is best served with an equal dosage of services fit for the demographic. Otherwise it’s an attempt that will fall short and young adults see right through it. Espeically when they unable to find services that meet their needs.


>How Can CUs Use Web Widgets?

Posted by on Tuesday, 29 January, 2008

>We’ve touched on Web widgets before, thanks to Christopher’s Blogging 102 post. But I’d like to take the coversation on widgets a bit further. You see, widgets can be used for more than just blogs.

What are widgets, exactly? Basically they are bits of code embedded in html to customize a Web page. A user selects them from a third party and installs the ones they like. RSS feeds are an example of a widget. Countdown timers and quiz results on individual social network profiles are also widgets.

To learn more, check out the following post on the Project New Age blog. There you’ll find a good description and several useful examples. And if that doesn’t do it for ya, there’s always the following wikipedia entry. Want to know how to make a widget? Here’s a really cool resource (albeit very technical) from the World Wide Web Consortium

Okay, so why could this be important? Well, widgets are popular with a lot of Web users, but especially popular on social networking communities such as Facebook, which are heavily populated by the 18-t0-30 crowd. Come up with a widget that someone likes, and they’ll spread it around to their friends, and their friends friends like… well, like a virus. It’s good ole’ fashioned viral or word-of-mouth marketing on a new stage… if you do it right.

It all sounds great, but a few words of caution…
  1. Most widgets I’ve seen aren’t commercial, or meant to advertise a service or a product. They are simply to make a user’s experience unique, fun and they become another way for users to interact with eachother. For example, you find out that your friend Sarah is also a fan of the Muppets, or that you have 30 friends who have scored higher than you on the sports trivia challenge. So, you’ll have to be creative in figuring out a way to develop a widget that “sells without selling” if you want to use a widget to bring traffic to your credit union

    With that said, there are an ever increasing number of “widgets with a purpose” (as I like to call them) being added on social networks and Web sites alike.

    In fact KeyPoint Federal Credit Union is a prime example of a credit union using widgets in this fashion. They’ve developed a Facebook widget that allows users who are on Facebook to access their KeyPoint account online. Of course, just to confuse the matter, Facebook calls widgets “apps” (as in applet). Essentially, they’re the same thing… bits of code used to customize a Web page, or individual user profiles in Facebook’s case.

  2. This isn’t the answer to all of your young adult worries at your credit union. This, just like a MySpace profile or any other initiative is simply a step in the right direction. There are many other steps needed to reach your destination.

But don’t let that stop you! Get out there and come up with some great widgets. Get some input from young adults at your credit union and make it happen.