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Optimize Seasonal Hiring With These Four Tips
Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:20 AM

Joseph T Sefcik, Jr., President, Employment Technologies Corp

Spring is one of the busiest hiring seasons of the year. In fact the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the month of April alone typically sees more job openings than any other month. With hospitality and tourism businesses gearing up for warm weather hiring, and many additional companies vying for the best high school and college grads, now is the time to make sure you’re ready to attract and hire top new talent.

So expect tough competition and start planning your strategy now for attracting and hiring the best. To get a jump start on hiring and stay ahead of the competition, try our four proven tips.

1. Perform a system check.

Be intentional about taking time to review your screening process. Look for any lags or inefficiencies in the system. Be alert to each point of candidate engagement, reviewing every detail from differing perspectives. Weak links in your system can mean that by the time you get to hiring, the best candidates may already be at work dazzling someone else’s customers.

The crux of effective seasonal hiring is to quickly screen applicants to a manageable and qualified group. There are a number of online screening tools that are easy to implement and can quickly streamline your recruiting and screening process. These tools not only cut your time and cost to hire, they also increase your access to quality applicants and improve your accuracy in pinpointing top candidates.

2. Treat your candidates like customers.

The image you project to job candidates during the hiring process makes a strong statement about your credit union. To reflect your brand as a dynamic, successful operation, you can start building that foundation when you hire.

Today in our media-rich environment, applicants expect more. Why not give them a truly engaging, interactive experience? For example, more and more credit unions are using simulation-based screening tools. Simulations not only provide the highest level of accuracy in predicting job success, they also provide a fun and realistic way to introduce applicants to the job and to your company. New technology also enables you to easily customize standard screening tools by adding key information specific to your organization.  

This extra effort can have a ripple effect. Job candidates that are engaged and excited about your credit union are more likely to connect with your members, and they’re more likely to become customers themselves.

3. Those time-consuming screening interviews? Go virtual!

If you’re still spending hours conducting phone or in-person screening interviews, you’ll likely burn yourself out before you start training. No-shows, late arrivals, delays, and time over-runs add to the stress and hassle of interviewing. Repetition and fatigue also take a toll on interviewer effectiveness and reduce the quality of each interview.

Virtual interviews are an affordable and effective solution to the constraints of live interviews. With virtual interviews, scheduling is no longer an issue. Multiple interviews can be conducted simultaneously—anytime, anywhere. And you can review interviews on your own schedule at your own convenience. By switching to virtual interviewing, you take control of your time, schedule, and results.

4. Switch to just-in-time learning.

With seasonal jobs, you can’t rely on traditional onboarding training methods to get your new hires up and running quickly. Classroom training and “information dumps” just don’t work when you have a limited amount of time to introduce new employees to your operation, your process, and your products.

With new simulation-based learning tools, new hires can practice and perfect their skills with virtual customers before they ever interact with your real members. Imagine the change in your credit union if each new staff member had the expertise to handle your most difficult customers or solve the most complex issues. According to Chief Learning Officer magazine, “Compared with traditional classroom learning, simulations help participants master content and new behaviors 40-70 percent faster.” When time is limited, just-in-time learning delivers just-in-time results.

A final reminder: Keep your members in focus

During peak seasons, the hiring process can be all consuming. While the seriousness of the task requires a special focus, pausing and projecting forward a few weeks to envision each new hire serving your members can be a valuable exercise. You might have the best products or account services in your market, but if a member has a bad experience with one of your associates, you may never see that member again. 

Providing world-class customer service starts with a smile. That smile is as important over the phone as it is in person. So when screening candidates, don’t just look for that smile, listen for it in their voice.

With an efficient, engaging, accurate, just-in-time hiring and onboarding process, you can breathe easier this spring knowing the each new team member has what it takes to hit the ground running and to provide your credit union with stellar member service.

* Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey, unadjusted data

About Credit Union Resources
At Credit Union Resources our goal is to be the leading provider of business solutions for the credit union community. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of Cornerstone Credit Union League and are proud to serve as the service corporation for Cornerstone's member credit unions.

Our motto says it all...Your Business, Our Focus, Expert Solutions. Whether you are looking for an effective advertising campaign, sales materials, new lending products, technology solutions, auditing services, a hands-on compliance partner, strategic planning assistance, a shared branching presence, or staffing and operational support; we have what you need, at a price you can afford.