HR Answers: How Can Credit Unions Stand Out to Top Talent?

job candidate shakes hands with HR recruiter in pleasant brick office
By Katerina Mery

4 minutes

Three ways to highlight the benefits of working at your organization

As the smaller, not-for-profit siblings of financial industry giants, it’s no surprise that winning the hiring competition can feel daunting. Credit unions have fewer resources than many other institutions, and it can be confusing to figure out how to make the case to top talent that they should opt for a lower salary at your credit union compared to the one they’d get working for a big bank.

Thankfully, many job seekers are looking for more than just a paycheck. By highlighting the full array of benefits that come from working at your credit union, especially during this challenging time, you can set your organization up to win over the best and brightest talent.

Below we share three key strategies that can help your credit unions stand out to potential new hires in the war for talent. If you emphasize these things in your recruitment process, you’ll more accurately convey the full value that comes from working at your credit union and you’ll be a lot more likely to get the kind of talent that your company needs to thrive.

1. Emphasize Meaningful Work

While many financial industry giants focus exclusively on profit, credit unions have a much more community-minded purpose—and that’s something that appeals to job seekers (especially young job seekers) a lot more than people realize. For example, did you know that three-quarters of millennials report that they would opt for a job that gives them the opportunity to drive meaningful progress in the world over one that offers them a higher paycheck?

Speak to this value as you seek top talent. Be sure your organization’s website, job posting site profile and social media profiles highlight the ways that your credit union gives back to the local community. The more specific you get, the better. People are moved by stories, and if you can communicate to candidates that a position at your credit union means opportunities to create more meaningful stories, you’ll be able to attract strong talent with a like-minded focus on community impact.

2. Demonstrate an Incredible Company Culture

Everyone wants an enjoyable work environment. Aesthetically, yes, but also an environment that promotes mental and emotional well-being. The average person spends roughly one-third of their life at work. For this reason, it’s important for work environments to be supportive and engaging, with plenty of opportunities to form meaningful relationships.

When you talk about company culture in interviews, make the point that your organization has the kind of culture job seekers want by pointing to specific programs that your credit union has in place. Do you have a rewards and recognition program that keeps motivation and morale high? What about more light-hearted culture-building traditions, like a monthly karaoke night? Even smaller traditions like this are worth highlighting. Today’s candidates want a holistic picture of what life would look like if they were to accept a position at your organization. Company culture, and the crystalized programs that keep it alive, play a huge part in that.

3. Commit to Continual Professional Development

Everyone everywhere is looking to grow their careers, and they seek jobs at companies that promise opportunities to do so.

There are lots of ways credit unions can support professional development. Some ideas include networking events, lunch and learns, funding for continued education, mentorship and more. However you approach it, highlight all the professional development opportunities that exist at your credit union to position your organization as a more appealing employer to growth-minded top talent.

If your credit union doesn’t currently offer any of these programs or resources, it should. Not only does supporting professional development help attract top talent, it can also help grow your existing employees from good to great.

Win the Talent War

By highlighting these three benefits, credit unions can better convey the full picture of the employee experience people get when working at their organization. While overall unemployment in the U.S. is up due to COVID-19, job losses in the financial sector have been lower thus far, meaning the competition for experienced employees is still tight. Job seekers have a sharper eye out than ever for factors besides salary in job offers, and these are the benefits that candidates will want to hear about. Keep them in mind as you strategize for successful hiring, and you’ll put yourself in a favorable position to attract top talent to your credit union.

Katerina Mery is a marketing specialist at Fond, a rewards and recognition company dedicated to building places where employees love to work, with offices in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. Mery authors articles about how to leverage recognition programs to drive company success. Learn more at

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