Do you have a favorite recipe?  Mine is marinara sauce and I’ve been making it for years.  Only six ingredients, the same six every time, made the same way, yielding the same result.

What if someone told you that starting tomorrow, you need to start adding more ingredients to your favorite recipe–and you’d better not mess up the sauce?  Feeling uncomfortable… maybe a little stressed?

That’s how many of our friends in the financial sector feel. Their recipe for success has changed. The nature of the relationship between customers and financial centers is constantly evolving.  And, as we discussed in my last blog, Branch Traffic Down, Need for Stellar Service Up, forward-thinking banks and credit unions are looking for new strategies to prepare for and embrace these changes and opportunities.

Your People are Still the Key to Success

Technology has altered customer behavior and expectations, to be sure. However, one constant remains. Personal interaction is still foundational to building strong and lasting customer relationships. People make the difference in how a bank or credit union is valued, not the technology that one uses to increasingly interact with a financial center. This underscores the need to hire, engage, and empower the best candidates possible.

Over the past few years, we have worked with many banks and credit unions that are successfully making the transition and finding the right people.  Here are six best practices that consistently appear among the most successful.

  1. Evaluate Your Hiring Strategy and Process to Attract the Best New Talent

The traditional role of teller has transitioned to a universal banker role, requiring diverse job skills and aptitudes. This new hybrid role depends on tech-savvy individuals who possess both superior service and sales skills. Finding employees with such a diverse skill set is a real challenge. This is especially true if you’re competing in a labor market with organizations willing to pay more. To overcome these obstacles, future-focused banks and credit unions are updating their recruiting and screening processes— expanding access to qualified candidates, eliminating delays, and offering a more engaging candidate experience.  A few simple changes can deliver significant results.

  1. Set Clear Expectations with a Job Preview

The traditional transaction-based teller role is a thing of the past, but do your job candidates know that? The last thing you want to hear as new hires walk out the door is, “Wow, I didn’t realize how much this job involved,” or “I didn’t know I was going to be expected to sell.”  More and more financial centers are providing their candidates with a clear and realistic preview of the job so there are no surprises down the road.

  1. Identify and Assess for Strategic Job Skills

The most strategic financial centers understand the diverse talents needed to succeed. They measure these attributes directly in the hiring process – and aren’t afraid to reject candidates that don’t possess those attributes. Financial centers whose main concern is filling openings with warm bodies, assuming they can train new hires regardless of what they bring to the table, will fail spectacularly. On the other hand, organizations that assess for job-specific skills and attributes have a clear advantage in identifying high-potential candidates who can hit the ground running.

  1. Rely on Objective Data, Not Self-Report

Most text-based surveys used for hiring rely on subjective self-report data.  You may hear how this survey or inventory is different and has anti-faking scales, but the accuracy and reliability is just not there. The bottom line is these surveys are all based on what a job candidate tells you they can do, not on what the candidate can actually doWould you rather have job candidates tell you, or show you?

  1. Empower the Next Generation of Leaders

Another critical best practice for any modern financial center is identifying and preparing the next generation of leaders. Since many financial center managers are nearing retirement, it’s more critical than ever to identify and groom your next generation of leaders. While a common practice is simply promoting high-performing employees into management roles, the reality is that many of these employees neither want nor have the attributes to succeed in a leadership role. Successful financial centers recognize this and establish clear hiring strategies for assessing leadership potential and charting out a clear path for career development.

  1. Use Technology to Predict Talent and Hire Superstars

Today’s applicants are using technology in almost every aspect of their lives, including a job search! Motivated and talented individuals are drawn to organizations that are harnessing the power of technology to achieve organizational goals. The good news is that there are new, easy-to-use hiring tools specifically designed for financial institutions to simplify and personalize the hiring experience while pinpointing high-caliber candidates.

“Where do we begin?”

Let’s start a conversation about your best employees! Understanding your situation is the beginning. And then we’ll discuss hiring strategies for attracting more superstars. You can email us or call 888-332-0648 and ask for Jane. After a quick introduction, she’ll recommend next steps.

About Joe La Torre

Joe is the Director of Innovation for Employment Technologies. He possesses a curious mind that delights in staying ahead of the marketplace on matters related to technology and talent prediction. With more than 30 years of experience in employment assessment, Joe’s passion is helping others creating winning teams.