Best practices for recruiting hispanic credit union staff

One of the most impactful ways an organization can contribute to the success of a community is to become an inclusive employer. Credit unions that proactively recruit from within minority populations often find their staff members’ success to be cumulative.

That’s because within many communities, one great job improves the lives of many. Hispanic employees, especially those with first-generation family, for example, often support extended families. Some even apply their wages to the support of individuals to whom they are not related by blood or marriage. For example, it’s not unusual for a Hispanic individual to contribute to arrangements known as tandas. Informal financial savings circles, tandas are sometimes formed and managed by family friends, neighbors, parishioners and others who, although not related, contribute to and borrow from the group equally.

That said, the benefits of hiring, retaining and promoting employees of diverse backgrounds are realized by more than employees. The organization improves, as well.

Bicultural and bilingual personnel give many employers, including credit unions, a competitive edge. It’s one of the reasons Spanish-speaking candidates have become highly sought after by all kinds of employers. Hispanic employees trend young, as well. In fact, more than half of the Hispanic workforce is under the age of 35. This is especially important for credit unions and other financial services organizations that may be seeking a clearer view of the digital native.

For organizations that have realized the massive influence of the Hispanic community, hiring representatives of this young, fast-growing consumer segment makes strategic sense. Attracting Hispanic consumers to credit union membership becomes easier with staff who understand preconceived ideas and mindsets of prospective members.

Having the intent to hire Hispanic leaders is only half the picture. Successfully securing their interest and application is the other. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.

Explore, learn and get involved in the Hispanic community – If you demonstrate genuine interest in people, bringing them into the fold as an employee is much more natural.

Draft your job positions in a way that speaks to the strengths you seek – Include bilingual and bicultural skills near the top of the description.

Post open jobs in the right place – Radio continues to be popular among first-generation Hispanic community members, including job seekers. Because Hispanic consumers often index higher in social/ online experience than other segments, it also makes sense to post your add on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social platforms.

Spread the word – Don’t be afraid to also share your open position with Hispanic chambers of commerce, Hispanic small businesses and Hispanic-serving organizations, such as churches and non-profit centers.

Expand your time-to-hire expectation – For credit unions that are just beginning to recruit for bilingual positions, grassroots approaches are best. However, that takes time. Community engagement and relationship building has to happen first. It’s worth it to spend the time upfront in developing these relationships to get more candidates in your pool.

Tap your own people – Internal bilingual staff, Hispanic focus groups, board members and Hispanic Advisory Groups are all composed of people who have already expressed an interest in helping your credit union reach this market. These individuals can be a terrific resource for potential candidates.

Recruiting, hiring and stimulating the professional development of minority employees is the epitome of people helping people. Its place in the credit union movement is obvious to someone like me – a minority individual who advocates for the inclusivity of other minorities in all aspects of business, from members and employees to suppliers and neighbors.

Miriam De Dios Woodward

Miriam De Dios Woodward

Miriam De Dios Woodward is Global CEO of ViClarity, leading the company's transformation for a technology driven future. Prior to taking the helm at ViClarity, Miriam led AMC company Coopera ... Web: Details