From 2,000 to 6 Credit Union CEO Contenders

How JMFA gets down to the finalists in an executive search

by Charlene Komar Storey

Whittling down a large field of finalists and ultimately choosing a new CEO for a credit union is unquestionably a challenge. How is it done?

Charles Shanley, SPHR, executive vice president of John M. Floyd & Associates, a recruitment and consulting firm and CUES strategic partner, says JMFA starts a search process for a credit union with 2,000 potential candidates, and ultimately presents a board or search committee with six to 10 finalists.

The 2,000 figure may send eyebrows skyward, but Shanley points out that doesn’t mean the company collects that many responses from a blind want ad. “We’re proactive,” he says. For instance, JMFA uses many candidate sourcing strategies, including social media, targeting people from the credit union’s market area and a variety of networking groups.

The next step is to go on site and identify the Credit Union’s culture. “It’s important to know exactly what the culture is for this institution, and you can’t properly assess this without being there physically,” Shanley says.

JMFA focuses on core competencies, typically established by the board. Common competencies include vision, strategic direction, leadership, cultural fit, communication skills, overall experience and community involvement. The competencies are weighted on a formula-based spreadsheet to reflect each one’s level of importance. For example, a board could give vision a weight of 20 percent, strategic direction 15 percent, cultural fit 15 percent, community involvement 10 percent, leadership 20 percent, and so on until the weights add up to 100 percent.

This weighted list of competencies is initially used by JMFA to first select about 50 candidates to invite to complete a strategic questionnaire or project, Shanley says. The project may be a request to delineate what short-term and long-term plans a candidate would put in place in his or her first year at the credit union.

continue reading »

More News