4 Ways the Great Resignation Impacts Cybersecurity Concerns

 

There had been a lot of talk about the impact of the Great Resignation, and much of it centers around hiring practices, salary negotiations, and employee retention and turnover. But there are residual effects stemming from these mass resignations, and some of the most important effects involve your cybersecurity operations.

Let’s talk about some of the biggest ways the Great Resignation is impacting cybersecurity concerns, and what your organization should be doing about it.

High Employee Turnover = Higher Data Loss

Data loss is always a concern after a resignation. Some of it is intentional – employees take data out of spite or even to use at their next job. But there are also many instances where data is lost simply because the former employee didn’t store the data properly – they stored it on their work computer rather than in the shared files or department-specific locations, or maybe they were using a personal device to have work conversations or store other important data.

This data can be used to sabotage a previous employer or to gain an advantage over a new employer. Workplace culture is changing, and because younger generations are tech-savvy by the time they hit middle school, your data can be shared, copied, or destroyed very easily by a disgruntled employee, or even just by a former worker who was unaware their personal computer has the only copy of certain files. Safeguarding your data and teaching your staff to use and store it in the proper place and through proper channels can help mitigate this risk.

Because of these increased data cybersecurity concerns, your credit union should be using the best data access practices. The primary component of these practices should be reviewing the access your current and former employees have or had and making sure they only have necessary access moving forward.

When you do this, think about how each employee’s role and responsibilities have changed during their time at your credit union. Maybe they needed a higher level of access to member account details when they were in more of a customer service role, but now that they are running your marketing campaigns, that access is no longer necessary.

The Cybersecurity Industry Isn’t Immune to the Great Resignation

Another reason the Great Resignation is creating cybersecurity concerns is that the cybersecurity industry is also affected by these mass exoduses. Many cybersecurity professionals have also left their positions in the last few years.

Being short-staffed in the IT department also puts your credit union at risk of attack. Things can fall through the cracks; your former employees could negatively impact your system (either intentionally or unintentionally).

Because the stress of the pandemic affected certain professional roles and industries, like cybersecurity, at a higher rate, many employees are leaving the field. And when hundreds or even thousands of IT professionals leave the industry, it increases the threat to businesses from outside sources that are also aware of the shortages.

This decrease in cybersecurity team numbers also means your response to threats will likely be slower and less effective. No operations run as smoothly or efficiently when you are missing team members. That’s why it’s important to start thinking about how you want to invest your credit union’s IT budget – IMS has a host of services that can fill in the gaps left by employees resigning.

Remote Work Increases Risks

Remote work is more common than ever before, and that means more cybersecurity risk for your credit union.

While it may be nice not to have the responsibility of purchasing and maintaining a remote worker’s devices, that also means you can’t control where or how your data is stored and used, especially once that employee has resigned.

Remote workers are also working from a variety of different servers and networks – home, local coffee shops or libraries, etc. And this means your data and systems are being exposed to more varied risks. You also can’t control the security parameters on these employees’ home networks in the same way that you can monitor and improve your in-house network and servers.

Gaps between Employees and Tech

More and more organizations are increasing their IT and cybersecurity budgets, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and the Great Resignation. Now is the time to create the structure and strategy that we didn’t have time for during the first days of the pandemic.

When your credit union evaluates its cybersecurity spending, it’s important to ensure that your technology purchases are compatible with your workforce.

You can implement the newest and best technology in the world, but if you don’t do so with a strategy and a timeline in place to help you and your employees work through the transitions successfully, you are wasting valuable resources.

Process management should be a priority when implementing new technology, especially amid mounting cybersecurity concerns. Your staff needs to know how and when to use these new tools, so they aren’t creating new gaps in your digital defenses.

Offload Some Data Security Expenses by Partnering with IMS and Its IaaS Solutions

Maintaining high-level success in your credit union’s business operations during a time of high turnover and increasing employee recruiting and retention expenses mean you will need to decrease your costs elsewhere.

That’s where IMS comes in. With our Infrastructure-as-a-Service package, you can pay as you go and create a customized service that includes:

  • Maintained access to your applications during disasters and outages
  • Decrease expenses by only paying for what you need
  • Free up your team to focus on expansion, or employee recruitment and retention
  • Leave the troubleshooting and software upgrading to IMS and increase your credit union’s stability, reliability, and supportability
  • Improved peace of mind – IMS has you covered, through any cybersecurity issues and all your employee changes

Growth-Driven Marketing Ideas for CUs in 2022

 

There are dozens of reasons credit unions run marketing campaigns. Your board of directors could be having you focus on increasing current member engagement, introducing new products or services, and overall growth.

Many credit unions are focusing on a growth-driven marketing track as we move through 2022. Now that businesses, suppliers, and global economies are slowly recovering as we get further and further from the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic, we can focus on recouping some of that growth and expansion time that we lost over the last two years.

In that spirit, our team here at IMS wanted to share some growth-driven marketing ideas and strategies for credit unions to use before the year is up.

Break Down Silos & Create a Holistic Marketing Strategy

In a recent episode of the CUNA News Podcast, James Gilbert shared his thoughts on the importance of using your data and assets to create a unified front when it comes to growth-driven marketing strategies.

When it comes to creating a marketing strategy, many credit unions use a top-down approach, where the board of directors or executive staff share their plans and goals. While this is a great start, certain initiatives will take priority over others, and that means the resources used to successfully market your credit union will be divided unevenly.

This is a good thing! If you are focusing your credit union marketing on increasing the number of loans, there should be efforts from other sectors within your CU that are also supporting that. Your social media and credit card usage personnel will need to create cohesive messaging that speaks to your current goals.

In a perfect world, growth happens across all channels – you increase the number of members, loans, credit cards, savings accounts, etc. all at once. But because trends in personal financial management change rapidly, your marketing strategy must account for those things too.

Embracing Omnichannel Solutions

In today’s vastly connected digital landscape, omnichannel communication is crucial to your growth-driven marketing.

Omnichannel marketing means your credit union brand is reaching members and prospects through multiple communication channels, which can include text, social media, phone calls, email, print ads, and video assets.

Giving your members access to you via multiple touchpoints can help you reach a more diverse crowd – they’ll feel comfortable using their preferred methods to interact with your brand, rather than having to go out of their way to download new apps or create new user accounts on separate platforms to enjoy your content and services.

Focus on Personalization

Today, consumers – whether they’re shopping for a pair of shoes or a new home – are looking for solutions that fit them – personalization is a great way to take your credit union marketing to the next level and reach more people.

Think of marketing your credit union the way you’d market a home – every home has unique offerings, and every buyer is looking for certain features in the home they want to purchase.

The same is true in any B2C relationship – your credit union has to show each member that you are here to solve their specific problems and offer personalized products, services, and assistance.

Personalization can also be automated – you can create campaigns just for those members who are looking for a car loan, or who recently opened a checking account or signed up for your credit card. Rather than a generic “Thanks for doing business with us!” message, you can tailor print materials, emails, and chat messages to include specific details and insights about where they are in their personal financial journey.

Cross-Promotion, Not Cross-Posting

Your credit union marketing might include a host of different platforms, tools, and social media accounts. And each of these platforms should be seen as unique, just like your members are unique. When your members log onto their social media accounts and apps, they have different goals with each one.

And your growth-driven marketing campaigns should take this into account. Cross-promotion is the act of taking similar marketing content or messages and tailoring them to the platform you are featuring them on. Many credit unions and other businesses make the mistake of posting the exact same things across all their public platforms – this is called cross-posting.

And while cross-posting does get your brand out there and on people’s feeds, it’s not serving each platform effectively.

An in-depth LinkedIn post about how to prevent credit card fraud, for example, should be created with a much different message than an Instagram or Twitter post. Though this seems like it should be common knowledge, social media marketing is time-consuming, and it will often feel easier to create one message and one graphic, and then share them across your CU’s accounts.

But if your credit union marketing strategies are aimed toward member growth, cross-promotion can make each post on each platform that much more powerful!

As Your CU Grows, So Does Your Data – IMS Data Discovery Solutions Can Help

With credit union growth comes the growth of your data as well. But storage is only half the battle because the data you collected has significant value. It can help you understand your members and your business operations more comprehensively.

Many growth-driven marketing strategies rely on data and analytics to create targeted campaigns intended to reach the best audience for your business while offering your members and prospects content that they view as valuable.

The IMS DataArchiver is a great tool for managing and storing your data efficiently without breaking the bank. This SaaS solution can save up to 80% of primary data storage costs while still protecting your data from ransomware and other threats, giving you built-in data comprehension, deduplication, and visualization tools.

Anyone at your credit union may access the DataArchiver through a secure portal that includes full-text search capabilities, audit trails, and more.

Use your data and IMS’s private cloud solutions to work smarter, not harder this year. 


3 Benefits of Data Discovery

 

Like any business, a credit union’s data is an important asset for its operations. But if you don’t have the ability or expertise to analyze that data and use it effectively, you’re just sitting in a library waiting for the books to teach you something without you ever opening one.

Data discovery is the process of analyzing your credit union’s data using visual aids and other tools that can help those in your business who are less technologically inclined understand the insights housed within that collection of data. The insights gleaned from good data discovery can help your credit union’s bottom line and your employee performance, and even member satisfaction.

There are many reasons why data discovery is essential to the growth and success of your credit union operations. Let’s talk about some of the biggest benefits of data discovery for your credit union.

You Can Better Understand Your Credit Union Data Logistics

One of the top benefits of data discovery is the knowledge you, your employees, and even your board of Directors will gain on the logistics of your credit union data.

Much like the concept of “the Internet,” how, why, and where your data is stored and used can be a difficult concept to grasp, even though you are likely using or interacting with that data every day.

With data discovery, you can understand where all your different data types are stored and who has access to them. This aids in security matters, as well as productivity. One of the easiest ways to lose momentum in a work environment is to not have the tools or resources you need to complete your tasks.

You can also know which data is being transmitted, how it’s being moved around, and over which channels in your technology network. Data quality starts with data inventory, and a good data discovery tool can help with both of those things.

Data Discovery Reduces Inconsistencies Caused by Multiple Information Silos

Your credit union likely stores and shares information across multiple information silos. Think of it as a filing cabinet system. While the information in these silos may be organized, they aren’t all housed in the same data unit.

These information silos can create serious data issues as you try to aggregate the data you have stored across them all. Inconsistencies in your systems can lead to issues with duplicate information, incorrect versions of dated data, and more. The ability to reconcile these information silos and the data within them is important to your credit union when it comes to keeping data up to date and consistent.

This is even more true now that we are in the age of remote work. If your information silos don’t sync up, you could have staff members or credit union members working off old or incorrect data.

Competitive Advantage Comes from Data-Driven Approaches

The biggest benefits of data discovery come from the competitive advantages you can glean from good data. The days of blanket marketing ads that target whole regions – and even countries – are long gone.

Your approach to data discovery is one of the most valuable tools you can use to grow your credit union member base, offer targeted and high-demand products and services, and teach your staff how to meet the needs of your members and the greater community.

Much like the data housed in information silos must be pulled together, so must your data discovery tool enable you to find the insights that help your credit union operations improve.

In many businesses, certain departments know more (or less) about different initiatives and workflows than others. When this occurs, your operations can lose productivity and even credit union members as you try to hunt down the data and insights you need to form a clear picture of your next steps. Data discovery is a great way to close those gaps in your data analysis.

Data discovery helps drive your understanding of your credit union’s competitive advantages. When you’re able to look at the big picture your full range of data makes, you can create solutions that not only benefit your credit union’s business but can also create differentiators in your market. Data discovery is what positions credit unions to better service specific people and communities than big banks and universal automation do.

IMS Data Archiver: The Key to CU Data Discovery Done Right

The IMS Data Archiver is a powerful data discovery tool that has been tailored to credit union needs. Simple and cost-effective, IMS Data Archiver can save you up to 80% of your primary storage costs, reduce backup times, and can help you manage unlimited file servers in a distributed environment with zero end-user disruption.

This tool includes several powerful tools, a few of which are:

  • Ransomware protection
  • Data life cycle management
  • Built-in data visualization tools
  • Multi-remote site management
  • Data compliance and e-discovery tools
  • Data compression and de-duplication

Check out the data discovery tool and other IMS protection and compliance services on our website or give us a call today.


Disaster Recovery Dos & Don’ts

 

Credit unions have had their fair share of setbacks in the last year. However, the recent 4th quarter report from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) shows that assets, shares, and deposits grew during the last months of 2021. To capitalize on that momentum, your credit union must continue to provide more on-demand and real-time products and services while you grow your member base.

But you can’t do that without a top-tier disaster recovery plan. But what does a good plan look like? Let’s go through some disaster recovery dos and don’ts.

Do: Set Plans & Goals for Your Disaster Recovery

Every disaster recovery system needs to be tested. And for you to measure how well your test and disaster recovery system work, you need to have something to measure against.

The best way to do that is to identify and set goals for KPIs (key performance indicators). The most common include recovery time objective (the amount of time that can pass before your business has been impacted by the disaster) and recovery point objective (the maximum amount of data that can be lost).

Best practice is to test your disaster recovery and business continuity plans at least once every year. This includes emergency evacuation drills, walkthroughs, and risk assessment reviews along with your recovery plans.

Don’t: Rely on Protecting Just the Basics

It’s important to protect the core components of your business in your disaster recovery plan, including the items that you need for compliance reasons. But that should just be a starting point. As you work on your disaster recovery strategy, it’s important to look at all aspects of your credit union’s operations.

Are there contingencies in place that will allow you to communicate with remote or offsite staff members? Are your software, app, or plugin vendors considered in your plans? Do you have a detailed description of who does what during the disaster?

Even if you don’t prioritize everything on a scale from most important to least, thinking through the intricacies of your credit union’s operations can help you mitigate damage and mobilize support when it’s necessary.

Your disaster recovery plan can consist of several smaller plans based on your credit union’s branches, departments, and even the emergency type.

For example, your IT department may need to have different priorities in different disasters. This can be based on the potential threat to the physical components of your security system versus the digital ones.

Do: Make Your People a Priority

You’d be surprised how many disaster recovery plans go into exquisite detail about the operations and technology considerations, but they leave out the human element.

Many disasters are natural or physical in nature – and that presents many opportunities for your staff to be harmed. Here are a few things to think about as you create your credit union disaster recovery plan:

  • Where are the shelters or gathering areas for things like a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or another natural disaster?
  • What is the survival plan for your employees if there is an active shooter?
  • If people are injured, how do you want your teams to help? Which staff members should be prioritized? These questions and plans may need to be augmented by a medical professional’s opinion.
  • Who will contact the authorities in the event of a disaster, accident, or other harmful situation?

You can’t ensure business continuity if you aren’t protecting the ones who are doing that work for you. And don’t forget to make sure that all your employees are able to get to your designated areas without trouble. This includes people with physical disabilities (from limited mobility to deafness or blindness)

Don’t: Forget to Define the Impact of the Disasters You’re Preparing For

You can increase or decrease the scope of your credit union disaster recovery plan to include a business impact analysis.

A business impact analysis can help you measure and prepare for how each different disaster will actually affect your operations. This includes everything from employee tasks that are interrupted or rendered unusable, impact on credit union members and member services, data loss, and more.

Here are some examples.

Let’s say the disaster you are preparing for is a ransomware threat. In the business impact analysis, you’d list the impact of that disaster: data loss, employees unable to access files which lead to lost productivity, corruption of technology and other digital assets.

However, if the disaster is a tornado, the impact is much different: loss or damage of equipment, buildings, etc., potential data loss, information systems going offline, human injury, loss of productivity, member services and experience will suffer.

These impact areas may be different based on the size and operations of your credit union. But a good business impact analysis will not only prepare you for what to do in an emergency, it will also show you what areas will suffer. This gives you insight into what and how you should implement preventative and other measures to create a successful disaster recovery plan.

Worry-Free Disaster Recovery Services

Server crashes, human error, malicious activity, natural disasters – your credit union could succumb to any one of these disasters at any time.

Disaster recovery is an integral part of your business continuity. As more and more people rely on real-time banking technology, any downtime and data loss are major hits to your credit union.

IMS offers worry-free disaster recovery. We help you keep your credit union operational by ensuring your critical servers, branches, and third-party vendor communications are all recovered quickly.


Top 2022 Credit Union Priorities

 

We’ve previously shared some planning strategies for your credit union for 2022. Now that we’re past the holidays, the first months of the year will be dedicated to working through the best ways to address your top 2022 credit union priorities.

Resiliency was the word of the year for credit unions in 2021. In the first three quarters of the year, credit unions grew by 5 million member-owners and $230 billion in assets.

2022 Credit Union Priorities: Digital Advancement

Online offerings continue to lead the pack in terms of top 2022 credit union priorities. Your members want you to meet them where they are, without sacrificing any of the exceptional customer service credit unions are known for.

CUs overall have seen a 5.8% increase in lending year over year – another service that has expanded its online presence for many banking institutions in the last year or so. Maintaining that loan growth will largely depend on the accessibility of those loans to all members, from your regulars who come into your branches to do everything from depositing a check to take out a loan, all the way to the digital natives who want to be a member of your credit union without ever having to step foot inside your buildings.

And the rise of cryptocurrency, NFTs, and digital credentials have opened up new regulatory issues that the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are working on identifying potential opportunities and risks to provide legal and institutional clarity on the role of banks in transactions involving these digitally-based assets.

Cybersecurity & Data Protection

Along with this digital growth come more cyber threats. Cybersecurity and data protection must also be priorities to ensure these new assets are protected from those who wish to sell or exploit your members’ personal or financial information.

There are many tools you can add to your digital toolbox that will safeguard your data and streamline your operations including data backup, core hosting, IaaS, virtual desktop, disaster recovery, and colocation services.

Financial Inclusion & Diversity

Many programs that were affected by and molded to better combat the issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have actually created positive financial, personal, and business results for many credit unions and their members.

Financial inclusion is the availability and equality of opportunities to access financial services. Credit unions have always focused on serving those who are not being prioritized by big banks and their offerings, so it should be no surprise that this will be a great way to expand your credit union’s influence in 2022.

The pandemic has created many unsustainable solutions to temporary but very serious problems. Moving forward with more inclusive financial education and banking services will lead to stronger and more sustainable economic growth and development, and the stability that the whole world is craving this year.

Protect Your Momentum with Digital Backups and Disaster Recovery from IMS

IMS is your partner in virtual private cloud services for your credit unions. Our digital backup and disaster recovery solutions are perfect for safeguarding your member data at all times, even when the unthinkable disaster occurs. Our team has years of experience providing data center services to credit unions all over the U.S.

Browse these and other offerings here on our website or contact us today!


Debunking 3 More Credit Union Cloud Myths

 

In a previous blog post, we debunked 3 credit union cloud computing myths, and we’re here to do it again. Cloud computing has been gaining popularity for years, but the events of 2020 and 2021 have accelerated widespread adoption. And with that rapid change comes new concerns. Let’s debunk 3 more common credit union cloud myths.

Myth: The Cloud is Only Good for Backup & Disaster Recovery

This myth is a little difficult to debunk because we must omit just a single word (“only”) from the myth to make it true. Cloud computing is a secure way to back up your data, and it’s also an effective option for disaster recovery practices.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, IMS’s Private Cloud Services also include:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service provides a safe and secure home for your servers
  • Core Hosting: IMS can manage and operate your credit union’s core system to whatever extent you need
  • Virtual Desktop provides a complete virtual workspace, a crucial element in this newly remote world.
  • Colocation Services keeps your data perpetually available by adding redundancy to your systems.    

Myth: One Cloud Will Rule Them All

There’s also a prevailing double-edged cloud myth, and it is that you either need to be extra meticulous in choosing the one cloud solution that will “do it all,” or that once you have broken the seal and start using one cloud service, you’ll end up needing dozens or hundreds of different cloud providers in order to successfully do all the things you were already achieving with your in-house or data center-based system.

Many organizations choose a multi-cloud strategy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have success with one cloud, and it also doesn’t mean that you will have to collect cloud management systems the way people collect stamps or comic books.

Myth: Cloud Data = Public Data

Another extremely common cloud myth is that once it’s in the cloud, your data is accessible to the public – as in everyone. There are tons of jokes in movie scenes about how once something is up in the cloud, you can’t get it down, and the information (no matter how private or incriminating) is now broadcast for all the world to see.

The Florida Institute of  Certified Public Accountants shared some great insight on why this notion is a myth: “There are public clouds (shared environments) and private clouds (dedicated environments.”

Public clouds like Google, for example, have multiple tenants and typically operate under pay-as-you-go models. A private cloud, however, is a single-tenant environment where all hardware and network components are dedicated to one client (or business).

Either way, there are no options where storing your information in a cloud network is akin to putting your data on a public billboard or allowing random individuals access to your credit union’s sensitive business or member-based data.

Bust Your Credit Union Cloud Myths – See the Results for Yourself

IMS offers Private Cloud Services that can help you safeguard your member data at all times, but especially when your credit union is most vulnerable. Contact IMS for more information.


4 Reasons Your Credit Union Should Embrace the Cloud

 

COVID-19 accelerated banks’ transition to the cloud, but you should never do something just because everyone else is doing it, right? So let’s talk about some of the best reasons your credit union should embrace the cloud.

Cybersecurity

83% of organizations globally store sensitive data on the cloud. That means the cybersecurity measures that go along with cloud services have to be top-of-the-line. The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated cloud usage, but it also gave rise to new and growing cybersecurity threats.

If you trust your business data to a strong cloud system, you have the full force and wisdom that comes with that tech on your side when it comes to making sure your data is being used and stored safely.

Higher Quality Hardware, Lower Costs

Additionally, by trusting your cloud solutions to a provider with a primary focus on optimizing your cloud experience, you are not only able to free up your on-staff IT professionals to spend more time helping your team members and your credit union members, but you also have the added advantage of receiving higher quality hardware at a lower cost.

Cloud providers have a wealth of top-notch hardware and software. And unless your credit union has an unlimited source of income that you can dedicate to purchasing and setting up machines of similar caliber in-house or at an offsite location, you are gaining the benefit of that high-quality technology without having to provide the funds it takes to acquire and implement it.

Scalability

If 2020 taught business leaders anything, it’s that you can’t predict what will happen in the next month or year. Because of the unprecedented changes we’ve seen recently, it’s more apparent than ever that your credit union needs strategies and solutions that are scalable, which is yet another reason to embrace the cloud.

The scalability of cloud services is one of its biggest selling points. We think the Credit Union Times says it best: “By migrating IT infrastructure to the public cloud, institutions can start with what is needed and scale accordingly, which yields greater flexibility, agility, and potential cost savings.”

You’re Already in the Cloud

Chances are, you are already using cloud services in your professional and personal life. According to Trellance, 94% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers in 2021.

In your personal and professional life, you are likely using the cloud on a daily basis without even realizing it. If you have a smartphone, you are likely storing data in the cloud in many forms: contact information, photos and videos, apps, documents, and other files. If you access work files from your personal or company phone or tablet, that’s the cloud working for you. If you store important dates and tasks in a calendar on your phone or computer – it’s the cloud.

Cloud solutions can seem much less daunting when you think about all the ways the cloud is already helping you move through your daily routines and conquer your goals for the day.

Embrace the Cloud with IMS

The cloud-based bandwagon is one tech trend your credit union should not miss. IMS knows that good tech is the foundation for your CU to be able to provide important services and products to every one of your members. That’s why we created Private Cloud Services that are tailor-made for credit union operations and needs, so you can embrace the cloud with confidence and security.

IMS’s Private Cloud Services include:

Browse these and other offerings here on our website or contact us today!


5 Non-traditional Ways to Attract Talent

 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Millennials and Gen Z were already shaking up workforce norms and expectations. We’ve heard for the better part of a decade that Millennials want more flexibility in the workplace, and now as Gen Z enters the global workforce – and with the added stress of a labor shortage in America – attracting and retaining talent looks much different than it did in the early 2000s. So let’s talk about some non-traditional ways to attract talent.

More Flexible Work Structures

Now that job seekers and employees know that it is possible to be successful in a work-from-home setup, more and more applicants are looking for the word “flexible” in the job description. For decades, businesses have been seeking “flexible, driven, and outgoing” individuals, and now those individuals are asking for that same flexibility back.

Being forthcoming with the flexibility available in any open positions for which you are hiring can easily attract talent.

Financial Planning & Education

One thing that many employees and job seekers want is more help with financial planning. The generations of people that are moving into the workforce right now grew up during times of economic uncertainty, and they tend to use debit products more than credit cards and other interest-rich financing options.

Your credit union is already well-positioned to offer financial planning and education resources to your staff, so it’s definitely worth touting in our next Indeed or Monster.com job posting.

Comprehensive Wellness Programs

Wellness is another key focus area for job hunters. With healthcare prices at an all-time high (and not to mention the fact that we’re in the middle of arguably the deadliest pandemic in modern history), providing your current and prospective employees with a competitive and valuable wellness package is a great way to draw more applicants, and to retain current staff.

Wellness programs now encompass a host of products and services, from nutrition education and preventative health checks to increased access to mental health professionals.

Community Engagement Opportunities

Another area that credit unions thrive in has become a top-tier way to attract talent – social and community engagement. Shoppers are savvier than ever, and they want to be able to buy local, and support initiatives and non-profits that put some of those resources and funds back into communities and causes they care about personally.

Your credit union should advertise the causes and initiatives it supports on all public and social media platforms. Not only does it enhance the reputation of your business, if you have articles or photos with your credit union team participating in fundraisers or other charitable events, it shows prospective employees that your company culture is one they would be lucky to be a part of.

Re-Evaluate Job Requirements to Include More Non-Traditional Candidates

Many of your potential applicants are struggling during this pandemic and recession – and the cost of post-secondary education is rising quickly. Now is the perfect time to take a look at your education requirements for job postings and rework them to include more non-traditional candidates and their resumes.

If a four-year degree is preferred, consider looking into certificate programs that could have offered a more specialized education in a niche area that could benefit your business. Think about alternative work experience that could have offered similar on-the-job responsibilities to the open position you are advertising. There are lots of great candidates getting lost in a sea of cover letters simply because they don’t perfectly meet your job requirement criteria.

Increase Flexibility with Virtual Desktop

IMS offers virtual desktop services to help you keep your employees in the loop no matter where their office is located today. And remember, that flexibility will also draw more applicants for your open positions.

Contact IMS for more information.


4 Ways Bad Data Can Harm Your CU

 

Not all data is created equal. Just because you are collecting mountains of data, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have good data. In fact, it’s much easier to collect and use bad data.

What is Bad Data?

Bad data can be a host of things. It can be incorrect or outdated information. It can include incomplete or partial information that creates an incorrect picture of a member’s needs or preferences. The difference between good and bad is often subtle, and having the correct tools to analyze and categorize this data can help your credit union make better decisions, both for you and your members.

Here are some ways bad data can harm your credit union.

Bad Data Can Breed Distrust

Bad data can create redundancies and incorrect outcomes in your credit union team’s workflow. For example, if you have incomplete data that is passed on to third-party vendors, like collections agencies, those vendors will treat every account the same, even if some of them aren’t actually past due on their payments.

If your members, who are current on all loan or mortgage payments, receive notices from your third-party collections vendors saying they are past due, this could create distrust between you and your members.

It Affects Your Lending Ability and Reputation

Lending is your credit union’s primary source of revenue, and keeping the program strong often comes down to how accurate and timely your data is.

CUManagement talks a lot about the integrity of data. They use the example of a credit card interest rate: if your member’s interest rate on their credit card goes up due to late payments, it should also come back down if their payments start coming on time. But if you don’t have a solid system of checking these rates and what affects them, this can upset your members and also go as far as pushing you out of compliance with certain rules and regulations.

It Affects Your Ability to Stay Compliant

If your data isn’t properly organized and assessed, it can decrease your credit union’s ability to stay compliant. And that non-compliance can affect your credit union’s revenue streams, as well as its reputation and bottom line. And trying to set your data right after years of mismanagement will be a long and expensive process.

It Also Affects Your Marketing Success

Data has helped revolutionize marketing, especially when used correctly. You or someone you know has likely said this in the past several years: “Sometimes, I think my phone (or computer) can hear me think. Just the other day, I was thinking about how I’d love to buy (insert product here), and then today I see an ad for it on my Facebook page.”

Intuitive data collection and utilization can be a game-changer for your credit union, but it can also cause problems if you’re working with bad data. You could send emails to people with the wrong name or other personal information, or you could target the wrong potential customers for a new service you are rolling out. All of that decreases your brand’s reputation and costs you money.

Keep Your Data Safe and Up-to-Date

IMS offers virtual desktop and backup services to help you keep your data in check no matter how many of your employees work from the office, home, or somewhere in between.

Contact IMS for more information.


How to Hire Credit Union Employees in 2021

 

2021 is the year of the employee. In the current job market, hiring and retaining entry-level – and even management and other professional-level – employees is a struggle. This has become a trend for a few reasons. So how do you hire credit union employees in 2021? We have collected some resources and tips for you.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a lot of US government aid being passed out to workers who had been laid-off or found themselves unemployed as a result of shutdowns and government shelter-in-place mandates. And secondly, the pandemic also shed light on many Americans’ priorities, causing them to leave certain jobs to focus more on searching for more fulfilling or career-driven opportunities. 

Guerrilla Strategies for Finding Talent

Right now, 42% of business owners surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business said they have job openings they could not fill. CUManagement recently published an article that outlines five guerilla tactics for finding employees in a tough market.

  1. Become a sales team. CUManagement says, “Your human resources department needs to start functioning as a sales team.” Create a prospect list – you can even include former employees who you’d like to have come back into the fold. Recruiting should always be a priority, even when you are fully staffed. Things are changing much more rapidly for employers these days, and you want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to hiring.
  2. Engage your team. Some of your best recruiting opportunities are just one degree of separation away. Your employees are the best resources for finding reliable talent in the area. You can encourage, or even incentivize them, to help find new hires. And don’t forget to listen to them: they have the first-hand experience of your hiring process, and they likely have some great insights into the areas you can improve to attract more or better prospects.
  3. Spotlight your culture. Job applicants are looking for a place where they enjoy working. The more you showcase that in your advertising channels – social media, websites, job descriptions, etc. – the more prospects will want to engage with your credit union.
  4. Get outside the box. Your list of requirements for any given position should not be a hard and fast standard by which you judge every applicant. If an applicant has little in the way of credit union experience but may have other supplementary experiences that could speak to their ability to learn how to successfully do the job you need, it’s good to consider them for at least an interview.
  5. Clarify your purpose. Your credit union’s purpose can be the tipping point for applicants. Just like your culture, your business’s purpose should be evaluated to reflect your commitments to specific non-profits and the community you serve. This philanthropic focus can show your prospect pool that your business is serious about its mission.

Address Current Concerns

CareerPlug’s article on changing the way you hire in 2021 deals with some harsh truths.

The first thing you have to compete with is the historically low wages that certain industries have been paying people in the past, which won’t work for many job seekers – because they hold most of the power in this labor market.

If you are firm in the wages you want to pay for your open positions, you could consider adjusting other compensation packages or benefits. For example, schools and childcare disruptions have caused many women to pivot from looking for work to being stay-at-home moms for the time being. Having options available or expanding childcare services to your staff could gain your credit union a lot of traction and engagement with women who have young children.

Another hot topic is remote work – many employees found out in the last year that the jobs they’ve been told must be done in the office are actually able to be done remotely. This flexibility has quickly become a standard discussion point in new hire negotiations.

And don’t forget – the global pandemic is still very serious and scary for many people. Concerns of cleanliness and updated sick time policies are worth mentioning in your open position descriptions.

Help Employees Manage from Anywhere with Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops and apps enable your credit union to deliver virtual workspaces to end-users – including full Windows client desktops, shared desktops, and hosted apps – as a monthly subscription service.

Contact IMS for more information.