During the recent webinar, “ Employing the ‘What's in it for Me Generation’ - Credit Unions and Gen Y”, we explored the characteristics of Generation Y. With 70 – 80 million Gen-Yers living in the U.S., some will inevitably end up at your credit union, either as members or employees. If you don’t want to wait for them to walk in your door, here is some proactive advice you can use to attract this elusive crowd.
Become partners with your local university or college. Every summer, new college students descend on campus for a general orientation. College administrators often arrange a pseudo-marketplace for financial institutions, laundry services, and other college necessities. Participating in this is one way to immediately introduce your name to the college student community. Contact the general administration office regarding the opportunities at this year’s orientation.
For a more in-depth approach to internships and hiring, contact the college’s career center. Do your homework first, though – be able to explain any available entry level positions or internships, as well as your ideal candidate. Market to the college’s strengths, if they have a world-renowned Economics department, students may be interested in analytical positions that would allow them to develop their academic skills and contribute significantly to a future career.
As we mentioned in the webinar, flexibility is key to understanding and assisting Generation Y. Students may be able to intern an average of eight hours a week during the school year, but when broken down, that may be six hours in a regular week, 30 hours over spring break, and two hours during midterms or finals. Flexibility also becomes important in deciding what the intern will do. Interns will be more appreciative of in-depth tasks that allow them to contribute to the company in an immediate way – filing and copying don’t count. As their experience in the industry and your credit union develops, allow them to explore their interests. This ensures a dedicated and engaged employee and with an eye towards future innovations for your credit union.
Credit unions may also offer internships to college students in their membership base who may be attending college in a different state but plan to return home for the summer. Education, social values, and credit unions fit together like crayons in a box; utilize the resources of Generation Y in your community!