By Alicia Chaney, CUNA Mutual Group
As HR professionals, we know the importance of recruiting – finding the best, most diverse pool of talent we can for our organizations is a top priority.
As the pandemic hit, many of us in human resources across the industry were poised to ramp up our recruiting season – touring colleges or attending summer conferences. Needless to say, recruiting season looks different for all of us this year.
And, even if we’re not hiring at the same rates or recruiting as much, our focus on identifying and fostering talent in our industry cannot slow down. That means growing our talent pipeline and particularly growing the diversity of that pipeline. We know that diverse teams make stronger business decisions. If we are to serve members in the best way possible, to help people through the crisis, then we must create pathways for diverse, talented workforces across our industry.
Here’s what we’re learning:
Stay committed to feeding the pipeline. Once COVID-19 hit, CUNA Mutual Group didn’t know how we would move forward with our internship program. We were expecting more than 55 interns on June 1, so our HR recruiting team developed an approach that would accommodate all 2020 interns. The purpose of our internship program is to inspire diversity by casting our net to a broad talent pool, so we can be more innovative, more inclusive and demonstrate who we are as a company.
While there was much unknown, and we weren’t experienced in running an all-virtual program, we believed it was the right thing to keep the internship program alive through the pandemic. We decided to take the chance.
We were able to keep 95% of our interns this year. Those who couldn’t join were offered a guaranteed fall 2020 or summer 2021 internship.
If you’ve got a chance to build that pipeline, take it, even if it feels unknown or like you’re taking a chance, stay with it. It will be a rewarding experience.
Don’t just identify talent – provide opportunities to develop. Identifying talent is one important step. Just as important is the next step – providing opportunities for growth and development.
Our internship program has created the opportunity for real career development. We spark connections through our mentorship program, inspire through our “inspirational Thursdays” with executive leaders and develop through our resume building workshop hosted by a recruiter.
Here is your chance to start. Maybe you have one or two interns. Maybe you have entry-level staff learning the industry. Maybe you are just now considering how to start.
Wherever you are, it’s all our responsibility to keep the talent pipeline strong, to create opportunities for diverse talent in our industry – so we can better serve our members.
Alicia Chaney is the campus program manager at CUNA Mutual Group.