Posted by Carmela McDermott, VP CUER, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 11/21/2014

After all the searching, all the interviewing you finally found the perfect person to join your team….OR so you think. Your next move is critical; check their references.  Most employers normally perform them but may not get the best information out of them. You just want to get them out of the way and you ask questions that really only validate what you want to hear.

What can you do to really know more about your candidate? As an employer, you must prepare your questions and plan that quality time to make the call! This could mean the difference between a good or bad hire. A big mistake would be to rush off to make a few calls to reinforce your opinion of the person. By knowing the qualities and skill set of the position and what the hiring manager or department manager is looking for in their next employee could be the difference in hiring the right person.  If possible have the Manager of the department perform the references. They have the most knowledge of what they are looking for, the type of person needed and they know the requirements of the position better than others. If you are the hiring person for your group, meet with the department manager to develop those reference questions together.

Another trick of the trade is to call people NOT on the candidate list (provided you do not jeopardize their current job).  This allows for a more truthful review of their work history as opposed to the “good” things the references will say. It’s also a good thing to use not only previous supervisors but even co-workers and staff that report to them.

Remember, you are calling to find out information about the person to make a Good hiring decision and not to validate your opinion. Be prepared, take notes and ask specific questions. Some examples include:

  1. Why did this person leave the company?
  2. How much direction did this person need?
  3. How well did they perform their job duties? How could they have improved?
  4. How did this person work in a team environment?
  5. What motivates this person?
  6. What their strongest accomplishment while working with your company?
  7. Is there any additional information that you would share?
  8. Would you consider this person eligible for re-hire? Why or why not.

 There are so many resources available to prepare your References Questions. Take the time and do it right OR start the whole process over

If you are looking for assistance with your staffing needs, please contact Credit Union Employment Resources ( and we can certainly help you out. You can contact me directly


Categories: Human Resources
Posted by Emily Maxie, Marketing Director, SIGNiX, Inc. on 11/20/2014

When I hear about data breaches, it’s easy to imagine a hacker sitting in a dark room with a pile of Red Bull cans and a keyboard. It’s easy to be ambivalent to that type of threat. Of course you’re afraid of being hacked, but you’re doing what you can to protect your credit union. 

tamper-evident-digital-signature-2But have you considered the threats you face from the people who work in the offices next to yours? A recent study found that insider threats make up about 23% of all cybercrime incidents. In fact, companies around the world lose $2.9 trillion to employee fraud each year, with $40 billion of just in the United States.

The True Cost of Fraud

The actual theft of money is only a small piece of the cost of fraud. Other costs include:

  • Costly Court Battles—The median contract dispute case costs $91,000.
  • Public Opinion—Fraud can ruin business deals and tarnish your reputation.
  • Regulatory Penalties—Regulatory bodies in various industries impose steep fines for fraud. In fact, earlier this year, the SEC fined Wells Fargo $5 million in a document tampering case.

The news is even worse for small business owners. Businesses with less than 100 employees suffered more costly fraud attempts than their larger counterparts. The average fraud scheme at a small business costs $154,00, compared to $100,000 for businesses with more than 1,000 employees. 


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Behavioral Red Flags

While there’s no surefire way to prevent fraud, there are some behavioral red flags to look out for. At least one of these “red flag” behaviors was seen before the scheme was discovered in 92% of fraud cases:

  • Living beyond their means
  • Financial difficulties
  • Unusually close relationships with vendors or clients
  • Unwillingness to share control of responsibilities
  • Displays a “wheeler dealer” attitude

"This is why the staff at any organization should be trained to recognize these and other common behavioral signs that a fraud might be occurring," said ACFE President James D. Ratley, CFE. "Moreover, they should be encouraged not to ignore such red flags, even when discovered by accident, as they might be the key to detecting or deterring a fraud." 

Detect Fraud Early

You might be tempted to ignore this information. The subject of fraud can be overwhelming, and it would be easy to go on living your life just like always. But that would be even more risky than doing nothing!

Research shows that the longer a scheme goes undetected, the more expensive it will be. When schemes last less than 7 months, they cost an average of $50,000. That number skyrockets to $985,000 for schemes that last more than 61 months. 

Tamper Protection: How it Works

Tamper-evident technology is one way to protect your credit union from fraud. This technology uses advanced cryptography to alert you if one of your documents has been tampered with. Here’s how it works:

  1. The digital signature service takes a snapshot of your document when you upload it into their system.
  2. The software keeps taking snapshots through the entire process.
  3. tamper-evident digital signatureOpen the completed document in any PDF reader to find out if it’s been tampered with.
  4. The PDF reader automatically tests authenticity by comparing the document you’re looking at to the last approved snapshot.
  5. If everything is the same, you’ll see a green checkmark icon at the top of the screen. That’s your signal that the document is tamper-free.
  6. If something has been changed, you’ll see a red X or a yellow exclamation point.

While it’s impossible to prevent fraud 100% of the time, using tamper-evident digital signature technology can help you detect fraud early. This will help you reduce your financial risk and can protect you from regulatory fines. 

Categories: Business Partners, Technology Consulting & Compliance
Posted by Mr. Doug Foister, Director of Research, Cornerstone Credit Union League on 11/19/2014

A while back, brand expert Mark Arnold detailed five reasons members typically leave a credit union - inconvenient location; being denied a loan; lack of demonstrated value; poor personal service; and shallow product and service offerings. Judging from the more than 200 member surveys the Cornerstone Research Department has conducted for credit unions, we believe Mark hit the nail on the head with his insights.

In hopes of understanding member retention even better, we decided to approach the issue from another perspective. In addition to asking why members leave their credit union, we thought we should ask why they love it. To get the answer, we examined survey comments provided by a sampling of extremely happy members. We hope these findings prove helpful as you seek to gain and keep loyal members. So, “straight from the member,” here’s what some highly enthusiastic people had to say. See what you can glean.

It was the BEST decision I EVER made to begin banking with you! The employees are like family to me! They eased my fears when my mail was stolen and changed my account so no information was compromised. They have made my "financial life" so much easier! God bless them!

Love the way the credit card has a low rate and no fee to phone in payments. Feels like the way places used to do business with the customer in mind. Not trying to jack the rates and get the customer. We appreciate it – thank you!

I love the credit union. Have had two home loans and two vehicle loans. Information and questions are always answered. I trust the employees to tell the truth and I appreciate member ownership. 

____ is wonderful. She is always available, willing and ready to answer questions or help in anyway. I really like the personal attention that she offers. Also, the fact that the tellers call you by name – this is an excellent attitude to have.

Been a member for over 35 years and have had very few problems. I love the online banking and bill pay and have used it since the very beginning. I had a few problems at first and ____ was so very helpful and solved the problem quickly. Great service is why I stay a loyal member.

The credit union is awesome. I love their annual dinner for the members. Everybody is so friendly, and most of all, when I purchased a new car this year I went over to the credit union to ask questions. The loan officer helped me out with all of my decision making; do's and don'ts, why not's; yes and no. She’s great. I had a good time there talking to her. She was very knowledgeable. She wears a great smile. 

Thank you for being there for me during some tough financial times. A lot of banks would not have helped me with loans (big or small) but you did. I love my credit union. Thanks everyone!!

My credit union is a great place to do business. They have gone beyond expectations and treated me better than most other financial institutions. Wouldn’t do business anywhere else. Thanks.

Categories: Marketing & Printing
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