Posted by Mr. Marcus Cotton, VP Executive Recruiting, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 10/24/2014

Think about it.  When you are ill, do you diagnose yourself and prescribe yourself medication?  NO, you see a doctor.  When you are in legal trouble or need legal assistance, do you represent yourself in the court of law?  NO, you hire an attorney.  When you bought or sold your last home, did you handle the transaction yourself, or did you use a realtor?

So the question is, why when it comes to the most important thing in your life, your job/career, do you not consult with an expert in the field and have them assist you?  This is how you take care of your family, add purpose to your life and provide yourself with peace of mind.  This is not the time to take matters into your own hands.  Everyone needs a good recruiter!  It is the best advice I will ever give a career driven individual.

A solid relationship with a recruiter is an excellent way for you to keep your eyes and ears open in the market.  They can provide you with opportunities through their networks that you may never hear about or know were available.  Did you know that 1/3 of all open positions are never made public; a good reason to have a recruiter.  It’s an excellent way to be in the know.  Recruiters will also provide you with more information than what is provided in an advertisement or job description.  They can give you insight on the company culture, the reasoning behind why the position is available and valuable background information on the hiring manager such as where they went to school, work history; all the way down to their favorite sports and foods.  Keep in mind, it is not the most qualified who gets the job, it is the most prepared – the one that has the most information.  A good recruiter will provide you with the inside information that will clearly give you an advantage.  Let me give you an example.  If you ever have an interview with Dick Ensweiler, CEO of Cornerstone Credit Union League, brush up on your knowledge of baseball and know what is currently going on in the Major League.  This is a sure way to break the ice and encourage a relaxed dialog.  You see, Dick is an avid baseball fan.  Do you think this inside information will be beneficial if you every have a face-to-face interview with him….. ABSOLUTELY!

Another benefit of working with a recruiter is what they do before and after an interview.  Prior to an interview a thorough recruiter will “prep” you for the meeting.  Letting you know what to expect from the moment you walk through the door.  Recruiting professionals take the element of surprise out of the equation.  Can you imagine going into an interview and knowing what the environment looks like, the appearance of who you will be meeting with, the questions that will be asked and the key responses they want to hear.  Now that is power!  Who is in control now – you are.

I have one last question for you.  Have you ever submitted a resume, completed an application or went on an interview and NEVER HEARD ANYTHING BACK?  How did that make you feel?  By working with a recruiter, you have an inside line of communication with the hiring manager.  Recruiters are able to follow-up on your resume and provide you status updates.  After an interview they speak directly with the hiring authorities to obtain feedback.  This is feedback that can be shared with you.  This not only allows you to close the chapter and focus your job search on other opportunities, but it also provides you with information that can be  used to improve your resume and interviewing techniques.  Feedback lets you know what went right and what when wrong in that interviewing setting.  That is providing value.  That is what a recruiter does.  They provide value to one of the most critical processes in your career.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  I could speak for hours on the benefits of working with a recruiter.  If you would like to learn more and are serious about your career, give me a call at 832-200-8714.  Start that relationship with a recruiter that will bring value to your career growth.

Categories: Education & Training, Human Resources
Posted by Brian McCue, VP Remote Transaction Resources, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 10/22/2014

The number of smartphones in the US is growing exponentially and Americans take them everywhere. Cell phones have evolved from call/text/email to small mobile computers. For years cell phones have been getting smaller, but this is changing due to our reliance on them. They are called Phablets, the mix of phone and tablet!  

Consumers understand the importance of securing their computers but they don’t realize the potential threats to their cell phones. "People can get themselves into trouble because they have a different relationship with their phone than their computer," says Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security Response. "Anyone you sleep with, you tend to trust, and over half the people sleep with their phones."

As consumers become more comfortable using smartphones, they will build that trust with the phone. And very quickly they will start accessing sensitive business and/or personal/private data (financial and medical) and more. Since the phone goes everywhere, the odds of it being lost, stolen or compromised are very high.

As much as we have come to depend on our mobile phones, we are not doing much to protect them. Here is a helpful article from Consumer Reports: 5 steps to protect your smart phone from theft or loss (Also learn what to do when your phone goes missing and when you get it back).

Tips to protect your smartphone

  • Add a password to your phone
  • Buy an app that will track and report the location
  • Download the updates for your phone
  • Avoid storing sensitive information
  • Don't auto-save your user name and passwords
  • Use better passwords
  • Use a cloud backup service
  • Be careful with email/text links (don't be click happy)
  • Don't allow automatic Wi-Fi connections
  • Check privacy settings on your apps
  • Before installing apps, read their reviews (Here’s a bad app)
  • Wipe your mobile device before you donate
  • Protect your phone from viruses/malware
  • Report any suspected fraud to your credit union immediately

Before you and your phone go to bed tonight, make sure you have the proper protection!

Categories: Remote Transaction, Sales & Service
Posted by Mr. Bob Rehm, CUDE, VP, Sales and Service, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 10/20/2014

A few months ago I wrote in this blog about the possibility of connecting credit unions with a homeless shelter where I volunteer.  The idea was to determine how credit unions are, or could be, part of a solution to provide homeless people the foundational help they need to get back into a more stable lifestyle.

Fast forward to today where I have learned of a credit union in Dallas that is doing just that – City Credit Union.  City’s CEO, Sharon Moore has appointed an ambassador to the community - D Newkirk, whose title is Community Development Coordinator.  D works in many ways to provide educational support for the members of the credit union and the people of Dallas, including the homeless. D and City CU have been working with a mission in Dallas to provide important services, including a financial literacy program, More Than Budgets.

Texas Christian University professor, Dr. Dawn Elliot, developed the More Than Budgets program, which is offered through several outreach programs in the DFW area.  A personal financial training program for low income families, More Than Budgets provides tools in basic money management to help clients improve spending habits, gain access to financial resources and reduce their financial vulnerabilities.

So, we made the connection!  Beginning in January, D will facilitate the six-week More Than Budgets program for certain clients of Austin Street Center near downtown Dallas.

A little background on Austin Street Center:  The center provides an evening meal, a place to sleep and breakfast to about 400 men and women every night.   In addition, they offer medical, dental and other services during the day for our neighbors in need.

Where we are getting involved is through the center’s program for people on the rebound who have a job or are able to work – The Pathway House.  At Pathway House people have a place to live while they get back on their feet.  The program requires the clients to do certain things, one of which is to take a financial literacy class.  That’s where D comes in.  He has been conducting More Than Budgets classes at another Dallas-area shelter and will now begin providing that service to Pathway House clients.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, homelessness happens to ordinary people. You see it in your credit union – sometimes bad things happen to good people.  Let’s keep the conversation going.  If your credit union is involved with a shelter or related outreach, I would like to hear from you.

Stay tuned; I will report back in this blog on the MTB program as we roll it out at Pathway House.

Categories: Education & Training
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