Updated: Nov 3
A Texas-based credit union turned to PXT Select™ to create a workforce that grows with its membership.
A+ Credit Federal Credit Union is the 14th largest credit union in Texas and the 188th largest in the United States. This organization services over 155,000 members and operates as a member-owned, not-for-profit entity. In the early 2010s, A+ Federal Credit Union started to experience rapid growth and faced new challenges with its expansion.
Part of the growing pains was high turnover and inconsistency with the quality of candidates. They struggled to find the right people and needed a solution that would scale across their multiple locations. Leaders benchmarked key attributes in roles utilizing PXT Select™ and worked with their recruiting team to ensure that both incumbents and external candidates had the soft skills needed to succeed at this organization.
As the Talent Acquisition Coordinator at A+, Alice Pinkham and the Recruiting Team can now consistently deliver candidates that develop into top performers.
With more than 27 years at A+ Federal Credit Union and multitudes of experience in a variety of talent management roles, Alice has seen the credit union blossom to 22 branches with 400 employees and more than $1.5 billion dollars in assets.
PXT SELECT™ HELPS FIND CULTURAL FIT
A foundation of A+ Federal Credit Union’s talent management strategy is incorporating PXT Select in the selection, development, and succession planning processes. Amid the high growth and subsequent high turnover, the A+ Federal Credit Union team discovered the power behind benchmarking what attributes their members raved about and meshed well within the unique member-owned, not-for-profit organization.
“At A+ Federal Credit Union we have a very specific culture, and a specific type of person we are looking for within the organization,” Pinkham said. “We weren’t finding that for one reason or another. It just wasn’t working out.” A+ made the decision to reach out to the PXT Select™ Team. “Together, with the client service division, we incorporated PXT Select so we could target people who would provide the right fit within the culture and job expectations.”
Initially, as A+ Federal Credit Union began
to incorporate the selection assessment into their hiring and recruiting process, only a few leadership positions were assessed for job fit. They experienced better fit for critical jobs but still struggled with turnover and scalability within other roles in the organization. To solve this problem, Pinkham and her teammates facilitated a much wider adoption of the PXT Select assessment that allowed A+ Federal Credit Union to identify the specific culture and person they were looking to take their organization through its next phase of growth.
Pinkham recalled one recent instance where PXT Select proved invaluable. A+ had an opening on the lending side of the business, and the ideal candidate would be someone who could work with a lot of data and spreadsheets, all in financial services. They had little luck finding someone, internally or externally, for the role. The people with those skills weren’t looking for an entry-level role or entry-level paycheck. Meanwhile, recent college graduates didn’t have an established background in doing the work. After receiving a recommendation from one such college grad, Pinkham and the A+ Team decided to take a chance and bring her in—but first, their candidate was given the PXT Select assessment.
“She didn’t have the financial experience we were looking for,” Pinkham said. “But her assessment had her in the range for the position. We brought her in as an intern for six months. She’s been very successful in that role. I know a lot of our hiring managers for the entry-level are looking at attitude. You can train people on the technical side to learn the skills that are necessary, but it’s the attitude you need to be successful here at A+ Federal Credit Union.”
ENGAGEMENT INCREASES WITH WIDER ADOPTION
PXT Select has also helped the Recruiting Team deliver candidates that can easily be motivated internally and find fulfillment in their jobs. As a result, the internal engagement numbers show that PXT Select is working, particularly among new employees. Over a three-year period, A+ saw a marked reduction year over year in turnover. The first six months of employment are important because historical data shows that employees decide early whether they’re going to stay at a new job, sometimes as early as the first week. And about a third of new employees leave a new job after six months, often citing a lack of engagement.
While a position’s attributes will vary among organizations, Pinkham has found that benchmarking and creating performance models with the PXT Select assessment has
been the most predictive of successful long-term placement and delivers a scalable process to bring in great candidates consistently across A+ Federal Credit Union’s multiple locations.
“We’ve found that if a candidate is on the outside of the performance model range, it’s an important indicator they might have trouble in the role,” she said. “Especially in our entry-level roles, there is a lot of material they have to learn. It’s not hard; it’s just a lot in a short period of time from numbers to regulations in which accuracy is key. New hires need to be able to adapt really quickly. Problem-solving is a critical skill set, so we look more closely at Thinking Style to make sure they are set up for success in the role.”
AN EYE TOWARD THE FUTURE
It's a fast-paced environment and those that meet the performance model onboard quickly in their new roles thrive for years to come.
On a personal note, Pinkham shared she experienced the power of benchmarking firsthand. In Alice’s many different roles she came to realize that while the company was challenging her—and she was challenging herself—with each new role she was able to stay engaged, learn and grow with A+ Federal Credit Union.
It’s one of the reasons she’s stayed at A+.
“Culture is critical,” Pinkam expressed. “And looking for employees that can be intrinsically motivated is the key to A+’s success and impressive growth. I’m a big believer in PXT Select to help us do that.”
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