News – Asset HR

Succession Planning for Banks and Credit Unions

Succession planning is a vital process for any company, from a small business to a national manufacturing corporation. It’s important that employees are fully prepared when the time comes for the current leader(s) to leave their position(s), whether they resign, retire, or pass away. This is especially true for banks and credit unions.

These financial institutions rely on their strong leaders to guide day-to-day business and strategic planning; these leaders also play a critical role in the lives of bank investors and communities. Identifying and developing potential leaders (which are the two main steps in succession planning) for your bank or credit union will ensure your institution doesn’t suffer when it’s time to fill critical roles.

Why Succession Planning for Credit Unions and Banks Is Important

No matter how stable your organization’s leadership is, things happen. You may find yourself having to fill a managerial position or another critical role when you least expect it.

Oftentimes, when a CEO decides to step down, they announce their decision far in advance in order to give the company time to find a successor and prepare employees for the big change. Other times, illness may strike your leader(s), or perhaps an executive may be recruited by another company. In these cases, you will have very little time to fill the leadership position, and that gap can place you and your team at a significant disadvantage.

If an organization has overlooked or ignored succession planning, the board may find themselves scrambling to find someone to step into the position. It’s important to avoid this at all costs since making the wrong choice can have long-lasting consequences.

Creating a Plan for the Future

Succession planning for banks and credit unions doesn’t have to be a highly stressful process. In fact, it should be the opposite—succession planning should help ease tension by providing you and your employees with a plan for the future.

Succession planning isn’t necessarily about identifying the specific persons you would like to bring into the executive position. Although it’s never a bad idea to develop a shortlist of candidates, the main point of succession planning for credit unions and banks is to establish the best practices and processes for choosing the next person to fill a position.

The Succession Plan Process

Succession planning is never the same at every institution. Each bank or credit union has its own culture, its own set of ideals and principles, and its own strategy for the future. Still, the one factor that should make its way into every succession plan is communication, especially between the executives and the board.


Chief executive officers and other execs should be clear about their own career paths, particularly if they have a target date for leaving their position. This culture of open communication gives the board plenty of room to operate as well as scope for initiative in their succession planning.

Talent Development

The next step is to start considering potential hiring pools both internally and externally. In terms of internal candidates, there is likely already an existing pool of employees who have been groomed to assume key roles in the company when current employees leave, and these internal candidates should be vetted as potential replacements. As for candidates outside the organization, you can find these people by studying your competitors and using your contacts within the industry.

Other Options

Another piece of business to always keep in mind is the potential for mergers. For both institutions involved, a merger may make more financial sense than the replacement of an executive or executives. With a transaction like a merger or acquisition, companies can pool their financial and executive resources and make a new, more competitive organization. Trends in executive compensation can have a major impact on this strategy, so keep abreast of where compensation is headed.

Use Outside Resources

Finally, it’s always a good idea to consider consulting with an employment agency as part of your succession planning efforts. For recruiters, succession is the name of the game. They may have some insights into the process that could be extremely valuable to your bank or credit union, so you may want to engage their services as partners in your succession planning.

How to Think About the Legacy You Want to Leave

For any executives or board members reading this now, your legacy is an important part of your career. What mark do you want to leave on the organization? Sustained growth is one obvious goal, but an institution’s overall stability is just as honorable an achievement.

Succession planning is a way to help shape your legacy and to provide an outline for how you would like your time with an organization to be viewed. This isn’t just about shaping the past—it’s also about the direction the company will take in the future. Succession planning is about finding the right way forward so you can move on from your company with respect and the ultimate success.

Asset HR

At Asset HR, we offer support on HR and HCM capabilities. Our focus is on providing enterprise-level solutions with a family-focused level of support. When you call Asset HR, you’re not reaching a call center; instead, you’re speaking to one of our very own professionals. Our team is ready to answer all of your questions and provide you with solutions.

Recruiting Challenges and Solutions for Rural Organizations Looking to Grow

Recruiting in rural areas is a significant challenge for companies. While many businesses are headquartered in or have satellite locations scattered throughout rural areas, HR managers and recruiters still struggle to attract top-level talent.

Even as recently as a year ago, the unemployment gap between rural and urban populations was considerable. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of telecommuting, that rift has narrowed considerably, leaving both metro and rural businesses looking to rural markets to acquire competitive talent.

Today, the traditional hiring approach (or, post and pray recruiting method) is no longer practical when hiring in rural locations. To find highly qualified people for rural job openings, your company needs to consider other variables.

Here are our top four tips for recruiting the best talent for your business in a rural community!

Consider telecommuters

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a massive boon in remote work. Tapping into local companies as you create target lists is a great place to start, but don’t neglect professionals in rural locations who also telecommute. According to a study by Edelman Intelligence, freelancers make up 35% of the American workforce. Now more than ever, it’s easy to access a pool of deeply experienced and qualified freelance talent. Depending on the role you are filling, this can expand your talent search beyond the boundaries of your small town.

Consult with local institutions

Connect with local universities, chambers of commerce and other institutions related to the role you are seeking to fill. People in small towns tend to know each other on a more personal level and can help your business tap into their professional network.

Offer a robust benefits package

To attract high-quality talent to your organization, it’s also essential to offer an even more attractive benefits package. Are you willing to provide a competitive salary? Will you cover the cost of relocation expenses? Does your benefits package include top-level health insurance benefits, profit sharing and unlimited PTO? Rural companies often have to put in twice the effort of their urban competitors to entice candidates to consider the position.

Promote your community

Your candidate is not only buying into your organization but the community as well. Be ready to fields questions like average home prices in the area, local school ratings, and if the community offers ample outdoor recreation space like parks or lakes. These are all things that will help you sell the candidate on making a move to your area. To give your company serious consideration, candidates need to picture their home and work life in your community.

In a small town, a business’s reputation is their bond. Your company needs to be a positive force for the community. In time, you’ll become a trusted brand, and a business people want to work for.

Hiring for a rural position is no cakewalk. Using a cookie-cutter approach in your recruitment practices will ultimately result in too few candidates, more open positions and high turnover.

To be successful in your recruiting efforts, follow our tips and ensure your HR or recruiting professional has the expertise and perseverance to get the job done!

Right Partner, Right Platform, Right Sized

The situation: Trafera, formerly Trinity3, supplies K-12 schools nationwide with learning technology to connect in a virtual environment. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic ignited the demand to get devices in students’ hands and with it the need to support employees in new and challenging ways.

Our work: When Trafera first partnered with AssetHR, they had eight employees. In less than two years, the company ballooned to over 300 staff members through organic growth and mergers – equating to an astonishing 300% increase in employees all served on the isolved People Cloud.

As Trafera entered the final stages of their merger, they arrived at an impasse. Trinity3 was using isolved and FireFly was using another provider. A choice had to be made.

The results: There were arguments on both sides, but what tipped the scale was Trafera’s relationship with AssetHR. While we provide an enterprise-level technology system in our iSolved platform, the core of our business is our relationships and the family-level service we’re able to provide with our team. 

“There’s a level of service you get with AssetHR that you can’t get elsewhere,” said Bill Hansen, HR manager at Trafera, “When you know someone who can back up the technology, it sets them apart. With AssetHR, I have their work number, their cell number and that person answers the phone to the degree that I feel you are talking to isolved. They never say, ‘I need to check with isolved.’ They already know because they have studied and learned the system and stay educated as enhancements are rolled out. It’s as if we are talking to isolved, AssetHR is that deep in its product knowledge.”

Since the merger, Trafera’s HR department has adopted our enterprise-level technology solution for payroll, hiring, employee engagement, benefits administration, and open enrollment. 

At the encouragement of AssetHR, the next phase of growth will be to automate more HR processes to free up time and focus on people over burdensome processes.

Return on Relationships – The Gunnar Project

We pride ourselves on being relationship-focused, so much so that one of our core values is something we call ROR, or Return on Relationships. As part of this focus, we partner with multiple nonprofits that do good for the communities we serve.

One of those organizations is The Gunnar Project, which was founded by our friend and client Marc Miller. Learn more about the nonprofit and how they help kids across the United States create happiness in their own lives in the video below:

Fast Track, Fast Results, Fast Service

The situation: One Vision provides services for people with disabilities and their families, supporting them through a dedicated Children’s Autism Center, behavioral therapy, in-home support and services, 24/7 clinical care, and employment opportunities. The non-profit oversees employees across 36 company sites and they were looking to onboard a new HCM to keep up with their expanding operations.

Before working with AssetHR, the organization had few digital options for employees to self-serve and much of their HR work was done on paper. One Vision wanted their payroll, an electronic HRIS, time and attendance, an LMS housed in one location versus four separate systems.

Our work: AssetHR helped transition One Vision from paper and pen to electronic open enrollment. While it wasn’t easy to achieve employee buy-in at first, once they got into the system, the staff remarked how easy it was to fill out forms. With one click, the organization could pull reports and send reminders to complete benefits enrollment.

Instead of navigating a disjointed scheduling system, One Vision could view and manage who was scheduled and what open shifts were available across their 36 locations through one interface.

The implementation of our enterprise level human capital management platform, iSolved, gave One Vision the ability to move from reactive HR to strategic HR.

The results: In two short months, One Vision went from no employee portal to the implementation of our cloud-based systems for payroll, benefits administration and open enrollment with phased launches of time and attendance, learning management and other self-serve options for employees.

“This is just the beginning for One Vision and AssetHR,” said Cindy LeFebre-Westendorf, Chief Human Resources Officer at One Vision, “The next piece is Share & Perform to bring in the employee engagement and performance-review elements. To have something housed in one location and for it to be an interactive tool not only for employees but also supervisors, we are incredibly excited.”