Culture is all about finding the right fit at Consumer’s Credit Union.
CONSUMERS CREDIT UNION; KALAMAZOO, MI | Regular cookouts, gift exchanges, football tailgates, and charity walks are all a way of life for an employee at Consumer’s Credit Union. “The best part about working here is definitely the atmosphere—and our CEO’s grilled chicken, which really is amazing,” says Shawn Premer, Chief Human Resources Officer.
CEO Kit Snyder, though well known for his barbeque ability, is also the inspiration for the team’s collective strength and synergy. “Our CEO has been our leader for 34 years and is the driver of our culture. The executive team members are really the keepers and the ambassadors, but he has had this philosophy for his entire tenure with the credit union. When he was hired, there were four people, now we’re almost 300,” says Premer.
Averaging 18 percent annual growth for 30 consecutive years, Consumer’s Credit Union regularly hires new team members. “It all starts with the hiring process. It really has been the key to providing a workplace of camaraderie, friendship, and fun because we hire for culture first. We will absolutely leave a position unfilled if we don’t find the right fit. We hire for attitude, train for skill,” explains Premer.
To fill each position, the credit union mounts a search for someone who lives and breathes the company’s values of honesty, authenticity, and servant-leadership. Each applicant is screened by behavior professionals well before they ever sit across the desk from a hiring manager.
After determining that a candidate’s core values align with the credit union, one final hurdle must be cleared. Before starting their new career, prospective employees are observed in a realistic job shadow. The purpose is to observe how each individual interacts with both coworkers and clients alike. This allows the company to see beyond an applicant’s interviewing skills to get a sense of their fit in the workplace and on the team.
After such a rigorous process, those that prove to be a natural fit can finally relax. “It all begins the morning of day one. Everyone is cracking jokes; it’s all handshakes and first names,” says Permer, “New employees will get to learn our history and goals, but the atmosphere is guaranteed to be fun and upbeat because we already know they will fit right in.”