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Hiring for Culture – It Takes Some IMAZination

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BY KENNETH C. BATOR

When hiring new staff, does your credit union exude an environment of pure imagination and fun? If not, you might want to take a cue from Mazuma Credit Union. Its commitment to exposing the core of who it is as an organization is taking the drudgery out of the hiring process.

Hiring is tough today. At least it seems more difficult. Or is it, really? Maybe if we truly know who we are as an organization, and use the right tools available to us to attract talent, it isn’t as much of a chore as we thought.

brandon-michaels-ceo-mazuma-cu
Brandon Michaels, CEO, Mazuma CU

That is exactly what Mazuma Credit Union is doing. Mazuma is not just another credit union. It’s a Kansas City institution. I’m not talking about only a “financial institution” but a staple in the KC metro area like the Chiefs or great barbecue. According to the CU’s website, Mazuma even “bleeds barbecue ribs.” I’m not sure if that sounds tasty or painful to me but it definitely speaks to the passion Mazuma has to serving the Kansas City community.

I had the pleasure of speaking with the CEO, Brandon Michaels, about that passion recently. The first exposure I had to Mazuma Credit Union was a post by Brandon that I happened to come across on LinkedIn. That posting was a want-ad for a Chief Culture Officer. In a world where some credit union CEOs shun all social media as if it were the Zika virus, here’s an executive embracing it to search for new talent. After I read the post and noticed that it was written in a fun and well-branded way (instead of the usual boring we-all-have-a-stick-firmly-planted-up-our-rectums-at-this-business tone that I see from most hiring ads), I thought, “This is a guy I need to talk to.”

The first question I asked Brandon was about that ad and why he chose to post it via LinkedIn Pulse. His response was refreshing to say the least. “LinkedIn is a business platform for networking. So why wouldn’t you post the ad on LinkedIn?” Brandon continued, “In fact all of the candidates we have had (for the Chief Culture Officer position), and we have [had] some pretty darn good ones, have come from LinkedIn.”

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