Millennial at work

Millennials and the Financial Industry 2018: Growing Your Workforce and Client Base

Businesses everywhere are looking for ways to capitalize on the millennial generation.

Now in their mid-20s to mid-30s, millennials are primed to become the driving force of business growth as part of the workforce and client base.

The big question is, how can banks and credit unions attract millennials?

Time to get woke.

  • Appealing to a Younger Audience
  • Attracting Millennials to Your Financial Institution
  • How to Attract Millennials to Your Bank or Credit Union
  • What Do Millennials Want From Financial Institutions?
  • Developing a Recruiting Strategy

Appealing to a Younger Audience

In an industry dominated by the older working class, the industry must adapt to appeal to a younger audience that now represents a large portion of consumers and available workforce.

Most financial institutions, both local and national, have acknowledged the need to attract millennials by offering convenient solutions that fit their lifestyles, but they aren’t necessarily sure how to do it.

Few are on board with the need to attract millennials as employees, and that’s where the focus needs to be if your goal is to sustain continued business growth.

Including millennials as decision-makers can help bring insight into how younger generations are interacting with financial institutions and emerging technologies.

In the Bank Director’s 2018 Compensation Survey, 1 out of 4 bank executives reported dissatisfaction with their bank’s ability to attract and retain the talent necessary to ensure future success.

Bank executive future success

Percent of bank executives that are satisfied with their organization’s ability to attract and retain the talent needed to ensure future success.

Banks who are struggling to attract and retain millennial talent may be under the impression that the generation just doesn’t fit with the culture of financial institutions, or they may not see the benefit of hiring millennials.

Here’s why you need to attract this generation to your workforce and what you need to know about what they want from their employers.

Attracting Millennials to Your Financial Institution Will Secure Future Growth

The workforce is aging, and the industry isn’t training the next generation of executives like it used to, which should be cause for alarm.

Bringing on employees early in their careers and mentoring is the best way to ensure continued growth and success.

(As older executives retire, millennial employees will take their places. Does your organization have a succession plan in place?)

Additionally, if you’re looking to attract and cater to millennials as customers, who are better equipped to understand their needs than millennials themselves?

Millennials are the very people who will bring new ideas and innovation to the industry. In this digital age where fintech is widely built and used by millennials, this generation is crucial to the success of the industry. Today’s customers expect mobile applications that allow them to manage their finances online, and they turn to social media for support when they encounter problems.

To dive deeper into the reasons millennial employees are an asset to financial institutions, see Why Forward-Thinking Banks Need to Recruit Millennials.

The executives who say millennials just aren’t interested in working for a bank or credit union need to change their strategy and position their organization as environments where millennials want to work and grow.

How to Attract Millennials to Your Bank or Credit Union

The Bank Director Compensation Survey in 2016 revealed that only one-third of bank executives believed that their organization had a satisfactory plan for attracting millennials as employees. Another third said they were trying to recruit millennial talent but having trouble doing so. The remaining respondents said hiring Millennials wasn’t a current focus for them.

Within the past few years, many financial institutions have tried implementing new strategies to help change millennials’ perceptions.

The 2018 Bank Director Compensation Survey shows that about 83% of banks have changed their approach to attracting and retaining young talent.


What Banks are Doing to Attract Millennials in 2018What Banks are Doing to Attract Millennials in 2018

Those who want to attract Millennials but haven’t been successful agree upon two major reasons for their failure: they believe that millennials aren’t interested in working for a bank or credit union and consider the culture to be too traditional.

If your recruitment strategy is falling flat, consider using other tactics listed above. It’s important to act fast so your financial institution has a better chance of landing top millennial talent.

What Do Millennials Want From Financial Institutions?

The compensation strategies that banks and credit unions have relied on in the past decade to attract top talent may not work on millennials. For instance, a retirement plan may not be the most enticing perk for a millennial who is more interested in other incentives and benefits — such as helping them pay off their student loans or a quality work-life balance

Some financial institutions have been successful with bringing younger talent into their workforce, so what are they doing right?

The 2016 Bank Director survey results overwhelmingly favored comfortable culture and a clear path for advancement as the top two contributors to recruitment success.


What Millennials Want From Banks

What millennials want from banks


Millennials want to know they can grow in their careers. Firms who are providing the right incentives and clear paths for advancement are finding success in retaining and developing young talent.

Beyond that, millennials generally can’t be kept in a workplace by money alone; no doubt it’s important, but many millennials are looking for something more. Those that are talented can find that “something more” along with a competitive compensation package elsewhere if not at your financial institution.

A common sentiment among the millennial generation is wanting to be a part of a bigger cause, which may be why a strong company culture is a positive drawing point. Community banks or credit unions, in particular, may be a good fit for millennials looking to make a difference in the world; they are institutions that help their local communities prosper.

This fits right in with the desires of many millennials and should be highlighted in the millennial recruiting strategy.

(For more guidance on how to select compensation packages that match up with what employees value, see the article Know What Your Employees Want.)

Developing a Recruiting Strategy You Can Bank On

Along with building company cultures that make millennials feel at home, attracting and retaining millennial talent requires compensation packages that appeal to them and their specific desires.

If you’re not sure where to begin with creating compensation strategies that will attract and retain millennials, talking to an outside consultant who specializes in compensation can help.

Once you tackle attracting talented millennials to your financial institution, you’ll be able to reap the benefits this generation can contribute.

Want more insights on compensation and retention in the financial industry? You can download a free copy of the 2018 Bank Director Compensation Survey here!