KANSAS CITY, Mo.-When $476-million Mazuma CU had nine positions to fill, it wanted to let potential applicants know exactly what they were getting into-as it does not regard itself as having the "typical banking environment."

Instead of the usual one-way sales pitch, Matt Monge, chief culture officer, said it was just as important for candidates to figure out if Mazuma is a good fit for them as it is for Mazuma to examine the people.

Even the fact it was called an "Interview Fair" rather than a "Job Fair" was a hint something unusual was going on, Monge told Credit Union Journal.

"We were trying to think of things we could try to get people in the door," he said. "It had been three or four years since there was any type of job fair. This was interesting to me, because those are automatic at many organizations."

The distance gave Mazuma the ability to look at hiring as a blank slate and build from scratch, Monge continued.

"We wanted to think differently. We wanted to look at the people, but we wanted them to get a look at us. We wanted them to see our values in action."

Of the nine open positions, not all were filled during the Interview Fair, but Monge said Mazuma CU did get "a number of qualified folks," and was able to set up several second interviews.

The Interview Fair took place on a Friday at the credit union's main office. "Make Friday Count" handouts and posters were placed at its nine branch locations and distributed at local Kansas City area colleges and universities. In addition, Mazuma utilized its website with a special "Make Friday Count" banner, which redirected online visitors and members to a special careers landing page.

According to Monge, the Interview Fair was a success for a few notable reasons. For starters, CEO Brandon Michaels laid down a challenge to not spend any money on advertising.

"We used all the free resources we could, especially social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn," Monge said.

Twitter was particularly useful, he said, as Mazuma has a main feed plus a team feed, plus hashtags. "I have a lot of followers, so I used my Twitter account also. Then it was a matter of telling people in the community we knew, at TV/radio stations. Sometimes they mentioned us, some did not. A chunk was just regular word of mouth. People read a tweet and told their friends."

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