Partnering with a community college to increase employee diversity and provide students with meaningful work experience
ESL Federal Credit Union recognizes that its employee base must reflect the demographics of the surrounding community to better serve its members. However, like many companies, ESL faces challenges hiring and retaining employees from diverse backgrounds at all levels of the organization. As a nationally recognized “Great Place to Work”, ESL wants to change this.
To create a pipeline of diverse candidates, ESL joined the Talent Rewire Innovation Lab and launched a new “earn and learn” program in partnership with Monroe Community College (MCC). The program focuses on MCC students from underrepresented backgrounds in the financial services industry. Each student receives a $2,000 annual scholarship (for a maximum of two years) and is hired as a teller at ESL with a flexible schedule to accommodate their school schedule.
ESL intentionally designed their pilot to create a network of support for the students. The company provides participating students coaching, mentorship, and professional development training, while MCC provides the services of a resource navigator to help students find the resources they need for a successful experience. Another interesting design element is the opportunity for students to explore various roles at ESL after one year to match their career interests, which may include roles in marketing and human resources.
The first cohort of five students began in January 2018. After seven months, all but one student was retained in the program, resulting in 80% retention. This was the goal ESL was striving for as it is higher than the first-year retention rate for tellers. While the program demands more flexibility from branch managers, ultimately they are committed to working with the students to help them realize their professional goals. And they do see benefits. The program has provided extra coverage in the branches on Fridays and Saturdays — days which align well with students’ class schedules.
ESL has started recruiting for their next cohort of students in partnership with MCC.
This project brought to you in part by
- Talent Rewire’s Innovation Labs are the most promising approach I’ve seen for engaging and supporting employers who are changing their practices to respond to shifting demographics to meet their talent needs. This team is doing impressive, systems-changing work. Gap Inc. started This Way Ahead more than 10 years ago to hire and retain Opportunity Youth. We are still innovating and evolving our program today, and have collaborated with Talent Rewire to share our practices with other employers, keep learning, and stay connected to -- and inspired by -- the larger movement of employers engaged in this work.
Executive Director of Community Leadership
- This strategic partnership with Monroe Community College will enhance ESL’s commitment to developing, promoting, and retaining a talented, diverse workforce. It will benefit talented students from a variety of backgrounds who are interested in earning scholarship dollars, internship credit, and part-time employment with ESL — all while earning their associate’s degrees.
ESL Federal Credit Union
- The Innovation Lab has been like an accelerator to this process, forcing us to intentionally invest in partnerships and connecting us with valuable support resources. There is no way that we would be where we are today with regards to supporting impact hires without the Lab journey.
SVP of People
- According to the ILO Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017 report, one-third of the world’s young people are not engaged in employment, education or training, which can dramatically impact their skills development, earning capacity, long-term employability and wellbeing. As a major employer of young people, McDonald’s has the potential and the scale to help bridge this opportunity gap.
Executive Vice President, Global Chief People Officer
- We were losing some of our best people because of financial insecurity. So we decided to do something about it. With access to emergency loans, our employees can better able take care of pressing needs in their personal lives while building credit. In return, our company experiences reduced absenteeism, higher morale, and more focused employees. Income Advance helps us demonstrate our commitment to our employees’ well-being.
- Open Hiring may feel risky to some employers. But in my mind, the real risk is in not doing Open Hiring. Employers always need to be exploring new paths for acquiring talent if they expect to grow their business.
CEO and President