Recruiting key staff and managing the risk of leaving: credit unions

Find out how to manage the risk caused by losing an important member of staff who holds vital information about your credit union.

A credit union should:

  • identify present and future staffing requirements (including volunteers and paid staff), and
  • plan for your recruitment and training needs

‘Key’ people hold vital information about the day-to-day running of an organisation. And they could be anyone working at your credit union, from volunteers to senior managers.

Depending on key people too heavily can cause problems, as they may leave or be unable to carry out their duties for a while. This is called ‘key-person risk’.

Here are steps you can take to manage this risk.

Identify the key people in your credit union

Start by identifying who the key people are. Think about:

  • what skills they have
  • what kind of knowledge they hold about the organisation
  • what experience they have
  • who they know outside the organisation

Then consider what could happen if they leave; how would this affect your credit union?

Recruiting key people

Plan how to recruit replacements. This could include:

  • reviewing your membership for suitable candidates
  • contacting local higher educational institutions to offer placements
  • appealing to local businesses for staff with relevant experience

Protect your credit union

Manage documents

Keep important documents such as:

  • board minutes (and minutes for all important meetings)
    • minutes should contain options considered, rationale for choice, sufficient details
  • documentation showing evidence of the system of controls
  • business contingency plans
  • policy and procedures manual
  • business plans, action plans and risk maps
  • strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analyses
  • comprehensive office manuals with step-by-step instructions on how, when and by whom each task is completed

There is more detailed information on this in the legislation.

Keeping good minutes

Ask why do you record minutes? If you need to review something then are you confident your minutes will provide:

  • sufficient details
  • options considered
  • rationale for choice

Train staff

Train staff to learn the skills you have identified, spreading the skills more widely.

Test staff

Test staff regularly on their understanding of important areas of the business.

Share responsibilities

Encourage staff to share responsibilities, for example by:

  • rotating roles or
  • shadowing colleagues
  • training staff to be muti-skilled where appropriate

Get support

A credit union forum or trade body may be able to offer experience and support.