I arrived at Stockport Credit Union last autumn with a remit to modernise and grow the business. At that time, I thought I was dealing with a normal transformational project; little did I know that within six months a health crisis would arrive which would test us to the extreme.
Difficult as the crisis has been, it has in some ways also helped us. We have had to modernise our IT to enable new ways of working. We have had to adapt to new situations (such as home working) and we have had to improve our product offering and customer service. I have no doubt that it has speeded up our journey of modernisation and am equally sure that this is a good thing.
With the easing of lockdown, it is now time to plan for the next phase. We believe that the services of our credit union will soon be needed more than ever, as the likely economic downturn gathers pace. We need to protect and help our members and find ways of demonstrating to new members that what we have is special.
To do this, we need to enlarge our team. Credit unions are run on a very tight budget, and smaller ones such as ours always rely on assistance from volunteers as it takes economies of scale to produce enough income to cover anything other than a small core team of paid staff. Some of our expansion then will need to be from volunteers, with one paid role being added too.
An early priority for me has been to step up our marketing and social media work and we have had some early success with this; we are certainly now being told that our profile is higher than it has been previously. However, there is much more that we can do. I have a vision of our credit union being at the cutting edge of marketing and social media work. I want to engage our existing and future membership with innovative, attractive, noticeable material and I want that to be of a calibre which draws lots of new members in. In short, I want to use it to grow the business.
We plan to get together a small team of volunteers, each with specialism in a certain area. Perhaps you would like to be one of our researchers, seeking out great material from other financial services firms which can be adapted for our own use. Perhaps you have skills in video-making; we want to explore all of the opportunities which video enables, be it via established medium such as YouTube, or from newer entrants such as TikTok. Perhaps you have experience in managing social media accounts and could do some tweeting for us, or manage our Facebook page? Perhaps you have lots of creative ideas which others in this team can interpret for you.
The skills and aptitudes of the people that come forward will dictate exactly how the team looks, but our Business Development Manager Clare has already begun to establish this team and is keen to hear from you. Clare will oversee this team as it develops.
We are also going to recruit a Finance Manager. The work this 3-days a week role covers has previously been undertaken by our volunteer treasurer, but it is time for this role to become a formal salaried position. This role will cover a range of activities, including overseeing our credit control work, which will likely gain prominence if we experience an economic downturn as anticipated. It will be one of three operational managerial roles within the credit union and will report directly to me. It is a great opportunity to help shape the financial future of the organisation and, in so doing, help support the lives of people across the borough. We do not have a big salary budget, but we can provide a very flexible approach to working and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your work is providing social good. How many roles truly do that? We’re also a fun team to work with.
Our Treasurer has decided that it is time to retire and is looking to stand down in the autumn. We therefore need a new Treasurer and that person will also be part of our volunteer Board of Directors. We have recently refreshed our Board and we believe we have a fantastic group of people for our next Treasurer to work alongside. The Treasurer that we recruit will also work closely with the new Finance Manager so these two people together can forge a new way of operating.
Finally, our Audit Committee (whose role it is to ensure that we maintain appropriate standards given that we are a firm which is regulated) has a vacancy for a Lay Member. If you qualify for membership through our common bond (i.e. you live in the Borough of Stockport) and if you have skills, experience or interest in compliance and audit type work, then this could be the role for you.
We are at an exciting time in our evolution with a lot of change taking place, a real buzz to what we are doing, and some important work to do. Would you like to join us?
All of the vacancies are now live on our website. We look forward to your application.
Chief Executive Officer
3rd July 2020