The rise of the chatbot (and do you need one?)

Just 15 percent of community banks have already deployed chatbots with another 19 percent planning to invest and/or implement this year. The trend is obvious. The effectiveness, perhaps, is yet to be determined. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a useless chatbot, and, let’s face it, there are a lot of useless chatbots in the world. Don’t implement a chatbot simply because “everyone else is doing it.” Think about what you hope to accomplish and examine a chatbot’s features before making a decision. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Savanna Hendrickson

When The Bank of Tioga President David Grubb hired Savanna Hendrickson in 2015, he wasn’t necessarily looking for his successor. But over a half-dozen years, Hendrickson has proven herself through a willingness to tackle — and conquer — new challenges. Hendrickson, who’s been president of the $331 million North Dakota bank since the beginning of this year, is one of eight bankers recognized by BankBeat as a 2022 “Rising Star in Banking.” [Continue]

Why the data behind sales performance matters

Many industries will not hire a salesperson without an evaluation to determine the candidate’s skill level. While a robust resume or a smooth interview can easily impress, assessing actual skill levels can reveal critical tendencies and potential weaknesses that CEOs need to know before making a job offer. Banks realize that they need to know this same information about their current sales team. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Isaac Flenner

Efficiency, consistency and autonomy. For Isaac Flenner, director of equipment finance and small business lending at St. Cloud, Minn.-based Stearns Bank, those three nouns are the key components of both good customer service and a positive internal culture. Flenner, who has developed this approach over the last 17 years at Stearns Bank, is being recognized by BankBeat as a 2022 “Rising Star in Banking.” [Continue]

Considering ‘brand’ as a recruitment and retention tool

Bankers often think of the word “brand” in terms of customer acquisition, but when competition for talent is fierce, should recruitment branding be on their radar? Job seekers are increasingly turning to social media when looking for their next position. What can community banks do to stand out as employers of choice through deployment of their brand? [Continue]

Collaboration helping banks fill short-, long-term staffing needs

As community banks continue to grapple with a worker shortage, a micro-internship program is matching banks with college students and recent graduates to fill both short- and long-term needs. The BankTalentHQ micro-internship program, a collaborative effort between the career hub and business-to-business platform ParkerDewey, allows micro-interns to take on projects that would otherwise be handled by overloaded full-time employees. Those projects, which usually take 10-40 hours, can include creating content, data cleansing, generating leads, and other work. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Rich Eckert

Rich Eckert wasn’t planning to be a community banker. Only seven years ago, Eckert had no banking experience. His unexpected entry came through “a little bit of dumb luck,” said the 35-year-old president and CEO of the west-central Illinois Beardstown Savings Bank. The former college faculty member was leaving small-town Wisconsin and moving to where his wife was from as they started their family. From former president/CEO Travis Schroll, Eckert learned of an opening at what is now a $73 million bank. He started as a loan officer.  [Continue]

Is a digital dollar the future of currency?

In March, the White House directed several federal agencies to research the pros and cons of a digital dollar. This raises a host of questions for banks, particularly when it comes to deposits and loans, which, you know, are kind of a big deal. For the general public, I have to think the topic is just generally confusing. Digital payments have been with us for a long time, after all. The type of digital dollar being discussed by the Feds would look a lot to the consumer like the digital money banks move around right now. But the back end of how the money is exchanged would change. [Continue]

Rising Stars 2022: Nicole Evenson

“I’m very passionate about what I do, and I’m not going to not do it,” said Nicole Evenson to her future husband in 2016, once she’d decided to move to Garrison, N.D., to become an ag lender. Though the two had dated for just 10 days, she felt the need to be direct. Evenson relocated to the 1,500-person town a few months later in a move that would catalyze her career at TruCommunity Bank. [Continue]

What employees want

We have heard a lot about the Great Resignation; well, I just learned that all those people who are quitting their jobs are not necessarily happy with their decisions. Johnny Taylor, the president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, declared recently that 72 percent of those folks regret their decision. For those looking to attract or keep employees, he also offered insight into workforce desires. [Continue]