WINDSOR, Conn. (4/12/11)--Credit unions hoping to attract young talent will need to change their recruiting strategies if they want Gen X and Y job seekers to apply for job openings. According to a new study, Gen X and Y job seekers have values that align with a financial services profession--but their perceptions of financial services get in the way. Younger generation job seekers have a disconnect related to financial services jobs, said LIMRA Distribution Research, a research, consulting and professional development organization for insurance and financial services companies, which conducted focus groups and surveys of recruiters in the industry. Generations X and Y job seekers, when asked if they are interested in a financial services sales position, say no. However, almost all say "yes," when asked if they are interested in working in a stable industry with lots of growth potential and opportunities to make a difference in people's lives--something the financial services industry provides. "Gen X and Y job seekers have some real misperceptions about the financial services industry and the image of a sales person within the industry," said Polly Painter Eggers, analyst with the company. "Strikingly, the core values that these job seekers profess are the same attributes of the financial services industry. While some of the divide can be overcome by better communication, there are opportunities for companies to adapt their recruiting strategy to attract more candidates," she added. The financial services industry has one of the most rigorous recruiting processes to help the candidate and the company determine how well they fit together, and the process works well with those who use it, LIMRA said. It found 85% of financial representatives are extremely satisfied with their choice of profession, and 66% would highly recommended their profession to young job seekers. However, the industry isn't attracting as many viable candidates as it could. LIMRA's study of 272 recruiters in the iindustry indicates that many companies have held on to traditional recruiting and compensation structures that, while popular with Baby Boomers, have not attracted the younger job seekers. For example, Gen X and Y job seekers surveyed said they value stability and security over the potential for making a lot of money. However, industry recruits still use the opportunity to make money and the lifestyle that follows to sweeten the pot. The younger generations network online--both personally and professionally--and expect the latest technological tools at their disposal to help them communicate with their network. Many companies are slow to adopt new technologies. As a result, industry recruiters describe building a network in the traditional sense, through social events and other contacts. Mostly, Gen X and Y job seekers are interested in being a part of a team that they feel will make a difference in their world. However, recruiters tend to emphasize the individual aspects of sales and the ability to "be your own boss"-- not the team element. "We know that many of these disconnects are just a lack of understanding by both the job seekers and the recruiters," said Painter Eggers. "Most industry sales positions have significant support through their field managers and other staff support. And while the first five years may be challenging, agents who make it through stay on the job because the industry offers the stability and security second to none." Recruiters who align their message with the job qualities valued by the younger generations will be most successful in overcoming the preconceived ideas about the industry and attract people to a position that is both personally satisfying and financially rewarding," she added. LIMRA serves more than 850 companies in 73 countries, helping them increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness.