Author Archives: Ron Ray

About Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

Big Banks vs. Community Banks

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In today’s world, increasingly more Americans are seeking out alternatives to big banks. Business Insider reports that 74% of Americans have “some or very little confidence” in large banks, while just 10% reported “a great deal of confidence.” Though smaller banks usually offer fewer conveniences (such as online banking and weekend hours), many make up for their small size with incentives, lower fees, and business-friendly solutions. They are also usually more engaged in their local communities.

When deciding which financial institution will meet your needs, consider the pros and cons of big banks, small banks, and credit unions and how they fit you or your business’ needs.

Accessibility

Big banks offer plenty of ATMs and branches, as well as attractive hours. Though smaller banks have a more limited selection, many will reimburse ATM fees for their customers. Also, more and more small banks and credit unions offer solutions for customers on the go. Mobile apps can help you find a nearby ATM, and growing technology means that more people no longer need to visit a branch for their daily transactions.

Fees

From monthly maintenance to overdraft fees, it’s important to consider how much a bank could cost you. According to money-rates.com, the typical customer at leading banks pays nearly $150 per year in checking account fees. Credit unions and smaller banks have less overhead, so they are able to pass on savings and lower fees to customers. More than 70% of the largest credit unions offer free checking, compared to 39% of banks, according to Bankrate.com.

Lending Flexibility

Big banks want to do business with big clients. Experts agree that community banks are the best option for both personal and business loans. The Washington Post reports that community banks are in a better position than larger institutions to set their own guidelines, and Bankrate reports that community banks are often positioned to offer more commercial loans than big banks.

Are you looking for a small bank or credit union in your neighborhood? Since we’ve been directly working with most of them in the South since 1981, let us be a resource. Call me and I’ll let you know which ones to contact!

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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The BCSS: Better Testing, Better Customer Service

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Providing excellent customer service is essential in today’s banking industry. But hiring employees who will develop and maintain customer loyalty can be daunting and time-consuming. It’s not easy to predict if a potential hire will be able to cross-sell products and services and handle customer complaints while being friendly and helpful at the same time. Often, during interviews, applicants try to look good by saying what they think employers want to hear. We take the frustration out of hiring with our Bank Customer Service Survey (BCSS) – a testing tool developed by psychologist Kurt G. Helm, Ph.D.

The BCSS evaluates a candidate’s ability to provide great customer service in a retail job setting. It tests applicants’ strengths and weaknesses, how friendly the individual is when working in sales, and how they deal with conflict situations. The test’s Results Report makes it easy for employers to make an informed decision about hiring, as well as placement and promotion. The test also provides customized training for each employee in a supplementary Developmental Report. This report provides personalized feedback and suggestions based personal audits of the candidates’ strength and weaknesses, and it includes specific training suggestions that can be used to improve an employees’ customer service style.

We’ve been using the BCSS for years as a trusted test that provides fast, convenient and accurate data. Designed for banks, this test is applicable to all businesses that want to save time and money by identifying applicants who are most likely to benefit from customer service training. For less than $10, employers receive an immediate Results Report, a Developmental report, free training for hiring manager and supervisors, as well as free telephone support. Contact us if you’d like more information about our screening and testing services, and visit the Testing page of our website to download more information about the BCSS.// <![CDATA[
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Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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Before the interview: How We Screen Our Job Seekers

Criminal-Background-Check

We like to take measured and holistic approach when it comes to finding the right employees for the job. Because we are looking for quality job seekers to match with our companies, we are careful about the candidates we place. This is why we have a thorough screening and testing procedures at Financial Professionals.

We implement a thorough national and state background screening for every employee that comes through our agency. This is not unusual; nowadays, background checks are very common in seeing whether or not employees are falsifying their applications. The Society for Human Resource Management reported that eight-seven percent of organizations conduct criminal background checks on a least some applicants. We verify if candidates have a criminal record, if they are who they say they are, and we look at their credit reports to get some insight on the candidate’s reliability and responsibility. After all, we want our employees to be responsible when it comes to handling other people’s finances.

In addition to background checks, we also give a series of tests to every person who comes through our agency. Each of these tests were designed strategically, so there’s no way for candidates to cheat the system. Our Bank Rely Test reveals employee’s work ethic, and is a good way to determine their punctuality and attendance record. The Work Attitude Questionnaire tests applicants’ attitudes toward theft and respect toward other people. It also flags checkered behavior, such as substance abuse and problems with anger management. The Bank Customer Service Survey tests a person’s strengths and weaknesses; how friendly the individual is when working in sales, and how they deal with conflict situations. The General Information Appraisal is a reliable gauge for testing one’s overall intelligence, including logic skills. Last but not least, the Teller Test, designed specifically for bank tellers, tests money math skills. We see how quickly these candidates answer the questions without a calculator. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a guide that helps prepare candidates. The results are out of job seekers’ control. But the good news for candidates is that if they’re honest, trustworthy and responsible, chances are they’re do well passing our tests and our screening process. The best advice we give is for employees to be relaxed and get a good night’s sleep before taking their test. The rest will fall into place.

Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information about our screening and testing services.

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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Top 3 Apps For Job Seeking

Everybody’s got an iPhone or an Android, which means everyone should get used to apps. Since they’re available for both phones, be sure to have the right apps that can help you find a job while you’re on the go. Here are three that I hope will lead you to the next interview (and maybe even us).

1. Facebook – See if your friends are talking about new opportunities, and don’t forget to follow the businesses you want to pursue. Financial Professionals is on Facebook for this very reason. Don’t forget to look and act professional.

2. Linkedin – Linkedin has a simple app you should check regularly. It’s no secret Linkedin is taking the lead for networking towards the next step.

3. Job Search by Indeed – Get rich input on any job happening in specific cities and markets. The Job Search app also has an alert function that you will find useful if you want to be first to get your resume in.

Download these apps, and you’re one step closer. Hope to see you in our office soon!

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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Get Your Fill: Job Searching Tips and Wayne Gretsky

I had to offer advice to a friend looking for a new job last week, when a quote caught my eye. It’s goes like this:

Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.
-Wayne Gretsky

Skates and sticks aside – when it comes to finding the right job, Gretsky’s words couldn’t be closer to the truth. Sometimes it’s not about holding out for the big “dream” position or financial institution you’ve had your sights on. Truth is, the marketplace is unpredictable, so its best if you feel out every option, and watch to see if your niche is a growing practice for your next employer. This applies to all skill types, from mortgage loan officers to accounting.

Get in line with the goal when your puck gets passed, take a look at Financial Professionals’ current direct hire jobs today.

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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Bitcoins Simplified

The bitcoin is a new type of currency that’s baffling to some, but the principle is already in use. We are already comfortable with swapping currency electronically through direct deposits and electronic bill pay — watching our bank account goes up and down with each transaction. We accept that currency exists even though we don’t hold it in our hands. Think of bitcoins in the same manner.

Bitcoins are a global, market-legitimized system designed to pay for goods and services outside government control. Bitcoin supporters hope this electronic system will replace government-legitimized currency, however no government accepts it as payment for taxes or debt. In reality, Bitcoins take control away from currency-issuing agencies, making it unlikely to replace our current system.

Bitcoin creators set total issuance at 21 million, with 11 million currently in circulation. One might think this limited virtual currency will increase in value with scarcity, but experience shows that limiting currency supply causes deflation in the cost of goods and services, rendering the currency worthless. Not the best recipe to support the lofty goal of replacing global currencies.

Some issues with bitcoins:

  • The will and means to exploit them exists, despite perceived anonymity in their use

  • A bitcoin transaction is permanent and consequences long outlast that of cash purchases

  • There’s a perception it’s safe from plagues of current monetary systems because it is virtual

  • Hackers have already caused major fluctuations in the bitcoin market

Proponents of bitcoins admit they are experimenting on a grand level and claim issues have been only one-off. As with most trends, there is a curiosity, but users will probably be hard-pressed to convince governments to accept bitcoins in lieu of nationally recognized tender. Unless bitcoins solve a major problem for consumers, it is unlikely to become more than a fad.

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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Welcome To Our First Post!

On behalf of the Financial Professionals team, I’m proud to introduce FPThink — our new blog of tips, thoughts, and interesting findings in the financial job industry. As a Dallas-based staffing agency, we are leaders in the field of recruiting and we focus on small community banks, accounting firms, and more financial organizations. We created FPThink to be a go-to source for clients and job candidates alike.

We will be delving into topics related to financial institutions in the South and beyond, and touch on helpful hints for job seekers. We hope you find the journey as insightful and engaging as we do. To stay up-to-date on the latest FPthink pieces follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook.

Also, don’t forget to visit fpstaff.net to find out more about us!

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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