The regional landscape in community banking is changing quite dramatically. For evidence of this, look no farther than the three significant acquisitions that were announced in North Carolina in the past several months: Capital Bank acquiring CommunityOne Bank, Yadkin Bank acquiring NewBridge Bank, and Bank of North Carolina acquiring High Point Bank. With regional and mid-sized banks continuing to look for asset growth and smaller banks looking for scale, 2016 is set up to be another strong year for bank mergers.
In these situations, good and talented people get displaced as a result of expense reduction and organizational restructuring. While the acquiring bank often retains talented producers, employees in redundant operational, credit, and management roles may be adversely impacted.
For banks looking to hire strong talent, this could create opportunities. Banks that have current needs should be looking for these opportunities over the next several months. Furthermore, even if banks do not have a current, budgeted need, they should consider looking at mid-to long-term goals and hiring opportunistically if the right people/situations arise. For instance, does your bank have a market expansion plan over the next 2 years that could be accelerated if the right person or team was available in targeted markets in the short term? Is there an opportunity to acquire strong talent for succession planning purposes? Remember, just because good producers retain their jobs, that does not necessarily mean they want to stay at the new combined company.
For candidates/employees, my guidance is to start your search process NOW! Your effort and pace may depend on how much you know about timing and your job situation at the new, combined bank. Perhaps that means reaching out quietly to those in your network or contacting a recruiting firm. Or maybe you know that your position will be affected and need to consider all options. The bottom line is this: there will be numerous talented people available in the marketplace with a dwindling number of banks to hire them. Be proactive, utilize your network, speak with a recruiting firm that you trust, look for opportunities online, consider complimentary industries, and make a list of potential employers. Don’t wait to get outrun by your competition.