Attracting and Retaining Skilled Employees

Sean O’Connor, First Vice President/Retirement Benefits 

With the current robust economy comes a tight job market. While that may be great for revenues, it also brings the added pressure of attracting and retaining skilled staff members. Whether you are trying to entice good workers to leave the jobs they have to join your firm or want current employees to stay, it takes a more than salary and a pleasant workplace. Having a good employee benefit plan helps make your case.

The Thing About Millennials

Millennials, the generation that is currently flooding workplaces as the pace of Baby Boomer retirements starts to percolate, may have a reputation for being swayed by the promise of an office foosball table and Taco Tuesdays, but that is not all they want. A key characteristic for this demographic is that they are savers, and many have already begun saving for retirement. As self-guided learners, they are already looking for more sophisticated strategies and advice on retiring. They want to be prepared to “win” retirement—and a potentially early retirement at that.

As an employer, this makes your plan, and its attractiveness in meeting your staff members’ long-term goals, even more critical to your company’s continued growth and expansion.

Closing the Gaps

As a wealth management firm, we have been creating and administering employee retirement plans for decades. That includes establishing, monitoring and administering defined contribution plans, or 401ks and 403Bs, for our business and municipal clients.

With a highly “seasoned” staff—some of us started our careers with larger global consulting firms and research groups—we have an unexpectedly deep bench when it comes to our in-house capability for structuring customized new employer plans for clients. We can also provide consultative services that lead to recommendations for strengthening the retirement plan you already have in place to make it more appealing to participants of all ages.

Easy Access to Answers

Recently, we’ve been making the biggest difference for our plan sponsor clients by bringing their plans up to the technological standards workers expect, especially those that are younger and tech savvy. Millennials, in particular, are information miners. They expect to find the answers they need to questions as they occur to them, online and through a mobile device. Then, they want to be able to contact a person for a one-on-one conversation. We accommodate that.

Through a variety of vendor relationships, we strive to create a seamless and intuitive experience for your plan participants. This enables them to trade online and access research on their own. It also provides the tools and apps that help them focus on achieving their financial wellness goals. Given our own community banking heritage, we are also available to take calls and meet on-site to address their questions and provide the educational assistance that enables participants to get the most out of their employer plan.

Investment Guidance

As a division within a commercial bank’s trust department, we also offer two more advantages. Fiduciary duty is part of our DNA. We are required by law to operate with fiduciary responsibility at every level of our business. This isn’t something new for us; it has always been part of our service.

Secondly, being a wealth management provider, we are also able to leverage the market research and investment knowledge of in-house experts to the advantage of your plan. That expertise can help in structuring the plan and choosing the most cost-effective investment options for you to offer. Beyond fund selection, the fact that we monitor markets and investments daily can lead to a quicker reaction to shifts in market and economic fundamentals. Many of our plan sponsor clients find that added responsiveness and proactive involvement relieves them of the extra responsibility and pressure to conduct their own monitoring and investment reviews.

We Simplify Plan Sponsors’ Lives

We also help keep compliance testing in line with ERISA compliance and monitor costs related to the investments and to the plan’s operation. After all, controlling costs creates more of a growth opportunity for participants. Although, we also recognize it isn’t always about the price. It’s about being able to deliver participants to their goals and providing plan sponsors with the services and support they need—from access to the best investment platforms to on-site education and consultations.

Whether you want to ensure your current plan remains competitive in today’s battle for workers or you think it’s time to add a plan, visit us here or, better yet, give us a call at 630-844-8655. We can help you stay competitive and keep your employees on track to achieve the retirement goals.

Old Second salutes our veterans on-staff

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Old Second would like to salute and thank several of our employees who are active or veteran military personnel. Read their bios below.


Alfred Vidrio

Currently I am a Second Lieutenant in charge of second Platoon in Joliet, Gold Company 634th BSB. I have been in the military for over three years. I have been in the Illinois Army National Guard since Aug. 9, 2012. In my entire time with the military, Old Second National Bank has been extremely supportive with me being stationed around the United States. Every time I come back, Old Second welcomes me with open arms and helps me find a position where I can use all my knowledge and military skills. Last year on October 5, 2014, I was activated for military training for several months. When I came back, Old Second welcomed me right away. Every time I have drill Old Second accommodates the dates I need so I can prepare and be there on time. While at Old Second, I have gone through OCS (Officer Candidate School), BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course) and a number of Annual Trainings. I feel extremely grateful that Old Second supports the military and does not hesitate to accommodate my military time.



Tammy Hankins

Tammy Hankins

After graduating High School in 1984 I decided to join the United States Marine Corp.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew that I wanted to be self-sufficient and be on my own.  I attended Boot Camp at Parris Island in South Carolina from November 1984 to January 1985. From there, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina while I attended school at Camp Johnson close by.  There I learned the details of the Admin Job I had posted for.  My Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) was 0121 Service Record Book clerk.  I remained at Camp Lejeune doing the various admin tasks assigned to me until a position opened up for someone with my MOS.  In February of 1986 I received orders to be transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC where I was assigned to H&HS 28.  My position required that I keep personnel records up to date for the service personnel in my squadron per the Marine Corp standards.  This required much attention to detail and has vastly helped me with the tasks under my responsibility here at Old Second.  While stationed at Cherry Point, I had the privilege and honor of meeting the now retired Commandant, General P.X. Kelly.  I left the service after my term expired in November 1988 as I was a single mother. I served during peace time and was not deployed overseas.  But since I was a single mother, at the time, I greatly appreciated that they allowed me to remain stateside.  I think serving in the Military was one of my greatest experiences.  I learned at a young age what it means to be a team.  When I was hired at Old Second in 1991, my manager told me that my military experience helped her to decide on me for the position.  Hard work, attention to detail and dedication is what I took away from the military and have applied to my position at Old Second.



Keith McIntosh

Keith McIntosh

On July 9, 1968, I had the proud honor of enlisting with the United States Air Force and 2 days after, I was in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. I was 19 years young and eager to learn and wanted to help my country in any way that I could. After 6 weeks of basic training I was sent to Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois and learned to be a Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants Specialist, or more commonly known as a Fuels Specialist. I drove various ground refueling vehicles used for refueling the various aircraft the Air Force had in their arsenal. After receiving my training I was sent to the 126th Air Refueling Wing located at O’Hare Field in Chicago and remained there for 6 years performing my refueling duties as required in support of air refueling aircraft that flew various missions throughout the United States and into Western Europe. I was a part of the Illinois Air National Guard and periodically was sent to Rhein- Main Air Base in Frankfort, Germany for maneuvers sanctioned by NATO, and supporting all the free countries in Western Europe during the Cold War. If you asked me if I would do it over again, I would say in a heartbeat…  These were some of the best times of my life!




Hector Espino

I went to basic training in October of 2011 and graduated in January 2012. I then proceeded to Marine Combat Training for a month. In March I attended Financial Management School in Camp Johnson, North Carolina for my MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) school. In June 2012, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California with Combat Logistics Regiment 17, while at CLR-17 I was as an auditor for travel claim and as customer service. In July 2014 I was deployed to Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan with Combat Logistics Battalion 1 (CLB-1). While in Afghanistan I was a UPA (Unit Paying Agent) Representative and trainer, in a nutshell I paid out any sort of debt we owed to Afghanistan nationals for causing any accident harm to civilians and/or property. On top of being a UPA agent I was the trainer, I worked with MARSOC (Marine Special Operations Command) and Army special forces as well to teach them all the regulations and the procedures to be a UPA Rep. I came back from Afghanistan in October 2015. I was one of the last Marines out of Camp Leatherneck before we handed over control to the Afghanistan Army. When I came back from Afghanistan I was assigned a special duty of being a member of the Inbound Platoon for CLR-17 now known as Headquarters Regiment 17. The inbound platoon was new program in charge of receiving new Marines into the Marine Corps Fleet and helping them settle into the fleet in regards to any questions with housing or their new way of life. The Marine Corps not only set me up to be able to be successful at Old Second National Bank, but be set for anything to come my way in life after the Corps. I believe Old Second hired me not only for my cash handling experience but just for the fact I was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and we Marines are known to be professional and give our all to whatever the mission may be.




Timothy Vaughan

I have been in the US Army Reserves for nearly 27 years, since November 1988.  Prior to that, I was active duty from 1983-1988.  Old Second has supported my participation in the Army Reserve by consistently granting me time off to attend Battle Assemblies (previously known as Drills), Annual Training, Army schools attendance, and for deployments and mobilizations. My annual training ranges year to year from a few days spread out over the year to several weeks in one month.  Army schools attendance has ranged from one week to my culminating leadership training at the Sergeants Major Academy which was 11 months.  I have had 2 deployments, one each to Iraq in mid-2007 to mid-2008 and Afghanistan from mid-2009 to mid-2010.  The bank supported me again when I mobilized in support of overseas operations at Fort Bliss, Texas for just over 3 years from mid-2011 to mid-2014.  I have spent over 6 years on active duty as a reservist out of the last 8 years and have never had to worry about having a job to come home to as Old Second has always honored their pledge to me to return to my same position and salary.  This has helped me to focus on my mission as a Soldier and not having to worry about employment once I return back home. Old Second helped to provide comfort items for the troops that were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom by having their branches collect toiletries and other items for Project Santa which sent stockings stuffed with these items to units overseas.  I was the recipient of these items during both deployments (picture attached).  In one of the years in which I was not deployed, the bank let me deliver the supplies raised one fall to the group that packed and mailed the items to Soldiers during working hours.  The box truck used was packed with around 1,000 lbs of supplies which provided for well over 500 large stockings for troops overseas (picture attached). As my time left in the Army Reserve is drawing to a close, I look back over the last 26 years plus in which I have been able to perform my duty as a Soldier and have to give credit to Old Second National Bank for allowing me to pursue that passion while being a supported employee.