As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2008.
As many mortgage originators are being thrust into the job market because of layoffs and company closures, the door of opportunity to hire experienced individuals has opened for those mortgage companies still in business. If your company is one of those still thriving, you may wonder how to make yourself attractive to prospective employees.
You can learn a great deal about how to do this from those companies that have been identified as the best places to work. The Great Place to Work Institute Inc., a research and management consulting firm, compiles Fortune magazine's annual list of the 100 best companies for which to work. The institute suggests that one benefit of being a part of the 100-best list is that companies receive many more applications for employment than others in their industry.
Learning from the best, the following seven practices can provide a springboard for becoming a magnet for talent:
1. Hire the best: Good people are attracted to good people. In other words, having good talent matters. The type or size of the organization makes no difference. People want to be associated with the best. One of the best ways to attract the best, therefore, is to hire the best.
2. Provide interesting, meaningful work: Lack of fulfilling work leads the list of reasons people choose to leave their employers. Meaningful work helps people build satisfaction in their own output and that of the organization at large. Today, more than ever, people are looking for work in which they can take pride. When people feel proud of the organization and its mission, they are more likely to be committed and productive.
3. Create the right buzz: The products, services or organizations that seem to have a buzz do much better than those without it. The buzz -- or the energy surrounding the company, product, service or individual -- is what attracts people to it. The right buzz has a positive viral effect, which increases brand awareness. That is, having a positive buzz about your organization as a good place to work draws people to you.
4. Engage people immediately: Excellent companies make the most of employee ideas and energy at all levels to implement change. Try to make everyone feel special and important from the minute they walk in the door. Respect everyone's time and talents. When people feel respected, they are more inclined to want to stay and invest more in a company.
5. Foster open communication: Employees feel better when they are well-informed and encouraged to share their perspectives. Information freely flows up, down and across the organization.
6. Continually develop employees: When employees can develop new skills and grow personally and professionally, they usually feel more committed to the organization. Smart companies promote this in a way that builds future talent and creates the kind of workforce that makes it easier to recruit others who want to learn and grow.
7. Reward and appreciate good performance: Recognition and appreciation are among the strongest motivators of employee performance. Saying "thank you" goes a long way to make people feel as though their efforts are appreciated.
Especially now, as the mortgage industry experiences turbulent times, it's important to hire top talent. Doing so will help companies build their image and rebuild the industry's image with consumers. By focusing on these seven ways to attract exceptional employees, you can enhance your company's stature in the industry and among job-seekers.
Donna de St. Aubin is a
writer, speaker and consultant. She is the principal of St. Aubin, Haggerty and Associates Inc., a strategic human-resources consulting firm in the Chicago area. She is co-author of two books: Tips When Hiring and Firing Employees (2007) and Attract, Engage and Retain Top Talent (July 2008). Contact de St. Aubin at www.staubin.net or (847) 564-2840.