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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2005

Help Wanted?

Look to local high schools and colleges to find a well-qualified assistant

So you’ve decided to hire an assistant, but you are unsure of where to start looking. My suggestion? Colleges and high schools are great places to find well-qualified individuals who have the ability, talent and desire to help you accomplish your goals. Here’s how to go about taking advantage of this excellent resource:

  • Get the names and fax numbers of guidance counselors and teachers from local colleges and high schools. Talk to the teachers and counselors about your plan to hire an assistant. They often can give you a good perspective of a particular student’s work habits, people skills and desire to succeed. Call them monthly to see if they have come across any students who might fit your needs.

  • Enter the names on a list you will not lose or into your fax machine’s computerized phone directory. If you have the capability to automate the process, you can save a lot of time.

  • Fax a list of job descriptions and lists of available positions to the schools on a monthly basis. Ask applicants to fax their résumés rather than call you. It will save you time and allow you to review the résumés after business hours if you need.

  • Rate the résumés from one to 10, with 10 being the best. This will allow you to prioritize your follow-up.

  • You may want to put the 9s and 10s on your key referral database. Call the 9s and 10s and tell them you don’t have a position available right now but would like to keep their résumé on file and to mail them something periodically, if it’s OK with them. Contact them regularly and send them monthly marketing materials. It helps to have 20 to 30 individuals as backup at any given time. You never know when someone you’ve been mailing for months without a response will call and be just who you need when a position does become available.

  • If you get enough résumés, you can be selective about who you interview. Send the applicants you won’t be interviewing a letter thanking them for their résumé and telling them you don’t feel they are best suited for the position. If they call you back, though, this demonstrates persistence, and you might want to grant them an interview after all. This may help you find some good people whose résumés may not have truly represented their abilities.

  • Depending on your interviewing skills, expect to interview 10 to 20 people before selecting the one who best fits your needs. Make sure everyone you interview understands what you expect of them and how they will be evaluated.

  • Follow up with a thank you note. Remember that you are selling yourself and what you have to offer. As a mortgage broker, you should already have excellent sales skills. Use them.

 •  •  •

Even after you hire an assistant, it can be helpful to continue to fax a job listing every few months. Say you decide later that you need a marketing and sales assistant. It will come in handy to have an inventory of résumés you can refer to quickly.

Working with three to four other loan officers in your company on recruiting could increase the efficiency of this process and reduce your overall time investment. Just make sure everyone understands upfront how your recruitment process works.


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