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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   April 2013

5 Tips for Successful Recruitment

Will your company sink or swim in today’s shrinking talent pool?

In the past few years, many mortgage banks and brokerages have seen a shortage in their talent pools. Whether you realize it or not, the mortgage industry may be in the midst of an emerging talent crisis.

Consider this: Although the unemployment rate has been around 8 percent for the past several months, the rate for college-educated individuals over the age of 25 has been around just 4 percent. For the next several years, the economy as a whole may face a historically small talent pool for white-collar professionals. As more and more baby boomers retire, their critical skills and knowledge will disappear from the marketplace. To complicate matters, some experts have warned that there may not be enough capable and skilled professionals to replace those retiring. In others words, there may soon be a limited supply of emerging leaders to fill future positions.

If the talent pool shrinks, recruitment efforts will become increasingly important to running a successful business. These efforts may prove difficult for smaller banks and brokerages, however, as current industry recruitment models arguably favor large companies that can afford high-priced recruitment fees or develop in-house recruitment departments. Identifying and screening résumés can be a daunting task, and the price tag of a traditional recruitment agency simply cannot be justified for many mortgage-industry vacancies. If you’re running a small bank or brokerage, where does this leave you?

When it comes to acquiring talented professionals, online recruitment services can be instrumental to small companies’ strategies. These mold-breaking services can help mid-sized mortgage companies find résumés of top talent without incurring the typical agency fees or the cost of having to develop an in-house recruitment department.

"Today, approaching candidates requires a combination of tact, charisma and strategy."

After receiving the details of your job vacancies, these online services will post your ad on leading job boards, filter through responses and proactively search for qualified candidates. Many of these services can deliver a short list of potential candidates to your inbox within days of your job going live, allowing you to build relationships with any and all candidates of interest. For you, this means less time, less frustration, lower costs and enhanced control of your recruitment process.

This kind of online recruitment service can give you access to top talent, but your recruitment strategy in today’s market shouldn’t end there — rather, it should start there. In other words, having the right candidate profiles in hand will only translate into successful hires if you know what to do next. Bearing that in mind, consider the following five tips for advancing your efforts effectively:

  1. Educate yourself: Mortgage professionals and companies must educate themselves on the market conditions that are not yet being reported in the news. Arguably, the unemployment rate of unskilled workers is the crisis that’s currently in the limelight, but there may be an impending talent crisis brewing in the background. Considering that, it’s vital that you and your company begin to understand these realities and adapt your perspective and talent-acquisition approach.
  2. Treat applicants as candidates: Gone are the days when a multitude of qualified candidates would knock on your door when a vacancy occurred. Today, approaching candidates requires a combination of tact, charisma and strategy. Make sure that you are adequately prepared with how to position your company once you pick up the phone to make contact with a potential hire. Today’s candidates want to feel special before making a long-term career move. It is essential that you understand what motivates this future generation of leaders and develop your culture and processes accordingly.
  3. Adopt an integrated marketing strategy: More than ever before, you must sell yourself, your team, your open position and your company if you want to attract top talent. Each person involved in the interviewing process should communicate the vision your company has of itself. Develop a unified and attractive message and promote it at every step along the way. One bad interviewer could turn a candidate off and render all of your efforts fruitless.
  4. Be open and flexible: Know what you want in a candidate, but more important, know what you need. Prioritize your employment requirements based on the essentials. In today’s candidate-driven climate, it’s imperative that you remain flexible. For example, don’t make a decision in the first 30 seconds of an interview. Give the individual a chance. The goal today is not finding the perfect match; it is finding the best match that is currently available to you. This means that your evaluation criteria — from reviewing résumés to reference checking — must be adjustable.
  5. Collaborate: We are no longer living in the fear-based employment age. Mortgage professionals today demand to be respected and valued as individuals and as contributors. Successful organizations are oozing creativity, collaboration and cooperation from every corner of their corporate culture. Drop the formalities and get to the bottom of it. Have an uncensored conversation to understand the candidate’s core reason for making a change, as well as that candidate’s expectations and goals.

The impending talent crisis may prove to be a major threat facing organizations around the world, as attracting and retaining top talent is essential for any successful organization. The good news, however, is that this impending crisis presents a genuine opportunity for you to adapt and evolve. Now is the perfect time for your company to thrive, turning a crisis into an opportunity.


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