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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   December 2015

2016: The Year of Recruiting

With a new year can come a new way of attracting top originators

2016: The Year of Recruiting

Are you tired of hiring the wrong people? Do you know what attracts the right people to your company?

Too many mortgage-industry managers aren’t able to answer those questions in the way they’d like. Attracting top-notch employees is one of the most important things any business can do, but it’s also one of the toughest tasks. Adding to the challenge is the growing divide between how generations think, act and work. Fortunately, it is possible to separate your company from the pack and attract the best possible people to join your team.

As the calendar gets ready to turn to 2016, mortgage originators need to become the experts on how to attract members of every generation. That can be difficult when the average originator is 54 years old, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Although much of the loan-origination workforce is made up of baby boomers, younger generations are becoming increasingly important. Millennials already are the largest, most-diverse generations in the country. So, in the new year, you will have to adjust to how the market has moved to capture your best hires. Do so, and you will dynamically change the outcome of your recruiting efforts.

Know your brand

First, take some time to make sure that you have positively identified your culture or brand. If you are questioning what that is, therein exists a problem. How do you expect to achieve the right alignment in your recruiting if you, as the leader, are not focused on what benefit you are trying to bring to your company? Solidify your vision, mission and core values.

Include your business-development and recruiting teams in those three key components and then tell your story. People don’t like to be sold. In today’s world, selling has a negative context. People will, however, respond to a good story that relates to their lives. They will even take up a cause if that story captures their imaginations.

Be disruptive

Be a game-changer for you and your company. Your initial task is to find out why a person is considering coming to your company and focus on that. Broadcast to your prospects that you do something that is beyond the ordinary. This could be something work-related, like the slickest loan-origination system or customer-relationship management platform, or something out of the box, such as self-improvement retreats, indoor-skydiving events or a day at the races.

As of this past October, the Mortgage Bankers Association forecasted $1.45 trillion in residential mortgage originations for 2015, a significant increase over 2014’s $1.26 trillion. At the end of 2014, there were 398,492 licensed mortgage originators in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), a small drop from the 2013 total. For 2016 the MBA is forecasting $1.32 trillion in origination volume, and it seems likely that refinances will continue to fall down and purchase business will require more attention. Knowing that, are you focused on the right group of originators to make 2016 a game-changer for you and your company?

According to the Stratmor Group’s 2014 Originator Census Survey, the top 20 percent of a company’s loan officers typically originate 57.4 percent of the overall loan volume. The top 60 percent is responsible for originating 93.1 percent of the loans.

Finding new talent from younger generations can be difficult, and it’s likely that your passive hires — those originators currently working in the industry — will be your best prospects. Competition for those people will be stiff in 2016.

Increase retention

It is painful to spend time, resources, personnel and money landing great hires. Clearly, when you get those people on your team, you want to retain them.

Some employee turnover may actually be healthy for your organization, but excessive turnover is costly. A high number of employees voluntarily leaving is usually the result of dissatisfaction with one or more aspects of working for your company. It could be ineffective leadership and management, inadequate compensation or benefits, lack of development, inadequate career opportunities or other contributing factors.

Excessive turnover can have significant effects on your business. Your costs for recruiting, onboarding, training and development will skyrocket, while also pulling current employees off their productive activities. You will incur other costs for items such as background checks, personality assessments, new supplies and equipment, even relocation expenses. Perhaps most importantly, a company’s reputation for high turnover impacts its ability to attract and hire high-performing employees.

How can you combat some of the things that may cause great hires to consider other employment options?

  • Walk the walk in regard to your vision, mission and core values.
  • Conduct exit surveys to improve future employees’ experiences.
  • Walk the floor every day to engage your people on issues that keep them from delivering their best.
  • Conduct “refresh interviews” as well as exit interviews. What is working and what isn’t working?
  • Implement the 6 E’s: encourage, educate, empower, edify, elevate and expectations.
  • Offer paid time off for volunteering.
  • Provide a complimentary life coach, sales coach or speech coach for one year.
  • Give employees a one-month sabbatical for every four years of service.

A lot of these suggestions aren’t necessarily expensive, but they do make you and your company different. Great financial compensation is always a consideration, but keep in mind it is not always about the money.

Embrace momentum

Recognize when momentum graces your company. Momentum can feel fleeting — here today, gone tomorrow. Anyone who has ever been on the threshold of a major success can tell you there is apprehension of the unknown. Those who have achieved great success become more comfortable with it and learn to manage the growth. What a great position to be in.

When it comes to reaping the rewards from your hard work, take it and keep moving. Continue to build momentum when setting an appointment with a prospect. The best time to make a new prospecting call is immediately after you just set your next appointment. Too many people will stop and take a break after they meet some goal or objective. When your competitors think they deserve a reward, they take a break. If you take a break after each small success, you’re robbing yourself of the momentum you can achieve.

You have just beat a deadline and gained a tremendous amount of energy and confidence from that action — so take advantage of it and take the next step. Many people are most motivated immediately after a success, so make the most of that motivation to continue the forward motion you’ve started. Reward yourself later. The competition is hoping you will rest.

Celebrate victories

Once you have capitalized on that momentum, always celebrate when defined goals have been met.

One of the driving reasons for human existence is to find joy in life and to bring joy to those we love and know. Make the celebration memorable and make it fun. Sponsor a dinner at a dueling piano show, an outdoor treasure hunt or an afternoon at the movies, or cook a formal dinner for your team. Just make sure you respect the moment and celebrate.

Not only is such a celebration great for your team and company, but people talk. Your team will share with friends, family and associates the experiences they are having with you and your company, and your immediate associates will advocate for you. Why shouldn’t they? They will want others they know to benefit and join your core of top professionals.

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By staying true to who you and your company are, you can succeed in recruiting top originators for your company — and that will be a perfect way to kick off 2016. 


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