On the June 20 episode of my Lykken on Lending podcast, we had the opportunity to interview industry expert Dale Vermillion. In our conversation, Dale brought to the table an issue that is certainly plaguing our industry. The median age of people in the mortgage business tends to be in the 50s -- meaning our workforce skews heavily toward an older population. Why is this a problem? What's so wrong with having a more seasoned workforce?
First of all, I would have to include myself as one of the more "mature" people operating in the mortgage industry. And I certainly would agree that experience comes with age. Generally, we learn and become more competent in our work as time passes, so there is certainly something to be said for having an older workforce. The problem is that, if we only have people working in the industry for a long time, we can easily get stuck in older ways of thinking.
Before long, the millennials are going to be the primary target customers in the mortgage industry. If we don't start building a millennial workforce soon, there will be a great generational mismatch between us and our customers -- which can manifest itself in a number of misunderstandings. If we are to succeed as an industry, we need to get some fresh young blood into the business to bring in fresh ideas and stretch our thinking. We'll always need the more seasoned and more experienced, but we need to complement that maturity with the energy and innovation present in the younger workforce.