Ask the Expert: Rookies or seasoned pros, which do I hire?

by MPA12 Jan 2015
I am a manager and have been trying to hire loan officers for the last year. I have had some success, but not much. It appears that most of the loan officers in the industry are older like me and many have lost their drive due to the issues we have faced in the past. I have tried a few rookies, but my success rate is even lower. I know I must expand my sales staff, but what advice do you have?
Ron, from Philadelphia
I have actually saved this question -- and a few others which were similar -- for a point in which I could dedicate some time to this pressing issue. I am not sure how old you are, but I know that I have been in the industry for over 30 years, so I am sure that puts me in your age bracket or higher. This is not an isolated incident, it is a trend. It has been reported that the average age of loan officers in the industry now exceeds 50. Eventually, we will need new blood and some companies have already started the process.

However, there is a question we need to answer before hiring younger talent: how do we identify those who are likely to succeed? And when we do that, how do we give them the support they need? These are issues I will cover over the next few weeks. We will start with this point--not all rookies lack experience. The question is, what experience are you looking for which will be important indicators of success? Also, what personal characteristics are most important as well?
We will cover these questions starting next week and I expect the answers to be important not only to managers and owners, but loan officers who are seeking more success in 2015.  This is the time to improve where you need to improve if you are a producer, and to assess your present loan officers so you can coach them successfully if you are a manager. 
Dave Hershman
Do you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered? Email Dave at
Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published.   His website is  If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at   


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