“We’re strong believers in promoting from within,” says Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, which recently promoted its executive Vice President of Underwriting to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer at UWM.
More and more companies are seeing the value of promoting from within, thereby keeping that investment and ensuring continuity in their business practices. They are also keen to keep talent from jumping ship for a growing number of opportunities in an industry struggling to fill openings at all levels.
According to recent industry tracking numbers, there were 2,952 mortgage hirings during the fourth quarter of last year, with much of that coming from non-bank lenders.
Since the housing crisis, the focus on high-quality loans has contributed to a tight market – and fed the growth of non-bank lenders in the mortgage sector. That has also translated into non-bank lenders being responsible for the spate of industry hirings starting in Q4 2014.
The push to hire and retain staff is particularly strong with the aging demographic that makes up the mortgage industry.
According to numbers from Chuck Cowan, president of the recruiting firm CCowan & Associates, the average age of a loan officer is 54 and 59 for a realtor.
“The world is changing, and the best way to get good ideas is to get new minds,” says Cowan. “There are young people in the business, but that number isn’t where it should be.”
Attracting new talent is presenting a serious challenge to the mortgage industry, spurring a move to promote from within and to fend off poaching.