Ask the Expert: Final part- Rookies or seasoned pros, which do I employ?

by 03 Feb 2015
The final part of the answer to this question: 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
We end this discussion by highlighting a very important but tough task. Even if someone has the production record and/or experience, how do we know they are the right person for our team? There are two means which are typically used -- interviews and reference checking. However, each of these typically has major flaws. When you interview someone, they are performing for you and trying to say what you want to hear. And references are usually provided by the applicant and, of course, they are going to give you someone who they think loves them. It is rare you get a bad reference and if you do, it should be a major red flag because of this.
The solutions? With regard to the interview, ask questions they are not expecting. For example, instead of asking whether they are a "team player," ask in what ways they have helped someone else in the office with their production. Tough, thought provoking questions are also important when we speak to references. Instead of asking whether they did a good job, ask a previous manager if they would hire them for their management job if they were promoted tomorrow.
Don't forget to check references they have not given. For example, check with their favorite settlement company to see how their closings go and how they act when something goes wrong. Talk to an ex-processor and see how their files come. Leave no stone unturned, because the cost of a bad hire is devastating with regard to wasting your most precious resources. 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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