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

by MPA19 Jan 2015
Second 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
Last week, I asked the question, how do we identify those who are likely to succeed in this industry? If someone is experienced, the task is easier. But it is not always one hundred percent predictable. If someone is in a captured lead situation, for example within a bank or a real estate office, and they come to a company in which all leads are self-generated, how will they react? Quite the opposite situation also exists -- how does a manager know that a "street" loan officer would be right to serve a real estate office from the inside?  An “inside” and “street” loan officer really must have different traits to succeed, though many of the basics are the same. 
With rookies, the issue is even more wide open. Yes, you can look at a previous record of success, but it is hard to translate. But do not think that rookies do not have experience--the question is do they have the right experience to help them succeed in the industry? For example, if the rookie spent ten years as a real estate agent, that gives them real estate and sales experience which is invaluable. And they should also have a solid sphere of real estate contacts. Another rookie may have experience building a company. It is important to hire the right "person" (more on that next week)--but it is also important that the person has the right types of experience and contacts.  There is a difference between hiring a rookie out of college versus someone with years of business experience.   
Dave Hershman
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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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