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

by MPA26 Jan 2015
Third 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 addressed the issue of identification of those more likely to succeed from an experience basis. However, experience does not always translate into the right hire. The person also must be the right person and the right "fit" for the position, as well as for the company. What do I mean by that? For example, a loan officer may have two decades of experience and a good production record, but that does not mean that they are a team player or deliver great customer service. Do they pre-qualify candidates correctly and promise only what they can deliver and no more?
A team player is someone who might be a mentor to others and operations personnel fight to handle their work. As a matter of fact, this is one significant measure of fitting in. If the operations staff runs in the other direction from this person, you know you have the wrong fit, regardless of their experience or production capability.
There are other factors: How advanced are their communication skills? These include oral and written communication. Are they professional (do you want them representing your company)? I could go on and on with this one, as there are a plethora of traits you must assess with regard to the right fit of a loan officer, including the major issue of ethics.  Next week we will end with a discussion of how to find out whether this candidate is the right person, including interview and reference checking questions.   
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 www.originationpro.comDo 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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