Hiring new mortgage talent

by Kasi Johnston24 Jun 2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, mortgage companies across the country have been one of the few industries that are not only hiring but doing so at a rapid pace.

United Shore could hire more than 2000 employees before the end of the year, while Quicken Loans has hired over 2000 in the past three months, with intentions of bringing on another 1000 by the end of the summer. Better.com announced in March they were looking to hire up to 1000 new employees, targeting hospitality employees who may have been laid off at the start of the pandemic, and NewDay USA has intentions of doubling their workforce with an additional 500 new hires.

XINNIX, a mortgage training academy, released an e-book series with tips on how to hire rookies to grow a mortgage business. When it comes to sourcing talent, even when they have limited experience, there are some strategies that can be considered:

Sourcing

Your current team can be a gold mine for new talent. Letting loan officers know that hiring is taking place and see if they know someone who could be a good fit is a great place to start.

“Consider offering a referral fee if someone they refer is hired,” the report stated. “This strategy allows you to put your sales force to work, helping you locate new talent.”

The report suggests looking into your database as well, whether that’s friends, past customers or business associates. Sending an email to the entire database to announce hiring goals and the training that is offered for new candidates can open the door to new team members that are already in your circle.

Studies by XINNIX found that 35% of all new loan officers entered the industry through a referral by another loan officer.

Screening

Focusing on prime candidate, while also weeding out unsuitable candidates from early in the application process can help make the process more efficient. According to the report, initial methods of screening might include resume review and a brief phone review to learn more about employment history, earning history, sales background, size of network and personal drive. Comparing the traits of new hires to the traits of some of your most successful loan officer is also a great way to identify who is primed for success in a new role as a loan officer. Some of the traits that XINNIX identified as common to successful new loan officer candidates includes excellent verbal communication skills, ability to build long term relationship and the need to achieve in a highly competitive sales environment.

After an initial screening, a face-to-face meeting is recommended.

 Assessments

While interviews remain the key component in hiring, the report says assessments assist in comparing candidates against required criteria and each other objectively, transparently and fairly. There are multiple assessments available in the market to assist you in the screening/hiring process. Using assessments can help point out whether potential new hires have a personality that is well-suited to the job and fitting in to the company’s culture as well. Some assessments like XINNIX’s DriveTest will look at a candidate’s need for achievement, competitiveness and optimism.

Compensation

“To attract and retain successful new loan officers, a competitive compensation package is essential,” the report stated.

XINNIX shared factors that should be considered when creating a company compensation package. This includes minimum production expectations that a new officer can strive toward. Mortgage companies often have a mentor program in their training programs that can help new hires gain the skills to achieve these goals. Offering a base salary plus commission also allows new hires to focus on learning without excess financial stress.

“Forecasting when a new loan officer will cross over from expense to profitability is a key part of determining your compensation plan.”

When sourcing new talent, the report says competitive compensation analysis is critical. It also stresses the importance of proper training to ensure a successful transition into the mortgage industry.