Top 10 Tip to Recruiting Loan Officers

Successful Loan Office recruiting, translates to hiring great employees who help your company and the team achieve their growth objectives. To help guide you to revamp your recruiting and hiring process, we’ve answered commonly asked questions with tips to help you recruit and hire top talent:

1. How do I plan the growth of my sales team?
A good business plan always has a Recruiting Plan that outlines the goals, strategies and techniques required to attract and hire seasoned professionals, with “an existing book of business.” Recruiting a talent team requires a plan and understanding the time investment added to your already busy day. Growing a solid team involves several new habit to a sales manager day, such as; relationship building, time management, professional development and retention strategies to ensure you keep the competition out.

2. Where do I find the best Loan Officers?
The qualified Loan Officers in your market are not waiting for you to run ads in the newspaper or post a job online. They are literally a phone call away, you just need to learn the techniques to build a relationship, develop rapport and have a compelling message to attract them to your company.

The NMLS is a good place to start, because you get to review their Self Reported Employment History. From there you will determine if you are going to waste or invest time with this individual. We like LinkedIn when searching for self sourced Loan Officers, if they are good, they have learned how to promote themselves. Google their name will give you a little more about them socially and professionally.

3. Why are Loan Officers making career moves in this market?
Contrary to what you have heard, money is not the key motivator for Loan Officers. Though they will not likely take a pay cut, they are searching for a lending partner that is committed to helping them grow their business.

The top four reasons Loan Officers make a move is:

    1. Change in leadership or ownership.
    2. The current company is failing to provide support.
    3. The level of service they provide is compromising the relationships with clients.
    4. A chance for advancement or opportunity to take their career to a new level.

4. What type of Initial Approach should I use?
When you are approaching an individual that is gainfully employed, the first meeting should be two industry professionals meeting to speak about the industry challenges and Business (NOT career) Advancement Opportunities. Do NOT come across as that sleazy sales manager, schlepping how great their company is. People go to work for people. Focus on your YOU-Factor and set yourself apart from the pack.

5. When should I make the formal an offer to a Loan Officer?
The offer stage of the interview process with a Loan Officer should be after you have met the candidate and both parties feel the move will be mutually equitable to everyone, and after they have submitted a business plan and committed to your verbal offer, at that point it is time to put it in writing. Do not give them an offer they can use to negotiate with the competition or worse yet, their counter offer with their current company

6. Is it ethical to recruit a Loan Officer from my competition?
This is known as POACHING! Competing for talent is the same as competing for clients. Ask yourself if you would have a problem if you were competing with your competition for a client, would you do what you could, to win the client? But be careful if you’re thinking about raiding the competition.

When you start recruiting employees from your competition, you may be playing with fire. Everyone is open game amongst your competitors unless you’ve specifically agreed not to recruit from them. Generally speaking, the courts protect the employee’s right to freely seek employment in a competitive marketplace.

Listen, if the competition is taking care of their employees, the employee is probably not leave. But, if they are not taking care of them, they’re “free agents” at that point and they will talk to every company they feel can offer them the best opportunity.

7. Are Loan Officers actively looking at new opportunities?
Yes, with the industry’s ongoing challenges and everywhere you turn, you hear of another company or bank shutting down. So, Loan Officers are being proactive and getting their feelers out there. But, are they calling you?

This is where having a recruiting plan in place helping you get, and keep in front of the best talent and a compelling Business Opportunity to keep them fully engage to the offer stage.

8. How do I structure a transition package for a new Loan Officer?
The days of FAT check books and HUGE sign-on bonuses, are behind us. Today, Loan Officers are looking for a company that can support their business and in turn, provide an opportunity for new business. It has been my experience to structure a long-term compensation plan should be tied to a Loan Officer Business plan. The ramp-up period should be geared to get the Loan Officer back on the street to drive business from their current relationships.

9. Does it make sense to hire inexperienced Loan Officers?
Yes, the business, as we knew it, has finally cleansed out most of the bottom-feeder and some of the unfortunate few good players that were frustrated with the direction of the industry. There is plenty of room in the industry for a NEW batch of exciting talent to emerge. Younger professionals, that have 8-10 year of work experience, are looking for a career that has the financial upside to support and grow a family. The challenge is, they do not know what a basis point is and are not excited to get into a career that is commission driven.

There are plenty of entry level opportunities in the mortgage industry, but keep in mind these younger generations feel a sense of entitlement and are not interested in Jr. Or Assistant Loan Officer roles. If you are hiring them to help you manage a pipeline, then call them Pipeline Managers. Just food for thought!

10. How do I know if I have enough interview activity to meet my net hiring goals?
Well, this is a great question. If you are a lender you know by looking at your pipeline and you can pretty much see if you will get paid this month. Recruiting talent is like filling a pipeline of prospects, you will just need to learn how to measure your activity. If you have a streamlined hiring process, and can properly vet a candidate and get to the offer, then you will want to know your conversion ratios.

A good rule of thumb is; 1 hire out of 5 qualified candidates, still leaving you with 4 qualified candidates in your recruiting pipeline. Important to note: Just because you make an offer, that does not guarantee a net hire, counteroffers from their current employer or competitive offers will have an effect on your net results.

The information in this article is part of the The PlayBook Mortgage Recruiting e-Learning series. Join the Month Mortgage Recruiter Coach Lesson to learn more about Winning the Elusive Candidate and watch the entire series of recent webinars covering topics from; list building to recruiting, closing and on-boarding talent.

We hope to see you next month

We encourage you to visit our website on a regular basis to access the latest month’s newsletter. In each issue, we will focus on new recruiting trends and opportunities in the mortgage industry!

In addition to the mortgage industry news, new challenges and recruiting opportunities, we offer tips and techniques from Jim and the team at EMAC Recruiting Academy… Where our goal is to raise your Recruiting Intelligence!

EMAC Recruiting Academy Training utilizes state-of-the-art platform and wide-ranging recruitment training curriculum to the mortgage industry.

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