MortgageReal EstateServicing

How to hire Millennials in today’s aging mortgage industry

And keep them

Many companies, particularly in mortgage, struggle with attracting and retaining young talent. They say Millennials are not loyal or interested in mortgages.

However, research shows that it matters less about the job, or even the pay, and more about the experience. From flexible schedules to an emphasis on teamwork, today’s workforce is looking for specific job environments that their predecessors and current superiors may not have perceived as top priorities.

In order to secure more young staffers in your workforce and longer lasting employees, companies must adjust to this demand for a more holistic approach to employment.

My young Uber driver this morning shared that he quit his job recently in healthcare administration because he felt he wasn’t making much of a difference and that his job seemed monotonous.

As a result, he is driving for Uber until he can “figure things out.”

This may sound like the classic “entitled Millennial” to some, but the reality is that if we don’t like a job, or don’t have respect for the company, we have options.

We can drive for Uber or freelance until we find something better, or we will work for a job we care little about until the moment we find one that will appeal to our desire for a good work experience.

Companies who demonstrate empathy with their employees, providing them with valuable resources such as flexibility, holistic health benefits like gym memberships, and a caring workplace culture will experience not only more retention with millennials but higher overall employee satisfaction and productivity.

Here are key elements Millennials hope to gain from an employer and a workplace, along with quotes from some of the leading Millennial employers:

1. Mission-driven

Millennials want to work for companies who make a difference in the world and their communities. They want to feel like they are contributing to something greater than just a steady paycheck.

“I love my job because I get to assist families with the biggest purchase of their lives and ultimately help them create homes. As a new father, I have more of an appreciation for that now than ever. It’s an ability to be part of a really intimate transaction.” He shares his appreciation for the company he works for, MiMutual Mortgage, explaining, “MiMutual holds strong to their core values and it’s seen throughout the whole company. It’s a great culture that I feel proud to be a part of.” – Ryan Owens, age 30, loan officer, MiMutual Mortgage, Tampa, Florida.

2. Lifestyle benefits

Millennials want to work for companies who understand that a productive employee is one who is living a successful “life”, not just “life at work”. Employers who invest in their employees and provide healthy lifestyle advantages such as gym memberships, flexible schedules, and healthcare benefits will gain the greatest return for their investment with Millennials.

You want Millennials who will work for results, not to run out the clock. Setting up a system that allows some flexibility for Millennials to run to the gym in the afternoon, if that’s the best time for them, or to come in a little later/earlier and leave later/earlier will allow Millennials to feel more in control and trusted. In return, if you have hired a quality employee, you will have a harder working, more motivated and loyal employee.

“As a loan officer, I’m pretty much creating my own brand and work schedule. I know that if I were in a different line of work, that wouldn’t be openly available to me. I often re-arrange my schedule to meet with clients after hours or if my son gets sick, I can adjust my schedule to take care of him.”  – Bidi Gonzalez, age 32, loan officer, Finance of America, La Quinta, California

3. Challenges and opportunities for creativity

Creativity and innovation drive companies forward into the future. They are the reason why you will be in business two, five, or ten years from now, and Millennials have a natural inclination to these virtues. In 1974, a 3M employee created a now famous invention and staple product: The Post-It Note. It was invented by an employee during a company mandated time-off to work exclusively on side-projects. Millennials hear this story as an anthem to the type of creativity they desire to bring their company’s future.

Millennials also desire a challenge and tend to be entrepreneurial. According to a Kauffman Policy Brief, 54%of millennials say they have started a business or would like to start a business in the near future.

In an age of technology and innovation, we are taught to dream outside the box.

“I appreciate my job the most for the challenges and opportunities it provides me to grow both professionally and financially. There is no limit to what I can make and who I can meet. So, really, there is no limit to who I can become.”  – Jorge Madrid, age 30, branch manager, Supreme Lending, Dallas

4. Opportunity to learn

Millennial employees want to know their employer will provide opportunities for advancement in their future and professional growth in the present. They want to learn and gain new skills at their job and many are willing to invest in work environments by even taking a lower pay when they are provided with this opportunity.

Provide access to training, mentorship programs, and announcements for those who learn new skills or job responsibilities – (we also love praise). This kind of investment from the employer will reap a significant return from a Millennial who is poised to run hard with limited outside responsibilities.

“I planned to leave the mortgage industry in 2014 after 10 years in the business. However, I stayed because the leadership in the company I work with now invested in me and trusted me. They provided me with mentorship and coaching that gives me new ideas as to how I can grow my business. After receiving this leadership, I have had my best year ever.” – Jesus Neri, age 31, senior Loan Officer, Alterra Home Loans, Chicago

5. Teamwork

According to Forbes Magazine, 88% of Millennials prefer to collaborate versus compete with others. Younger generations prefer the team mentality, in which there is a sense that everyone is working together for a greater cause. PGI released an infographic stating 71% of Millennials prefer their coworkers be like a “second family.” This taps into a sense of greater purpose to achieve a level of success otherwise unattainable by one’s self.

“The best part of this industry is the relationships you make and the satisfaction you get from helping people make the biggest financial decision of their lives. Having a family at work and being a team together creates a foundation so that when things are stressful, you have people around you who care. At the end of the day, you have a team that you’ve gone through life together with.” – Jordan Flowers, Branch Manager, Guild Mortgage, Seattle

In a globalized economy, Millennials have many choices for jobs. Those who choose to invest in their careers with a company who follows the above principles will not only treat their position as more than a job, but they will find purpose in it. They will treat it as an integral aspect of their lifestyle, and in return, you will receive a loyal, hard-working employee. Millennials might get a bad rap at times, but when you understand our values and working styles, you can tap into a very profitable segment of hardworking employees. 

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