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Dear lenders, there’s no time to be afraid of rookie LOs

3 pieces of recruiting advice

Lenders are finally catching on that they can’t keep doing business as usual if they still want to exist in the future, ultimately looking toward the next generation of loan officers, Millennials, to fill their open seats.

Talk about Millennials tends to focus on them not being loyal or interested in the industry. However, research shows that it matters less about the job, or even the pay, and more about the experience. Fix that and it will be a lot easier to secure young talent.

But on the flipside, Millennials simply not wanting to work in the career field can’t solely be to blame.

As Casey Cunningham, CEO at XINNIX, which helps to train mortgage lending professionals, explained in an interview, a lot of companies are afraid of rookie LOs.

Though as the characteristics of the market start to change, lenders are starting to take a hard look at how they do business.

The stats out there aren’t good.

The industry needs to replace roughly 200,000 loan officers over the next decade as they head toward retirement.

This will be tough since only 10% to 25% of new mortgage sales professionals who entered the industry over the last two decades successfully remained in origination longer than two years, forcing the 200,000 estimate to quickly grow to millions in order to secure long-term employees.

Cunningham explained that this is the first year where lenders are putting a full plan together, pledging to train employees properly.

XINNIX conducted a nationwide survey of XINNIX originator graduates—individuals who completed our new loan officer program and entered the industry. The results are based on a survey of 600 new mortgage industry professionals was conducted in September and October 2015.

In the results, she gave three pieces of recruiting advice:

1. Industry selling points:

Managers and recruiters were advised to focus primarily on selling the benefits of working independently, with ample freedom and flexibility, and the ability to work with the purpose of helping other people.

2. The ideal candidate:

In their minds, students believed the ideal person most likely to find success in our industry was someone quite sociable, with tremendous self-confidence and an “internal drive.”

3. A word of caution:

Our students suggested managers avoid focusing primarily on compensation or the 100 percent com- mission aspects of compensation too early in the recruiting process. The highest levels of dissatisfaction came from unrealistic income expectations and a general lack of understanding of compensation plans.

Cunningham said in the past, lenders were hesitant to hire rookie talent since industry has always needed immediate production. There was no time to train new talent, and they needed predictable revenue.

At some point though, companies can’t keep playing trading spaces with other lenders and are forced to hire rookies.

Cunningham noted that there a lot of benefits to the company when young talent is brought onboard. For example, no one wants to get beat by the new guy, causing increased incentive from others in the business to perform, along with bringing fresh ideas and perspective into the office. 

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