Amid small talk around the exhibit hall and during interviews at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Annual convention and expo in Denver, I tossed in a side question on a current topic that’s been on my mind, “How are you locking in young professionals and what are you doing to retain them?”
Behind all the product launches at the conference, there is a “best in class” team that got them there, so how did they win over their talent?
While I asked different types companies in the space, including a mortgage tech company and a lender, they all shared a unifying theme.
No matter what part of the mortgage space the company is in, people continuously stressed the importance of highlighting the potential impact people could have in the space. This is an issue that HousingWire has addressed before.
Michael Kolbrener, chief technology officer with Denver-based PromonTech, broke down this concept even further and highlighted two areas to lock in new mortgage technology talent.
- Great architects
- People like our technology
Kolbrener explained that in order to compete with other tech companies, especially those out of the mortgage space, people need to have great mentors in place, which are the architects he referred to in the first point.
PromonTech follows a mentorship/player coach system, noting that a lot of his more seasoned tech workers truly enjoy “coaching” new hires.
But, it’s not enough to simply have a good mentorship program; they also have to the technology that new young talent wants to work with. Kolbrener pointed out that new hires like their java shop, which is another area that talent asses when deciding where they want to work.
After those two aspects, Kolbrener said their employees truly believe that they are building a technology that helps people buy a home.
Meanwhile, Nima Ghamsari, CEO and co-founder of Blend, a Silicon Valley technology company, expanded on this idea, saying that in today’s market, flexible work hours, great work environment and great mission are baseline requirements.
When it comes to how Blend wins over new talent, Ghamsari explained that they have a great relationship with universities. They built the right rapport there so people want to come to work for Blend.
He did note that while you can sell people on the vision of housing, you do have to educate people so they know the space exists.
The odds are that few people even know that the mortgage space is a career option.
From a lender perspective, Bill Lyons, president and CEO of Griffin Funding, gave a unique tip for those who do hire young professionals.
Times have changed. Millennials don’t want to stay in a job for several decades. They want to hop around. But rather than fight this, Lyons suggested working with your young talent and figuring out how you can create a mutually beneficial relationship.
If they do want to stay for only a few years, Lyons suggested sitting down with them and seeing how the company can help them on the career path. The thought is that if the company help them in growing they’re career, they’ll give the job everything they got while there.
These are simply snippets from the conference. If you have more suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. It will take a team effort to get the message out there to new talent that this is a space worth investing their time in.