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2 Key Ways Mortgage Companies Are Adapting Their Recruiting Strategy Amid Explosive Growth

mortgage companies hiring for growth

Working urgently to ensure they offer continual and exceptional value to their clients amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries and companies, like Keller Mortgage, also are adapting to a surge in hiring necessitated by a metamorphic increase in business in 2020. 

And, Keller is not alone.

According to EVP of Quicken Loans Mortgage Services, Austin Niemic, in HousingWire’s article, Three Mortgage Leaders Pump Up the Hiring Volume, “ … [Quicken Loans’] new push for hiring (they’ve hired more than 1,500 people since mid-March) can be attributed to historically low rates and the strength of the housing market in the midst of the pandemic’s economic turmoil.”

“AmeriSave Mortgage Corp., one of the fastest-growing privately-held mortgage lenders in the nation, announced its plans to recruit and hire more than 2,000 new employees across the U.S.,” according to a recent article in the Louisville Business Journal.  Loan officers, mortgage underwriters, customer care positions and technology roles are among their “critical positions’ to fill. 

Here are two key strategies that mortgage companies are using to adapt their recruiting to accommodate this explosive growth.

1.Recruit Outside the Mortgage Industry by Targeting Agile Candidates With a Strong Work Ethic 

While it makes good recruiting sense to seek out candidates with specific mortgage-industry experience, value also can be reaped from non-industry-specific candidates who are eager to learn the profession and willing to become a team player, according to United Shore’s CEO Mat Ishbia, in the HousingWire article.

As well, Niemic shared how Quicken Loans’ focus includes sourcing “good, hard-working team members” with or without the added value of mortgage experience, adding that their training team will help bridge the knowledge gap.

Also among those mortgage companies with a flexible, encouraging perspective on hiring outside the industry is AmeriSave, whose President and COO, Mike Berte proclaims, “Whether you are an experienced loan officer, underwriter or processor looking for more tools and support, a recent college grad with zero experience, or a military veteran seeking a new career opportunity after bravely serving our country — we have world-class training and support for all who join the AmeriSave family.”

Reach out to hospitality industry candidates, many of whom have been downsized amid the pandemic, and most of whom exude the qualities most valuable to mortgage companies: hustle and grit, which is a clear sign of strong work ethic.

“We want to focus on who we’re hiring and not their resume or their experience,” according to Taina Oquendo, Better.com’s director of corporate recruiting in the same HousingWire article. Hospitality industry candidates’ transferable skills include a “strong customer service mindset” as well as stress tolerance and “hustle and grit.”

Ensure your team is asking questions that evoke storytelling that highlights a candidate’s strong work ethic and adaptability in the past.

JVM Lending, in How to Spot ‘Grit’ When Interviewing, and Why It is SO Necessary, personalizes the value of grit, saying, “the telling factor behind our success stories is grit.” This is because of the “extreme pressures of the job (long hours, very tight deadlines, knowledge requirements, helping Realtors and borrowers with very high stakes and emotional decisions).”

2. Ensure You Source Quality Talent

Screen for Adaptability

More than 60% of recruiters agree they will need to hire workers with skills that weren’t needed before, according to Lever’s 2020 State of Recruiting Report. And, the leading skill, according to 68% of respondents, was adaptability.

This article further reinforces the value of adaptability in top talent, describing A-level performers as those possessing not only raw skills, but also intangible attributes; e.g., a natural ability to pivot amid change and pitch in across a variety of roles “to get the job done, no matter the task.” These employees possess abilities to better navigate the intangible ambiguity and change associated with periods of explosive growth — and beyond. 

Screen for Customer Relationship Management

Moreover, top talent are exceptional customer relationship managers. And, without a reputation for consistent, quality customer care to achieve time-sensitive solutions to buyers’ most pressing needs, most mortgage companies will crumble.

“When the flood of loans hits, it is not uncommon to see the rate of exceptional customer experiences plummet by 10 points or more,” according to this Gallup article.

In order to avoid this, consider the following tips, leveraged from the Gallup article, when hiring. 

Exceptional customer relationship managers are people that:

  • Hit the customer’s desired closing date, while also setting realistic timing expectations.
  • Perform as experts.
  • Make it easy for the customer so they don’t waste customers’ time.
  • Educate the customers on the process, including the ‘why’ and the ‘when,’ since obtaining a mortgage loan is not something a customer does every day.

A Gallup case study further reinforced the value of recruiting and hiring customer-focused talent, describing how “a national lender improved from an industry-worst experience to industry-best in two years by focusing on hiring exceptional talent and reengineering their employee and customer experiences.”

One of the ways to increase the likelihood of hiring this specific type of talent is to identify them via predictive talent assessments; according to Gallup, who asserts that without talent assessments, “mortgage companies will likely hire non-A talent ~70% of the time.”

Personalize Your Strategy

According to the Lever report, many industries, including finance at 57%, have been responding to COVID-19 with more personalized and relationship-based candidate interactions. 

But, what are some methods you can employ to engage a more tailored approach to your recruiting strategy? 

One way to up your personalization game is to deliver a strong nurture component to the talent you are trying to reach:

  1. Rather than just sending one blanket email, provide information about the company and the role and why it is specifically a fit for THEM (not you). 
  2. Personalize outreach with multiple email cadences. Lever’s 3-email process has proven to increase response rates by 91%.
  3. Add new candidates to a campaign with customized timing and senders to craft a path that’s right for each candidate. This may include sending a note on behalf of a key executive to further personalize the engagement and to boost open rates by 31%.

To learn more about how to personalize your outreach to top talent, sign up to get a custom demo of Lever’s talent management platform.