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How to Compete With Bigger Companies for Greater Talent

David Lykken
Mar 11, 2015

If you want to be competitive in the mortgage industry, you know you've got to attract the best talent to your team. You're only as good as the people working for you. An organization is only as good as the people who make it up. But this truth poses a problem for those of us who are smaller. We have tighter budgets and, therefore, aren't able to pay out as much as some companies. How do we compete with these bigger companies for the great talent necessary to create a winning team?

The first step is understanding human nature. Satisfaction with work isn't all about the money. Don't get me wrong—it is about the money, but it isn't all about the money. People expect to be adequately compensated up to a certain point but, eventually, most of us start looking for other rewards from our labor. We want to know that we're valued as people and as professionals. We want to feel like we're making a difference. We want our work to matter. To secure the top talent, we've got to learn to tap into these psychological needs of our employees, as well as the financial ones.

Last week, I received the opportunity to interview recruiting expert Jeff Jensen, and he came up with some interesting ideas. Maybe you could allow employees to bring their pets to work. Maybe you could allow your people the flexibility of working from home part of the time. Maybe you could improve your facilities—offering a fitness center or game roomallowing employees an area where they can let off steam.

Do some brainstorming and come up with some ideas that work for your organizational culture. But, to secure the kind of talent necessary to be competitive, you don't necessarily need a big budget. You just need to be able to create the kind of work environment in which people actually want to work.


David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected]


Mar 11, 2015