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Determining The Quality Of Rookies

Simple use of due diligence increases chances of success

Dave Hershman headshot
Dave Hershman
Quality Rookies

In the last issue, we discussed the topic of rookies coming into this industry. To managers that are hiring — we were all rookies at one point, and someone gave us a shot. There is no way of determining which rookies will fail and which ones will succeed. But we can increase the chances on our end in a few ways:

  • Making sure the rookies we hire are quality rookies.
  • Making sure the rookies we hire have the right experience.
  • Making sure that the rookies we hire have the training and mentoring they will need.

This month I would like to focus on the quality aspect. How do we ensure that the person we hire is a quality person? Most of the time, people come into this industry by accident. Again, going back to my own story, I played racquetball with people in this industry. They thought my aggressiveness on the court would translate into top production. They were right, by the way, but not for that reason.

The point is — just because you have a connection with the person does not mean they are the right fit for the company and the industry. There is an important idiom in business:
Success is not an accident.

Let me add one more:
Failure is not an accident.

Simple Solution

You will increase your chances of success and decrease your chances of failure by accomplishing a decent amount of due diligence. Where should this work be focused?

• On-line. Look at their social media. Are there postings that contain red flags? Drunken parties might be one. Off-color postings might be another. Controversial postings might be another. We are not looking to see if we agree with their opinions and philosophies. But remember, if they are going into sales, they must be someone who can relate to everyone. I personally have strong opinions about many things, but you won’t find them posted on social media.

• References. Speak to those they have worked before in the past. Even if they are coming out of college, they should have had summer jobs and teachers you can speak to. Are they reliable? Do they pick up concepts well? Are they social? Do they relate well with people? Are they leaders? You should even speak to someone who referred them. Describe the job — would they really fit in this position?

Of course, these concepts apply to experienced hires as well. How many times have you hired an experienced loan officer and then found out it was a mistake? A mistake you could have avoided if you

had done your due diligence up-front? Again, success is not an accident. If the experienced producer has a mediocre track record, there is usually a reason for that — though 90% of them will tell you it was the fault of the previous company(s). That is a red flag right there.

With a rookie — it is a bit harder to extrapolate from their experience to success in this industry. But many of the traits are relatable. And many of the traits which would prevent success are relatable as well.

Note I have talked several times about the experience of rookies. Rookies have experience and this experience is just as crucial as the experience of present producers. More on that topic in the next column.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine October 2023 issue.
Dave Hershman headshot
Dave Hershman

Dave Hershman is an author for the mortgage industry with eight books and several hundred articles to his credit. He is also senior vice president of sales for Weichert Financial Services, head of OriginationPro Mortgage School and a top industry speaker.

Published on
Sep 27, 2023
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