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Recruiting? It’s Your Connections

Take advantage of the relationships your existing loan officers have

Dave Hershman headshot
Dave Hershman
It's Your Connections

Rates are up. While loan officers who were totally focused upon refinances get out on the street for the first time in years, managers will be contemplating recruiting more loan officers, so that they can keep up the same company or branch volume in what may be a lower volume year. Those managers will hire recruiters, cold call and/or advertise to bring in loan officer candidates. And for 30 years, I have been counseling that there is a better way. But if you don’t believe me, then read this excerpt:

Per a 2016 Loan Officer Recruitment and Retention Study of high-producing loan officers by Floify LLC, 43% found their employers through a colleague who referred them to the company. A quarter of the originators were recruited by their new employers, while 15 percent worked for a company that was involved in a merger. Only 8% reached out to the new employer on their own initiative.

The way I have read the study, which was released as a white paper, is that only 25% of loan officers are recruited by the methods that most turn to when looking to expand their staffs.

What is the better way? What I teach loan officers and managers is to open their eyes so that they will see the many opportunities around them. And these opportunities are going to be a part of their sphere. Where in their sphere? Well, the study gives a great lead in that regard.

If 43% were recommended by a colleague, then the greatest opportunity a manager can take advantage of is their present employees — includes loan officers and operations personnel. Many of your employees have been in the business for years. That means they know a great number of people still employed in this industry, including loan officers. Thus, I would focus upon these relationships. Many also may know those who want to get in the industry.

The next question is — how do you take advantage of these relationships? The most traditional method is to offer an incentive for the employee to help recruit. And while this is certainly a great idea, it is not typically enough to get the employees engaged enough in recruiting. To get a higher level of engagement, you need to add additional levels of involvement. Ideas might include:

  • Bringing up the topic on a regular basis. For example, in your last sales meeting did you bring up the topic of recruiting? Did you ask for your loan officers’ help and let them know how important their help is in this regard? You need to do this not once — but on a regular basis.
  • Distribute recruitment materials and give them guidance regarding what to say to those they know.
  • To go even further, meet with your employees and have them list those they know well who are of a high quality. Would they be willing to make an email introduction and/or set up a lunch? Promise your employee that you will not be calling to harass their contacts, but just to network — which is another strategy we will cover at another time.

There are other ways to get employees involved, from holding contests to having a formal mentor program in which they can participate. But I think you get the idea. I don’t understand why someone would put an advertisement somewhere before they exhaust all possibilities through their sphere.

And don’t get the impression that your employees are the only part of your sphere which can bear fruit. I hope to get to some of these in future columns as well.

Yes, I have been training the industry on recruiting and leading for decades. Have written the book for the MBA on the topic. We even have included this topic in our on-line mortgage school. But if you won’t believe me, hopefully you will believe the hard data which proves the point every time. 

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine July 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
Jun 30, 2023
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