As a rule, experienced loan officers are at the top of the list for most recruiting plans. When we don’t clearly define what types of experienced loan officers we are trying to recruit, our plans can go wrong. Unless we have clear objectives for our candidates, we are likely to cast the net far and wide and just hope one of the fish we catch with match. This is not a very scientific approach.
Here are some examples with regard to the types of loan officers we would like to attract to our company:
- Length of experience. Do they have the minimum level of experience required?
- Production record. Do we have a minimum level of production required?
- Product experience. Do they need experience in a certain type of product(s)?
- Marketing experience. Do they need a track record of generating referrals, or a certain conversion record for company provided leads?
- Target experience. Do they service the clientele the company is pledged to service? For example, they might serve the Hispanic community and your company has a goal to increase its service to that sector.
- Company experience. Do they have experience in your company’s production environment? If you are a large bank with major restrictions on types of marketing permitted, and they come from a small broker in which everyone produces their own marketing ideas and materials, this may not be a match.
- Cultural experience. Do they fit the company culture as far as teamwork, quality of applications and other areas such as ethics?
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive. However, the more you drill down with regard to they type of loan officer you are trying to recruit, the better chance you will have to locate candidates that fit your company culture and mission. For example, the process of recruiting a top producing experienced loan officer is much different from finding loan officers of average production. The benefits you offer will differ as well.
The top producer may be requiring bonus checks to sign on, assistant(s), special commission plans and more. The middle of the road producer may be looking for help in increasing their production.
The question is…how does your value proposition fit the needs of these diverse candidates? Are you trying to accommodate everyone within the experienced group or does your model lend towards a more specific target?
Related to the recruitment of experienced loan officers is the recruitment of experienced branch and sales managers. Here it is assumed that the ideal candidate will be an experienced producer, but not necessarily an experience manager. As a matter of fact, opening up the management position to experienced producers that currently don’t manage would give you a benefit to offer that is not always available.
This benefit is the benefit of advancement. Everyone may be trying to recruit a top producing loan officer, but not every company has a management position to offer that loan officer. This is a unique value you have to offer in this particular situation. As important as this concept is, it does raise two important topics.
- If the producer is not an experienced manager, we need to not only assess this manager candidate for leadership qualities, but also assess our own abilities to support and train a novice manager.
- If you are opening a new office, then the novice manager is not as likely to have a following and the office’s recruiting mission might have to start from “scratch.” In other words, you are not likely to start the officer with three or four loan officers and the risk you are taking will be more substantial by opening up a facility.
Of course, if the novice manager candidate is a top producer, they are more likely to be able to support a smaller office with their production. On the other hand, the more they produce, the less likely they will be able to spend the time they need recruiting.