Is Recruiting Success about Who has the Coolest Tools?

On LinkedIn, I see an amazing number of mortgage companies advertising for originators. The recruiting pitches are pretty much the same: “our lender has the best and coolest tools so come and work for us.” The perks lenders tout include their mortgage CRM, laptops, the latest from Encompass, personal landing page, social media tools and online apps to name a few.

Obviously, lenders are pinning their hopes on technology to attract originators. Unfortunately, this approach is rarely successful with the better quality sales candidates they want to hire. Frankly, above-average originators are looking for something more. While technology is important from a practical standpoint, it is not enough to move these producers to change lenders.

Over and over again, lenders promote their technology as the fastest or best and that no other lender has anything close to it. I am sure you have seen this, maybe even at your own firm! The problem is that technology can be a fleeting differentiator that requires something truly unique to distinguish one lender from the next.

When I ask senior managers to define their unique value proposition, too often they respond with their company’s latest technological tool such as Encompass. If other lenders are using it, it really isn’t a key differentiator. Instead, they need to think through what really sets them apart from other lenders when they are recruiting originators.

So how should lenders tailor their recruiting pitches? I’ve identified three triggers that prompt good originators to think about leaving their current lender and be receptive to joining another firm:

1.Their relationship with their immediate boss is not positive. If their boss is a micromanager or has a different selling philosophy, there will be trouble ahead in their relationship. Top producers love solving their customer’s problems and are successful because of how well they match to what the job requires. When their direct manager doesn’t understand what it takes to generate business or thinks that anyone can do it, these producers feel ignored or unappreciated.

2.Senior management has an inconsistent direction, goals and sales strategy. For example, if the company has started a large project to input sales calls into a CRM without providing the right support and training, this can detract from an originator’s selling efforts and can demotivate. When sales leaders add more administration functions to an originator’s job, the results can be negative. Good originators typically aren’t matched to administration functions and forcing them into this arena can be a big mistake.

3. Sudden changes in compensation can be detrimental because the good originators have already planned what activities they will pursue to reach their income goals for the year. Unfortunately, too often senior management uses compensation as a primary way to address profitability problems when the real culprit is underperformers who are not meeting goals and clogging up the system with non-qualified loans.

When recruiting sales candidates, are you focusing on what distinguishes your firm from all the rest?