Rising interest rates, limited housing inventory and the skyrocketing price of consumer goods have made the last half of 2022 an uphill climb for many lenders and LOs. While mortgage managers struggle to generate loan demand in a more volatile marketplace, I believe that the companies with solid hiring and employee retention strategies in place will come out ahead in the long run.
Finding – and keeping – good sales talent should be a top priority as more experienced LOs reach retirement age and exit the industry. To attract and retain younger LOs, mortgage firms will need to deliver what these employees value, namely a better work-life balance, growth opportunities and career development. Compensation is only part of the picture.
Unfortunately, when managers are faced with tough times, the first things to get cut from the budget are career development and training initiatives. Sales leaders may argue that they just can’t afford training but the truth is, many managers also feel that if they train employees, their investment will be wasted because workers will leave to go to a higher-paying position at another company. In my opinion, if you don’t put career development and training in place, your employees will leave regardless for greener pastures.
For lenders that want to succeed in 2022 and beyond, it is time to rethink employee training and development. Instead of viewing it as a line-item cost, training and career development is really an investment in attracting and retaining your best employees. This is a significant mindset change but moving forward, it is the only way companies are going to hire and keep younger employees.