The Key to Hiring Better Originators

Patricia Sherlock

If you’ve been in mortgage banking for any length of time, you’ve hired at least one salesperson who aced the interview and met production benchmarks – on paper – but failed to perform past the onboarding process. During my management career, I certainly hired my fair share of candidates who talked a good game and worked for well-known banks but couldn’t sell if their life depended on it.

Here’s the thing: interview performance is not a reliable indicator of whether a sales candidate will succeed in the originator position. Studies show that interview performance accurately predicts job success only 14% of the time.

This exact scenario is why I’ve been involved with research-based pre-hire assessments for the past 20+ years. When I started my consulting practice, it was important to me to partner with industrial psychologists who were scientists using data-driven analysis to help take the guesswork out of hiring.

With a pre-hire assessment, managers still have to interview but having an analysis that pinpoints a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses – and predicts sales success – is worth its weight in gold. For mortgage managers who recognize the quality of their originators is essential for long-term success, investing the time and money to get the hiring process right is a no-brainer.

Think about it like this: Would you make a loan to a home buyer without a credit score or a tri-merge credit report? No, you wouldn’t, even if the borrower was someone you knew. The same sentiment should apply when hiring loan officers – the people responsible for driving revenue and creating long-term success for your organization. Now is the time to adopt a more advanced analysis and level up your hiring process.

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