By 2020, millennials will comprise roughly 40% of the employment force. Taking the time to recruit, attract, train, and nurture this unbelievably deep and talented resource (Millenials), should be at the top of the priority list of every mortgage business's CEO.
Take a look around most offices in the mortgage industry and one demographic trait will most likely stand out – an overwhelming number of 50+ year-old professionals. In fact, the age for the average mortgage professionals is 54-59 years of age. As these professionals move nearer toward retirement, an enormous gap will be left when they leave the workforce. Compounding this problem is the lack of younger people interested in pursuing a career in the mortgage industry.
One reason why millennials, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-something, shy away from the mortgage industry is that many of them graduated college into a difficult job market in which their opportunities to find work was limited. A large percentage distrusts the financial industry as they perceive the financial crisis of a few years ago a result of its practices, as well as witnessing financial challenges through their parent’s misfortune and experiences with lenders, who either threatened to take their homes through foreclosures or actually did lose their homes. Adding to the difficulty in recruiting younger professionals is that many positions in the mortgage industry are commission driven – a compensation format millennials find unattractive.
By 2020, millennials will comprise roughly 40% of the employment force. Taking the time to recruit, attract, train, and nurture this unbelievably deep and talented resource (millenials), should be at the top of the priority list of every mortgage business’s CEO. This is not just about how to attract the Millenial to offer financial products/mortgages, but how we attract and develop the Millenial, to serve the same generation of potential customers.
The challenge this presents to all employers is how to adapt their corporate structure and culture to attract and keep high quality candidates for the positions they seek to fill. The millennial does not want to be a faceless employee. Instead, they look to be valued contributors who make a difference in a company who they also see as having a positive effect on the world. Millennials prefer to be coached and mentored as opposed to managed. Corporate goals need to be communicated to them in a way that not only makes sense; but, ensures their buy-in and commitment. The difference between millennials and their older brother and sister Gen X-ers often can be easily noticed. While Gen X-ers look to balance their independent nature into the corporate environment, millennials may be more inclined to question authority while maintaining their independence.
As corporate leaders are more exposed to millennials, it becomes more evident that the culture needs to evolve to accommodate this new facet of the workforce. The mortgage industry is no exception. So, how is this achieved?
- Stress “Work-Life Balance”
It is important to millennials to have flexibility. A set nine-to-five schedule is not what they seek. They are more inclined to accept a position at a company that allows alternatives to the standard five-day work week. Four, ten-hour days may be more to their liking. Also, the ability to work remote instead of dealing with commuting to the office is appealing. It's not only scheduling that needs to be addressed. Family friendly policies are of importance, too. Offering family leave; providing child care services on site or contributing to the cost of care; and offering concierge services to help eliminate time consuming errands are all great perks. A large portion of millennials would select one company over another based on adjustable scheduling and consideration or assistance with personal activities.
- Location, Location, Location
It's a well-known saying about how location is so important in the real estate industry. For millennials, where their office is located is important. Though office space in the middle of nowhere may be more affordable, it won't be appealing to prospective employees. If possible, an office located near dining, shopping, and personal services will be more desirable to millennials. The availability of reliable public transportation and accommodating facilities for “down time” experiences, like social interaction, hobbies, gaming…. Is also an aspect to consider. The Tech Industry has mastered this with very inviting and accommodating work environments. Our industry could learn a lot from these developments and cultures
Many millennials who will be looking for employment will be freshly out of college or grad school. They may lack “real world” work experience, but are willing to learn. An effective paid training program paired with coaching and mentoring will not only help develop new hires into reliable and educated employees, it will also help greatly in employee retention.
- Go To Them
A terrific way to attract new talent is to interact with local colleges. Host seminars, lectures, social events, and job fairs for the students studying finance, banking, business, or marketing. Doing so provides the opportunity to meet numerous candidates, establish campus presence, and promote your organization. “I was personally involved in a very well organized and successful College recruiting and development program at a previous large financial services company. In turn these college recruits (Millenials) were all very talented and very successful within our organization at various levels, including management. These Millenials were definitely a game changer, and have all gone on to promising careers inside and outside of our industry, including my own daughter”.
- Provide Feedback
Millennials have been raised in environment that provided them with constant feedback. A management style that frequently provides feedback on performance and expectations is more likely to improve employee retention. Gone are the days of getting a job out of college and staying with the same firm for an entire career. Millennials' entrepreneurial nature contributes to their need to have a sense of ownership in the corporate structure.
- Be Creative With Compensation
Sign-on and performance bonuses show employees that they are valued. Some companies offer bonus vacation time or travel packages instead of traditional cash payments. To increase retention, install vesting options for added incentives. For example, a high-performing employee would receive a greater monetary bonus in three years than if collected immediately.
Each culture and ethnicity has unique needs and values. It is important to hire a diverse workforce to be able to relate to the different expectations and cultural diversities. If the demographic of a certain region of operation is highly based on a certain ethnicity, it would be beneficial that a mortgage provider have a staff that grasps the subtle nuances that an outsider may not have an understanding of.
It is vital that the mortgage industry recognizes what separates Millennials from Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers. By redefining the way these differences, and adjust the environment and culture of the industry, it will be able to more easily attract, young, talented professionals into an aging field.
About E Mortgage Management LLC (EMMLOANS.COM)
Lender NMLS 2926. Equal Housing Lender, Equal Opportunity Employer. emmloans.com is a private, direct-endorsed local lender, in business for over 12 years serving clients nationwide through its network of home loan agents. The company offers products sponsored by Fannie Mae (FNMA), Freddie Mac (FHLMC), Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), Federal Housing Administration (HUD-FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), individual state programs, and has access to a portfolio of private investors, nationwide. 3 Executive Campus, Suite 520 - Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
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