NMP - August 2017 - 74

special focus on CERTIFICATION & EDUCATION a special focus on CERTIFICATION & E

Training Tomorrow's Workforce, Today
By Rick Arvielo

t's no secret that the
mortgage industry
workforce is aging. The
average Loan Originator
has been in the business
for a few decades now
and is approaching their mid50s. As a result, a large
segment of our industry will be
nearing retirement in the
coming years. Since this older
generation has been the
bedrock of our workforce for so
long, there will be a significant
void left in the marketplace if
lenders don't begin planning for
the future now. The industry is
at a pivotal point where now
more than ever lenders need to
begin training tomorrow's
workforce today. And who is
the future workforce?
Millennials. They're a key part
of the industry's continued
success. They're the largest
living generation and they make
up the largest share of
American workers. Educating
this massive age group is vital.
Not only do they have attributes
that make them ideal for a
career in mortgage banking but
since this generation ranges
from 20 to 36, a good portion of
them are entering their
homebuying years. In fact, 42
percent of current homebuyers
are Millennials, which is more
than any other generation. If
lenders want to attract this key
consumer group, one of the
best ways to engage them is by
employing other Millennials
because you have to have
mirrors in the market; people
who reflect the demographic
you're seeking to serve. But
how do we begin educating
Millennials to be our future
mortgage professionals? It
starts with not simply seeking
to train them for a position that
meets a momentary need, but
rather identifying ways to
attract them to the industry for
the long haul.

I

AUGUST 2017 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n

NationalMortgageProfessional.com

74

On-the job training
Even though a college
education isn't needed to make
it in mortgage banking,
companies have to have a solid
process for educating
Millennials, if they're going to
be viable part of this workforce.
Lenders cannot expect them to

come equipped with prior
training because many of them
have never had a background
in mortgage banking. That's
why if you want to ensure that
your company has a quality
team tomorrow, you have to
take the initiative today to start
building your own workforce.
Establishing a robust system
to train beginners requires
more than just giving them a

in dealing with customer
objections.
One approach for providing
this type of well-rounded
education that has been highly
effective for New American
Funding has been to create an
entry-level position that serves
like a boot camp, giving
employees intense on-the-job
training. It's tailored to equip
them with real-world mortgage

"One of the top three factors in retaining
Millennials is providing them with the
opportunity to continue learning and growing.
Since Millennials care about ongoing professional
development so must mortgage lenders if they
want to keep them on their team."
casual introduction to the
industry. It's important that
new recruits have the best
chance for long-term success,
which means you'll have to
equip them with the right
combination of hands-on
learning and classroom-style
instruction. This next
generation will need to have a
solid understanding of industry
guidelines just as much as
they'll need experience with
preparing loan files and skills

experience like handling
customer calls and following
up on leads. Once new
employees successfully
complete an introductory
phase, they have the
opportunity to enroll in our
company's Launch Lab, which
is a newly built educational
facility that grooms employees
for a specific career path in the
industry. The goal? When
they're finished, they should
have acquired practical

experience, become fully
licensed, and be ready to
assume a bigger role on our
team.
Mentor young employees
Although attracting Millennials
to your company begins the
process of building your
workforce, understanding how
to retain them is key. That's
where mentorship plays a big
role. One of the top three
factors in retaining Millennials
is providing them with the
opportunity to continue
learning and growing. Since
Millennials care about ongoing
professional development so
must mortgage lenders if they
want to keep them on their
team. Many companies offer
initial training, which is
essential, but it's the ongoing
education that's the difference
maker for most Millennials.
One way to provide that
progressive education is
through effective mentorship
opportunities.
As employees begin a new
position, initially placing them
in a supportive role is a good
avenue to initiate the
mentorship process. It allows
them to assist senior staff
members with the workflow,
which gives new talent the
opportunity to take on a
measure of responsibility, but
it also creates an educational
environment where they can
still learn from more
experienced employees.
Additionally, when veteran
mortgage professionals serve
as mentors, it gives them a
hardworking assistant, which
frees up some of their time to
focus on other top priorities.
Ultimately, this learning
dynamic creates a win-win
scenario for both mentor and
mentee.
Millennials want ongoing
professional development
because they want the
opportunity to advance their
career; therefore, establishing
a continuous learning
environment lets Millennials
know that if they grow, they
can move on from an entry
level position to more senior
level roles. When Millennials
don't see a clear path to move
up in your company, they
eventually move on to a
different opportunity. That's
why it's important to create a
culture where mentorship is


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