About the Author
Diane is an executive recruiter and talent acquisition professional for the mortgage industry . She has over twenty years in the mortgage industry as a wholesale AE and operations professional. You can visit her professional profile on LinkedIn. You can also follow her on twitter Follow @AExplode
Has anybody else noticed the number of job postings in the mortgage sector lately? And that they seem to linger for weeks and months on end? I am not surprised at all…in fact I have been warning for over a year that we would be facing a severe shortage of qualified professionals in the mortgage industry. Between the credit crunch, over regulation, stringent licensing requirements, bad public image, and the lack of business….. who can blame loan originators and bankers for choosing early retirement or new opportunities? And operations professionals, traditionally overworked and underpaid, had very little choice over the past few years but to look elsewhere for greener pastures.
At the onset of the mortgage crisis there were those who said that the silver lining was that only the best would survive, leaving a stronger, better qualified industry. Well in the end (Please God, is it the end of the crisis??)that is not entirely what happened. The first to leave the mortgage industry were the folks with the most experience, nearest to retiring. The ones who could smell fraud from a mile away, and could read a tax return better than the most seasoned IRS auditor. (I was going to say better than the Secretary of the Treasury, but these days that is not such a feat). Next were the people who were accustomed to making money, those who really were at the top of their game and could not afford to hang in for years and years of making next to nothing. Then those who were unable to become licensed, (although some of them migrated to banks). And let’s not forget the folks who were escorted out of the business, often in handcuffs.
I am happy to say that a small number of experienced old timers have hung in for no other reason than their determination to ride out the storm. And with any luck, there will be enough of them around to teach what I am anticipating to be an onslaught of newbies. They have a wealth of knowledge that cannot be duplicated by an online course. In my opinion, I think we need a concerted effort by the industry to put such talented folks in front of those who are coming in fresh to the business.
And while we are at it, there is a need to make the career path for all mortgage professionals more clearly defined. How does one become a processor today? What classe/courses would prepare somebody to be a processor? How about an underwriter? How does one become a DE underwriter? There are probably as many answers as there are unfilled job requisitions. In the old days you might start your career in mortgage operations as a receptionist/loan opener for a small mortgage broker or banker and work your way up to processing. With some hard work and perhaps a few courses, you could become an underwriter. If you felt it necessary, you might become sponsored for DE status. These days there are not many offices that can afford the luxury of a receptionist/loan opener. And more often, offices are looking to hire experienced processors who can carry larger loads rather than hiring several trainees. Those looking to become loan officers also face a more challenging path than in years past. Not many companies want to take the chance on an inexperienced loan officer, especially considering the cost of licensing.
My next post will explore what lenders are looking for in new candidates, and how can a person obtain the skills needed to land a great position in the mortgage industry.