The mortgage industry has a noble mission that appeals
to younger generations: putting families in homes.
From that base, the industry can promote its commitment to professional development through education
programs aimed at attracting and retaining talent and
highlight all that the field has to offer, including the
potential for building careers.
College majors and minors exist that can help to cultivate most of the skills required to work in the mortgage
profession. Those college pathways include studies in
marketing, business, finance, real estate development,
law, accounting, entrepreneurship and public relations.
Once into their careers in other industries, unhappy
job-switchers do sometimes consider mortgage lending. Often that happens as the result of a referral from
friends or family.
The mortgage industry does need to increase its talent
pool. Based on research from a variety of independent
sources, however, it faces a number of business and
■ n The industry is not well known or understood.
■ n The potential for a career is unclear.
■ n Internship and training programs are not
■ n Budgeting for training is not always high on a
mortgage company’s priority list.
■ n The baby boomer generation, the source of
many current mortgage professionals, is retiring
and being replaced by millennials and the even
younger Generation Z.
■ n Curricula related to mortgage financing is thin
or lacking at many universities and community
The first consideration for employees in joining a
company is financial reward, according to the 2018
Deloitte Millennial Survey. Beyond compensation,
job prospects look to companies that have solid mission statements and values that are put into practice.
The top values identified by millennials: making a
positive impact on society and the environment; creating innovative ideas, products and services; advancing
careers and improving people’s lives; and emphasizing
diversity in the workplace.
For individual growth, almost 80 percent of those
surveyed by Deloitte said on-the-job training and
continuous professional development will be important in helping them perform at their best. They credit
school studies with building 23 percent of their skills,
knowledge and experience, according to Deloitte.
A combination of on-the-job training and professional
development programs carries more weight, however,
with millennials and Gen Zers, saying those two sources
account for 52 percent and 44 percent, respectively, of
the skills they draw on while on the job.
Gen Zers, for example, are looking for work that
offers a more personal touch. They are technologically
savvy, which means they can quickly learn internal
systems and processes. For those moving into customer
service and related roles, companies need to create
programs to build interpersonal skills and confidence.
Because of the need to connect with people of all
educational levels and backgrounds through many
channels (phone, e-mail, social media, texting, written
letters, presentations, proposals and internal memos),
some companies offer online writing classes to help
improve communications skills for all. Another
important value to younger workers is a commitment
to giving back to their communities. This can be
achieved by giving each employee a number of paid
hours each year to support a local cause and providing
matching funds on donations to nonprofits that fit
within the company’s preferred areas of support.
Based on its analysis of U.S. job-switching activity
in 2016, the social media platform LinkedIn reported
that millennials were 50 percent more likely to
relocate and 16 percent more likely to switch industries for a new job than non-millennials. According
to LinkedIn, the top destinations for job-switchers
were in technology, health care and financial services,
which includes mortgage lending. As reported in
Forbes, millennials cited a “lack of opportunities for
career advancement, followed closely by dissatisfaction with compensation/benefits” as the key reasons
they switched jobs.
The biggest losers of talent, according to LinkedIn,
include retail, government, education, media and
the nonprofit sector. This creates opportunities for
recruiters to be creative and advertise in industries
losing people who have the skills and talent to
succeed in mortgage lending.
To attract new talent, the mortgage industry may not
be able to change college and community college
curricula in short order, but there are positive steps
organizations, independent companies, banks and
others can take to educate the job market about the
potential for careers in the mortgage industry.
Why new hires leave their jobs
n■ Not being given clear direction on job
expectations and responsibilities.
n■ Not receiving effective training.
n■ Not being properly mentored.
n■ Not understanding the potential path
to a career.
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