darren-nolander-Growing your business is a key part of growing your business. What I mean by that is you can’t always do it yourself. Sure, you can work on growing your pipeline. Increasing sales. Making more phone calls. Posting more frequently to social media. You can – and should – do all that, but what if there were more of you doing it?

That’s why recruiting is so important. If you really want to hit those big-time growth goals, it will almost certainly involve expanding your operation. More people equals more ideas, more eyes and more bodies to handle clients. That’s win-win…but it’s not always easy.

People are fickle. They’re not all great matches for your culture and organization style. Others just don’t share the passion. Your time and resources are precious, I know this. Don’t spend them on the wrong people in the wrong places.

Instead, create a recruitment plan that will grab the best, brightest and ideal fits for your business.

Target Your Audience

What kind of candidate are you looking for? There’s no right answer; it all depends on you. Some loan officers prefer to build their teams by recruiting individuals who are already in the mortgage industry, or by mentoring the younger generation through networking programs. Colleges and universities are a great talent pool as well. People already in sales – whatever they sell – can be another source of great contacts. Whatever your strategy, define the type of candidate you’re looking for, or you’ll never know where to begin.

Identify Desirable Behavior Traits

I’d take this tip in two parts. First, think about your own leadership style. How would you define it in three words? Then think about the types of candidates that would do best under that kind of leadership. For example, if you’re not a micro-manager, you’ll want a self-starter. If you excel at goal setting, look for someone who’s got a track record of smashing their numbers.

Define Your Team’s Culture

You’ve already thought about your leadership style and what types of team members may work best with that. Now think about your current team and its synergy. What are your values? What lights you up? Consider your communication style and what you’ll expect out of these candidates. You’ll want to give an honest, open but brief look at your team, work style and what sort of candidate might fit into that picture. This will save you time and help you weed out incompatible candidates before you both get too far down the line.

Put the Word Out

Your network is already invaluable when it comes to referrals, why would recruitment be any different? Reach out to your contacts and make it known you’re hiring – and what, exactly, you’re looking for. Be sure to hit all your networks, including referral partners, networking associates, neighbors, community members, social media (especially LinkedIn) and even clients. Be sure to include how interested candidates should contact you, as well as any other special instructions.

Follow Up

Yup, just like a hot lead on a borrower, you need to follow up immediately and enthusiastically. Instead of sending a template email that starts “Thank you for your interest…” send a personalized note. Mention your appreciation for their application, how long it will take you to get back to them and any next steps required by them. If possible (though not always), it’s great to mention something you saw in their resume in the body of the email. Perhaps where they went to school or a company you’re familiar with.

Good candidates don’t fall out of the sky. If they did, no one would ever be hiring – and that couldn’t be further from the job situation today! But with a little hard work and specificity, you can attract the right candidates who can take your business to the next level.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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