Interest rates have been on the rise in recent months, and it feels like fewer Americans are buying and selling homes. While it’s true that many people are locked into the lowest interest rates of their lifetimes, putting a damper on homes sales, it is also true that mortgage rates have been inching downward recently, currently hovering just above 6%. This has been welcomed by potential homebuyers who had largely stayed on the sidelines since interest rates touched 7.08% in November of last year. Slowly, those who want to take advantage of a possible “dip” in mortgage rates are entering the housing market – especially as the summer season approaches – before interest rates possibly move in the opposite direction. As a consequence, many lenders are hiring again.

TalentWoo is currently seeking loan originators for our clients in several markets across the country, so it make sense to discuss the best practices to employ, and offer some timely advice for other lenders who find themselves in the same situation. So let’s dive in!

As you can imagine, finding skilled and qualified mortgage originators is a significant challenge faced by lending institutions and non-lending mortgage companies alike. There are certifications & licensing requirements to pass, people leaving the industry, and fewer recruiting staff to manage the tasks of talent acquisition. Not to mention, the role of a loan officer requires a unique set of qualities and experience, so hiring managers must carefully consider their specific needs and priorities. In this article, we will explore the hiring requirements and qualities that lending institutions such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo should look for in loan officers, as well as the distinct criteria used by non-lending mortgage companies like Mr. Cooper and Quicken Loans. We will also discuss the differences in job responsibilities and compensation packages, emphasizing the importance of tailored interview questions to identify the right candidates for these roles.

Hiring Requirements and Qualities for Lending Institutions:

Lending institutions like Bank of America and Wells Fargo often have specific hiring requirements when seeking mortgage originators. While these criteria may vary, common qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in finance or a related field, state-specific mortgage loan originator licenses (required in most states), and a strong understanding of mortgage lending practices, loan products, and industry regulations. In addition to these formal requirements, lending institutions typically look for loan officers with excellent communication, interpersonal, and negotiation skills, attention to detail, and the ability to analyze financial documents.

Non-Lending Mortgage Companies: Different Priorities and Qualities:

Non-lending mortgage companies such as Mr. Cooper and Quicken Loans often have distinct hiring priorities compared to lending institutions. While a bachelor’s degree may still be preferred, non-lending companies may place more emphasis on practical experience and a proven track record of success in mortgage origination. These companies seek loan officers who can generate their own leads and actively build a professional network. As such, qualities like self-motivation, proactive marketing skills, and the ability to establish and maintain relationships with clients and industry professionals become essential for success in this sector.

Differences in Job Responsibilities:

The job responsibilities of loan officers at lending institutions and non-lending mortgage companies also exhibit notable differences. Loan officers at lending institutions work within a structured environment with a consistent flow of leads and access to a wide range of mortgage products. They often focus on delivering exceptional customer service, guiding clients through the loan application process, and securing favorable loan terms. In contrast, loan officers at non-lending mortgage companies typically have more flexibility in tailoring loan terms to individual client needs. They are responsible for generating their own leads, actively marketing their services, and building a robust professional network.

Tailored Interview Questions:

To ensure the right fit for their specific needs, hiring managers must ask tailored interview questions when evaluating mortgage originator candidates. For lending institutions, questions may revolve around their knowledge of industry regulations, experience with loan origination systems, and their ability to handle high volumes of loan applications efficiently. On the other hand, non-lending mortgage companies may inquire about candidates’ lead generation strategies, networking capabilities, and their experience in actively building a client base.

Compensation Packages:

The compensation packages for mortgage originators can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the lending institution or non-lending mortgage company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for loan officers in 2020 was $63,270. However, experienced professionals in both sectors have the potential to earn six-figure incomes. Compensation structures typically involve a combination of a base salary and commission-based earnings, with the commission tied to the size of the loan originated or the total loan volume generated.

Quick Facts: Loan Officers
2021 Median Pay$63,380 per year
$30.47 per hour
Typical Entry-Level EducationBachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related OccupationLess than 5 years
On-the-job TrainingModerate-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2021354,600
Job Outlook, 2021-314% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2021-3112,600
Taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

TalentWoo Expertise in Hiring Mortgage Originators:

Navigating the complexities of hiring mortgage originators requires specialized expertise. TalentWoo Real Estate Staffing has a proven track record in recruiting and placing mortgage professionals, ensuring the right candidates for lending institutions and non-lending mortgage companies. With their tailored mortgage recruiters solutions, TalentWoo has successfully matched numerous skilled loan officers with organizations. Learn more about our recent successes in loan originations recruiting and how TalentWoo can assist in finding the perfect candidates.