Hiring productive employees is essential for businesses of any size, but in the case of Loan Officers it’s especially crucial.
With limited resources, many Sales Managers cannot afford to have employees that don’t perform to minimum standards. One of the most difficult tasks for a Sales Manager is identifying those individuals; who are not only talented, but have a “Book of Business” and relationships with referral partners. Now, after spending a great deal of time, energy and money recruiting a seasoned Loan Officer, it’s time to make an offer and close the deal! Timing the steps are crucial to the success in the recruitment process, especially when it comes to the final offer/employment contract phase.
Consider these tips – they can mean the difference between making a successful hire and losing a candidate at the ”Altar” than having to start the arduous process all over again:
Tip 1. Prepare the Offer before the final interview
Once you have gained a candidate’s verbal acceptance, start to prepare the employment contract and make the Formal offer within 24 hours or less. The candidate’s level of interest and enthusiasm is always at its peak during the final offer phase. Having an offer ready shows the candidate your level of interest of them joining your team.
Tip 2. Impose a deadline period for a decision
If you are going to prepare a formal job offer in a timely manner, it is only reasonable to expect that your candidate is ready to accept. The maximum deadline on your offer/contract should be no more than one week.
During this time frame, your candidate should realize the offer is exclusive only to them, and they are expected to make a decision. If the deadline passes, your offer should expire and void the job offer. Remember, it is crucial that you enforce your deadlines. Often times, we see my hiring managers extend deadlines to accommodate the candidate. Why bother using a deadline period if you are not going to enforce it!
Tip 3. Time to Close the Deal
Top Producers are in high demand… And too many hiring managers use a two-step closing process to hire (1) sending and waiting for the Offer Letter and (2) waiting for the Employment Contract. This might work if you are hiring a candidate that needs a job, but will, usually, put you at a disadvantage in a competitive situation when a candidate has multiple offers.
- The offer letter should, outlines all the details that are going to be included in the employment contract, start date, signing bonus, compensation, scheduled onboarding and training.
- Once the candidate signs the offer letter, then prepare the final employment contract and sent to the candidate’s home address in a certified letter.
In the event a candidate is at the Altar stage with a competitor, we encourage you to skip sending an offer letter and go straight to the employment contract in a final Face-to-Face meeting.
If candidates have multiple offers, the offer letter phase may delay the closing process and give your candidate; too much time to negotiate a counter offer or shop your offer around to see if they can get a better deal from your competition! If you are not willing to forgo the offer letter phase, we strongly encourage you to have a contract ready as soon as the signed offer letter is signed and returned.
Too many times, we see clients wait until the signed offer letter is returned before the employment contract is even prepared – again you are just prolonging the process. We have seen clients take as much as three weeks from the return of a signed offer letter, to get a contract out to a candidate. This is not the best way to instill confidence in your candidate!
Tip 4. Employment Contract Details
Candidates tend to get intimidated if they get lengthy offer letters and sometimes feel they need to have an attorney review. A simple, easy to understand offer letter and employment contract is best, if you want to get it back from the candidate within your deadline period.
- Remember, once the job offer has been extended, the communication with the candidate usually stops, and this part of the process becomes a poker game.
- Once you have gained their acceptance of the offer, now it’s time for the employment contract. This document establishes a clear understanding of the expectation, obligations, rights, and duties of both parties.
Addressing all these areas in the Employment Agreement reduces any potential misunderstandings, ensure stability, providing quality control and set the expectations. Clearly define the Loan Officer’s responsibilities in the beginning, helps create a more stable onboarding because the expectations are clear and agreed upon, up-front.
Tip 5. Send overnight or certified mail
This is certainly not the time to try and save a couple of bucks! When you send out Job Offers and Employment Contract; use overnight mail, be sure to include a return overnight envelope in the package. This sends the right impression with your candidate and reinforces the need for a prompt reply within the deadline period.
The Offer and Employment Contact our the most critical phase of the interview process and is in many cases, where hiring managers Drop the BALL! The minute an offer is extended; all control moves over to your candidate, and your ability to influence their decision, or help “close” the candidate has diminished.
An important strategy is to use trial-close and pre-close the candidate with a verbal offer, mostly to surface any non-monetary issues and gain acceptance.
Many Sales Managers want to put together and extend an offer as soon as they’ve decided they would like to hire a candidate. Follow the above tips and the advice below to gain more acceptance to join your team:
- Confirm the offer in writing, in a “Welcome to the Team” letter with the Employment Contract.
- Advise your employees, there is a new member to the team joining. Be sure to make arrangements for the new hire’s start date well ahead of time and prepare everyone involved in the onboarding process with their duties.
- Counsel your new hire through the resignation process, help them realize the emotional aspect makes for a seamless transition into their new role and ensures against counteroffers from their current manager.
- Talk with your team about any issues they may have about the prospect and deal with them before they become a problem, especially if you’re hiring their new Manager.
- When possible, spend the first week in the field to ensure their referral partners are comfortable with your organization at the new lender, this safeguard against the old employer pursuing the relationships.
EMAC Recruiting Academy provides Recruiting Resources articles on how to refine the hiring process, improve recruitment of new employees and learn how to build a highly effective Recruiting Plan.
The information in this article is part of the Loan Officer Recruiting Playbook e-Learning series. Join the Mortgage Recruiters Forum to learn more about Winning the Elusive Candidate and watch the entire series of recent webinars covering topics from; list building to recruiting, closing and onboarding talent.
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