Don’t Recruit People You Don’t Know


Handshake of two monitors via the Internet, business concept

Not many things bug me more than getting recruited within minutes of accepting someone’s LinkedIn request.

Yes, I probably shouldn’t have accepted that invitation in the first place, but I either didn’t look closely enough at their title before accepting, or tend to just be too “friendly” or in an exceptionally good mood that day.  But when I get a reply back moments later that consists of a page-long description of how great they are, and how amazing their company is, and how much better my life will be once I come to my senses and join them, I regret accepting it.  Even worse, I can tell it’s just a form letter they send to everyone.

Here’s the problem:  You don’t even know me!  You don’t know my company, my team, or any of the unique things we may already be doing that has led to tripling our business in the last 12 months.  You don’t know what drives me or what keeps me up at night.  Before knowing any of that, you, the recruiter, just assume life will be better with your company.

And this happens every day, to so many of us, year-round.

Now let’s turn this around.  I want to grow my team.  I want to add top Mortgage Advisors not only in Portland, but potentially in multiple states.  I also know for a fact that we actually ARE doing many things completely unique from every other mortgage company in the country.  I’m helping Advisors think differently about their career and how they help people.  I’m innovating unique processes, tools, and collateral that people have never seen before.  I probably should be recruiting a lot more, because the things we are doing for mortgage professionals is truly life-changing.  This isn’t ego…it’s simply my passion to be a hero to mortgage professionals.  It’s what I love to do, and have found I’m gifted at it.  Now I’m learning how to embrace it and scale it to help more people in this industry.

But I don’t ever want to recruit people I don’t know.

So you can see the dilemma here, right?  I want to recruit and add great people to our team and grow, just like so many other mortgage companies.  To do so, I need to reach out and connect with new people, and LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with others.  And what is the typical response when I reach out to schedule a coffee or lunch meeting, or to invite them to an event?  “I’m good here, and totally happy with my current company.”

It’s funny, because I never even said anything to the effect that I wanted them to move companies or work for me.  I don’t recruit people I don’t know, but they don’t know that.  It’s not their fault…they are just so used to being inundated with recruiting tactics that don’t first build a relationship to see IF there is a good fit.  Most Loan Officers are not used to someone who IS looking to grow, to actually have the honesty, integrity, and discipline to say, “You know what, you shouldn’t move.  You would not be a good fit for what we are building.”

How refreshing is it when you sit down with a fellow Loan Officer and can openly share your struggles, your victories, ask for advice, give advice…without feeling like you’re being recruited the entire time?

Rule #12 at our company:  “Help others win, and they will do the same for you.”  Basically, always look for win/win opportunities. 

There is, unfortunately,  a revolving door in this industry of Loan Officers moving from company to company, constantly being sold on “the grass is greener”.  Maybe it is in some ways, but often it’s not.  Turn times change, loan programs come and go,  rates fluctuate and technology and processes get modified.  That will always happen at every company.  I call these things “data and information”.  These are things that will always change, and we’ll go crazy basing decisions on that data and information.

So we have to base our business model, or at least I do, on wisdom.  Wisdom is a principle that will never change.  For example, get to know someone, find out what their vision is, both personally and professionally, and help them achieve that.  That’s my only job.  If I can’t help them achieve their vision better, faster, or easier on my team, then it will never be a good fit.  If I can, then it’s an easy decision.

I won’t know that until I know someone.  So, I don’t recruit people I don’t know.  First, we need to get to know each other.  It never hurts to grow your network.  This industry is small in most ways.  Reputations become known throughout your area.  We’re all colleagues who can share a lot of great ideas and wisdom with one another.

I know my philosophies, systems or model may not be right for everyone.  Many won’t care about anything beyond “how much do I get paid per loan,” and that’s fine for them.  But I also know everything I have created, and continue to create, is something most Loan Officers need, and have no idea even exists.  So it pays to get to know one another.  No “recruiting”, just connecting and seeking win/win opportunities.  That’s more fun, isn’t it?

Moral of this story?  If I reach out on LinkedIn, or one of my managers does, trust that we really don’t want to recruit you.  We don’t even know you and where you want to go.  Odds are you don’t even know us and where WE want to go.  We just want to connect, get to know you, and someday, IF there is a win/win opportunity and our platform can help YOU better get to where YOU want to go with your career, money, happiness, then we can happily talk about a change.  When and if I KNOW I can help someone, without a doubt, improve the path they are on and enjoy what they do everyday…I’ll let them know.  That’s my promise.


About Trevor Hammond

Trevor Hammond, NMLS# 74846 Division Vice President, Neo Home Loans 📞 (503) 680-5360 📧 📍 4380 S Macadam Ave, #150, Portland, OR 97239 🌐 Connect with me on LinkedIn:
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