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The one small change that attracted higher-quality talent

The one small change that attracted higher-quality talent

Like many companies, dealing with the surging demand of mortgages during 2020 while continuing to provide a high level of service our clients expect from us, created unique challenges. One, in particular, was the struggle to hire enough qualified people to fill the business needs of our clients.

“…finding the right people and retaining them can be a frustrating challenge to tackle…”

Although not a particularly bad problem to have, because growing your business is certainly a healthy goal to achieve, finding the right people and retaining them can be a frustrating challenge to tackle.

As the industry grappled with switching employees to a remote workforce, Advanced Data was poised to use our already established remote workforce as an allure to hiring talent that would meet the demands needed to scale up our operations. However, we were met with roadblocks and discovered our recruitment efforts weren’t as effective as we had hoped. So it was back to our round-table discussions, where we set out to find an effective solution. With one small change, we began our campaign to hire top talent.

That change consisted of revamping our recruiting strategy. We rewrote our job description techniques and started advertising that Advanced Data was looking for people who wanted “careers,” not just a “job.”

“The change improved the caliber of candidates applying for our job openings immediately and remarkably.”

We quickly discovered that the difference in wording has meant that while we technically are providing compensation for a job, with benefits and the perks of working remotely, promoting the position as a career elevates it beyond just performing a task. We are offering individuals a unique blend of roles and responsibilities they can take pride in. The change improved the caliber of candidates applying for our job openings immediately and remarkably.

It is important to note that the revamp goes beyond wording. In other words, we aren’t just saying this a career. For our new team members, the junior staffers, we’ve developed a transparent, internal career ladder to map their ascent at the company. We show them that there’s a process of support in place. We make it a guiding principle of employment with Advanced Data, a cornerstone of what we believe, together.

This helped us not only attract a much higher caliber of candidates; it’s helped us to keep them.

It’s a heavy lift when considering that a career in mortgages isn’t necessarily an attractive option for many recent graduates. Today, though, recent graduates better understand the value of owning a home, and the remote work environment brought forward by COVID-19 lockdowns, has made this goal ever more important.

“I often ask a follow-up question months down the line: What attracted you to this position? They respond to the effect of, ‘I wanted to help families fulfill the American dream’.”

When advertising our open roles, we now also include language explaining that this position is helping fulfill the American dream and plays into that growing understanding of the importance of homeownership. It’s amazing how this has pushed so many recent graduates to connect the dots between owning a home and working in the mortgage industry.

I often ask a follow-up question months down the line: What attracted you to this position? They respond to the effect of, “I wanted to help families fulfill the American dream.” So, it’s often a repetition of the phrase from the language used in the initial job description. That continues to amaze me when we hear the sentiment repeated; I think everybody can resonate with the American dream of homeownership.

Our corporate culture is built around how we each play a part in contributing to the success of, not just our company, but our individual lives, our careers and in helping others reach the goal of homeownership one mortgage and one verification at a time.

Roisin Lakings is CFO of Advanced Data Corporation. In the 18 months Roisin has been with Advanced Data the company has grown tremendously, realizing 10x growth in client fulfillment, meeting profitability targets and tripling the size of the Advanced Data team. Connect with Roisin on LinkedIn.
‐Roisin Lakings

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