‘Best’ brokerages open to varied skillsets and experience: recruiter

The key to having a staff that “gels” is encouraging diversity of experience and paying attention to potential recruits’ personalities, a broker recruiter has said.

Zak Wilford, founder of workinfinance.com.au and a specialist broker recruiter, told Mortgage Business that brokerages looking to expand their teams should focus on whether potential recruits mesh with the workplace culture.

He explained: “It's important to find someone that you get on with, that you're happy to spend every single day with. You go into the office every day so even if they're really good, if you don't get on and you're unhappy with them representing your brand, it's not going to work out.”

Mr Wilford advised brokers to conduct initial meetings in places where the candidate is more comfortable, like a café, so that conversation is more relaxed.

He added that candidates should be following the same criteria. “Rather than picking a job that's ticking a box — because all mortgage broker roles are exactly the same, you're just writing loans — [you should be paying attention to] who you work for and who you get on with.”

Brokerages that employ staff with a range of experience also have the advantage of granting newer brokers the opportunities to receive mentoring and more senior brokers the chance to coach a team and train and develop younger brokers.

Mr Wilford added that, in this instance, it’s important that staff “get on, because they may be each other's motivation”.

The broking industry is “extremely talent short”, Mr Wilford noted, recommending that expanding businesses avoid pursuing extremely specific skillsets or backgrounds as it restricts the talent pool further.

Mr Wilford said: “Sometimes when I take a brief that says we want someone that's worked for a top four bank, that's been a mobile lender, that has a Certificate IV, and they have a strict brief, I often turn the job away just because it's so difficult to find.

“My favourite client, and the best businesses I work with, is open to the right personality and the right kind of person they can get along with, and the experience isn't as influential when they're taking them on. They may be happy with someone that's green and has no experience or they may be happy to take someone on that's got admin experience, but that's not necessarily in finance.”

[Related: Major bank launches workplace gender equality bond]

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Lucy Dean

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