John Phillips is group operations director at Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart
Due to the financial crisis of 2008 and the uncertain landscape that followed, promoting a career in the financial services sector was inevitably more difficult. As a result, many younger employees chose other industries to work in. In fact, in May last year it was widely reported that there was a real shortage of brokers which was nearing a tipping point following an upswing in business.
But things have changed dramatically since then. Gross mortgage lending reached a nine year high and we are experiencing unprecedented growth in terms of recruitment numbers. In other words, adviser recruitment activity is clearly on the rise.
Interestingly, recent figures have shown that 68% of hiring managers said their biggest challenges were the lack of future talent and the skills gap. However, I would have to disagree with this. Despite recent economic and regulatory headwinds, it seems that the job market is on the move. In fact, in January alone, we received more than 900 CVs from brokers across the country. This is supported by figures from a recent survey which showed that 75% of employees in the financial services sector are open to job opportunities.
It is also clear that mortgage brokers are becoming increasingly more important, with more lenders acknowledging the critical role they play in the post MMR marketplace. This is shown in the changes to proc fees and customer retention strategies which are certainly good news for the intermediary community.
Due to the competitive nature of the ever-changing market, brokers must be confident, friendly, results driven and customer focused because customer service still wins clients. So it is important that the right people are recruited for the right roles in order to help drive performance and deliver a high level of service.
Due to an abundance of opportunities in the market, as well as record low rates and an increasing number of available mortgage products, it will certainly be interesting to see how the employment market shapes up throughout the rest of the year.