Mortgage Cadence CEO Pedro Garcia: The Personnel Challenge CEOs Now Face

Pedro Garcia

Pedro Garcia is Chief Executive Officer of Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture company.

When we mention technology today, the first thing many people think of is an AI-powered chatbot or a robot. New tools are increasingly being viewed as alternatives to human labor, even though no business can operate without people. This is having a negative impact on company’s personnel.

The result we’re seeing in our industry is that mortgage leaders are having to work harder to recruit and motivate their teams. While this has not had a significant impact on firms in our space during this downturn, when the business returns and lenders must staff up, this could be a real problem.

Finally, after years of struggling to attract young people to pursue careers in this field, the mortgage industry is considered fully staffed. But if we can’t keep our people sufficiently motivated, that situation will change.

Most companies have human resource departments that focus on these issues, but every CEO should be thinking about ways to support their teams in this important work and critical time in our field.

AI and the Mortgage Industry: A Double-Edged Sword

While AI promises numerous benefits in terms of efficiency and innovation, it also brings concerns about job security and the changing nature of work. It is very difficult for employees to get motivated about building a career in a field that they worry may soon be turned over to machines.

We are starting to see the impact of AI in the industry in many aspects of the business from compliance, document management and customer service among some of them.

The task at hand for leaders is not just to navigate turbulent times but to inspire and prepare their teams for the next 2 to 3 decades of prosperity. That’s all about the vision and that should come from the CEO.

While I have been pleased to see more young executives in attendance at recent Mortgage Bankers Association conferences, there is still a notable generational gap in the mortgage industry. This gap presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

The challenge lies in ensuring that the industry remains attractive and relevant to the next generation of leaders. The opportunity is to harness this moment to prepare these emerging leaders, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to drive the industry forward for the next 20 to 30 years.

Strategies for Motivation and Preparation

The path forward for the mortgage industry involves not only adapting to current challenges, like the unstoppable advance of new technologies, but also proactively preparing for the future.

Here are some tactics that can be employed:

Reframing AI as an Opportunity

Leaders need to shift the narrative around AI, emphasizing how it can enhance, rather than replace, the human element in the mortgage process. Highlighting AI as a tool for empowerment and innovation can help mitigate fears and inspire a more positive outlook.

Investing in Continuous Learning

Given the industry’s complexity and regulatory demands, ongoing education and training are crucial. This not only keeps current employees engaged and informed but also makes the industry more appealing to newcomers. It also keeps them in the company as they work along a predetermined career path.

Cultivating a Culture of Mentorship

Encouraging mentorship within the organization can bridge the generational gap. Experienced professionals can share their insights and knowledge, fostering a sense of continuity and community. As word gets out, this will become a powerful recruiting tool.

Highlighting the Industry’s Impact

Reminding employees of the significant role the mortgage industry plays in people’s lives can be a powerful motivator. It’s about more than transactions; it’s about enabling homeownership and contributing to the economy.

By addressing concerns around AI, investing in the next generation of leaders, and maintaining a focus on the impactful nature of the work, leaders can motivate their teams and lay the groundwork for decades of continued success and innovation.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policies of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Editor Michael Tucker or Editorial Manager Anneliese Mahoney.)