Click on the icons below to subscribe.
Guest: Rob Posner, CEO of NewDay USA, a leading mortgage company serving America’s veterans, service members, and their families.
Episode in a Tweet: This mortgage company’s in-house “university” trains top talent to deliver pandemic-proof customer service.
Quick Background: A generation ago, why were aspiring communication pros desperate to work at CBS? Why was Ogilvy top of the list for young advertisers? Why did IBM and Hewlett-Packard hoard top talent in the tech and sales sectors?
These companies weren’t just industry leaders. They were leaders because of their legendary training programs. The best college graduates knew that once they’d “graduated” from those programs, they’d have the skills to excel either in-house or just about anywhere else they wanted to work.
Of course, CEOs who make training central to their culture are the biggest beneficiaries of this kind of investment in talent-building. On today’s show, Rob Posner explains how NewDay USA recruits, trains, and develops an exceptional workforce.
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.
Keys to Building a Training Organization from Rob Posner
1. Recruit raw talent.
“One of the things that makes NewDay so incredibly unique is that we get to hire young men and women right out of college, at the beginning of their careers,” Rob says. “So they have not had the opportunity to be influenced by any other employers, outside of any work experience they had while they were going to college. So we get this incredible product, this raw material, that we get to train and develop within our culture.”
Many CEOs who are looking for moldable young talent start by scanning resumes for fancy words like “Harvard” or “MIT.” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that strategy. But with such a large pool of new and displaced workers available, competition among top firms is fierce. Creative CEOs like Rob have learned that when you identify the characteristics that are most important to your definition of job fit, it’s possible to find gems that other firms might be overlooking.
“We believe that we have a system that produces successful young men and women if they have the right work ethic, if they have the right desire, and they want to be successful,” Rob says. “We care that while you were in college you had to multitask, you were very busy, and you had real responsibility. For example, college athletes. If you were able to play a sport and get good grades, that’s very important to us. If you didn’t play a sport, we’re looking if you were able to get a 3.0 grade point average and work at least 20 hours a week. And a lot of these young people we recruit were extremely involved in actually paying for a significant part of their own schooling. They were part of a family, part of a team, and they realized that they had a responsibility to help educate themselves.”
2. Build your “university.”
One of the strongest differentiators between companies that will accelerate out of the pandemic and those that will keep spinning their wheels is whether or not the CEO invested in recruiting, training, and retraining staff during the past 9 months. These talent upgrades are going to translate into an improved customer service experience that drives repeat business and expands customer pools.
Like everyone else, NewDay had to adapt their best practices to the pandemic. But the organization Rob had in place was already so strong that the company hasn’t missed a beat. NewDay employs a team of full-time recruiters who easily pivoted from visiting campuses and providing tours of company’s headquarters to virtual interviews. This might seem like a diminished interview experience, but Rob’s team has actually turned video chat into an advantage. They spend more time on the conversation piece of the process, making sure that candidates are clear on how NewDay’s culture works and what performance expectations will be.
Rob’s training infrastructure is equally specialized. “We made a big investment,” he says. “We bought a training company that had a mortgage banking curriculum for the mortgage industry. And we just weren’t interested in being in the training business. We wanted the training company just to focus on NewDay and the culture that we have here. And so the course instructors have gone back into NewDay USA University to make a difference and train the next generation of mortgage bankers.”
When Rob calls his training program a “university,” he’s not exaggerating. Depending on the position, new employees will spend months and even years achieving their certifications and immersing themselves in the NewDay culture. The result? A level of customer service that has helped NewDay double its revenue throughout all of 2020’s ups and downs.
Rob says, “One thing we’re very proud of is that our young people, a couple of years out of school, they’re outperforming people that have been underwriters in the industry for 20-30 years because of our focus on training.”
3. Provide a meaningful career path.
NewDay USA University also gives grads a clear understanding of what kind of future is available to them at the company. The culture and mission at NewDay are so strong that many employees are happy just to keep helping military families build better lives. New employees who want to develop their leadership know that NewDay has a track to promotion. But the company also has a unique requirement that potential leaders recruit new employees to join the company. This means that Rob’s brightest young talent is constantly promoting NewDay and attracting interest from other motivated individuals. Eventually, ambitious employees have an opportunity to lead their own team under the guidance of a company vice president. In this way, NewDay’s recruitment, training, and promotion all work together to continually refresh talent and position the company to keep succeeding in perpetuity.
“At NewDay, we really believe in building a training company,” Rob says. “We’re not looking to go public or be owned by private equity. We’re going to build this business for the next 20 years so that 20 years from now, when a veteran is thinking, ‘What is the number one financial services company in America serving veterans and service members?’ we want them to be thinking NewDay USA.”
1. Don’t be afraid to invest in your talent. Whether you’re hiring new people or training current staff for a digital future, the payoff is a better customer experience.
2. Don’t just hire on-paper superstars, hire talented, motivated people who are going to buy into and enhance your culture.
3. Don’t offer a job, offer a career that your top talent can make their own.
Transcript: Download the full transcript here.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with the world’s top entrepreneurs, CEOs, and companies to dramatically grow their business, develop their people, and elevate their overall performance. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 600 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 40 countries. Every coach at CEO Coaching International is a former CEO or President that has made big happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $1 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight and nine figure exits. CEOs and entrepreneurs working with CEO Coaching International for three years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 59% during their time as a client, more than five times the national average. For more information, please visit: https://www.ceocoachinginternational.com