Despite some prevalent negative stereotypes regarding Millennials in the workplace, individuals among them who are on track to achieve senior executive status in the mortgage industry are just as prepared and capable as those of previous generations, according to an expert. Rick Glass, principal of Rick Glass Executive Search, who has been instrumental in the hiring process for hundreds of senior mortgage banking executives over the last 20 years, notes that while Millennials have a certain reputation as a generation, the facts indicate that they make fine senior managers.
“I interact with top executives throughout the mortgage industry every day, and they often agree with the general descriptions that we read frequently about Millennials in the workplace,” Glass said. “Some report a general resistance to paying their dues, keeping traditional business hours and advancing within organizations based on achievement. I have not, however, witnessed these attitudes among the Millennial executive talent I’ve dealt with,” he noted. “On the contrary, I have found them directed, determined and focused on success.”
Glass specializes in finding senior management for companies in every aspect of the mortgage business, both in lending and servicing, as well as for product and service providers. He noted that according to Forbes, the Department of Labor Statistics indicated Millennials reached 50 percent of the workforce in 2015. Estimates indicate they will be 75 percent of the workforce by 2020 as more Baby Boomers retire, and it is important that companies in the mortgage business have executives capable of leading them effectively.
“Based on what has become conventional wisdom, one might expect the so-called ‘entitled’ attitude to pervade all levels of the ranks among Millennials, but it is just not the case,” he said. “From what I’ve observed, Millennial managers I see rising eventually to C-level roles exhibit no differences in drive, engagement, practices and discipline from the senior executives I’ve worked with for the last two decades.” The workers they supervise may display some of what are perceived as negative stereotypes, however. “Articles in the Huffington Post and elsewhere tell us that effective leadership for Millennials means more mentoring and less old school management,” he said. “Price Waterhouse Coopers did a study not long ago that indicated close to 40 percent of Millennials felt that older managers did not relate to younger workers.” Millennials crave a different work paradigm from previous generations and that can rub many senior executives the wrong way. But to get the best results from the workforce that will eventually dominate the industry, Glass noted that C-suite leaders must find and acquire executives who understand and can manage Millennials to achieve optimal results.
“One of the challenges going forward will be to strike a workable balance in managing multiple generations with different values and objectives,” Glass said. “High potential Millennial management talent is certainly different from previous generations in obvious ways, such as comfort with technology and instantaneous global social media. But work environments that foster a meaningful purpose and encourage passion, motivation and innovation transcend generational differences,” he noted. “I have complete confidence that the industry will be in great hands as it deals with the challenges that lie ahead, particularly if it recruits its leadership carefully.”