We’re now more than two decades past the initial internet boom. How have we fared? Did technology take all the jobs we thought it would — or did it create better ones? It’s up for interpretation, but one truth remains:

Human talent is still highly valuable.

One of the ways we know this is because of the current hiring shortage. Companies from restaurants and retailers to financial services and tech firms are pleading with the American public to fill their open positions, which add up to about one million more than the current number of people looking for jobs. 

Are technology and new remote models to blame? 

The Reasons We’re Missing Talent

There are a number of reasons for the job/worker disparity — and not all are driven by the pandemic. In the lending space specifically, companies are having a hard time filling positions because:

  1. It’s always been this way

SBA-specific lending expertise has always been hard to find. A quick glance at a few banker profiles on LinkedIn demonstrates high migration between banks simply due to the volatility of the industry. From employees jumping ship to banks being acquired and setting up new divisions, many of these roles don’t seem to stick. Today, these professionals are in even higher demand due to the impact of the pandemic on small businesses and subsequent government lending. 

  1. Efficiency vs. growth model

A bank’s “efficiency ratio” is a measure of how well (or how poorly) it controls its overhead and back office expenses. In the bank’s eyes, the lower its efficiency ratio, the better it is operating. At the opposite end of the spectrum are high-growth companies like FinTechs who aren’t measured by efficiency ratios and instead prioritize innovation. But this dichotomy presents professionals with a choice between a place that squeezes everything it can out of workers or a chance to build, try new things, and grow. 

  1. Competition for top talent

In this employee market, candidates have the freedom to pick and choose from the best jobs available. Companies with a high-growth mindset prioritize outbidding other companies for candidates with the right experience to build a company of expert innovators, causing lending salaries to skyrocket. Some companies have even extended their search offshore to hire talent, which is now possible due to the digital processes put in place from remote work during COVID-19. This not only provides a greater pool of candidates to choose from, but opens up avenues for more diverse talent with unique experience.

  1. Federal stimulus

Since the start of the pandemic, Congress has approved three stimulus checks and advance monthly child tax credit payments for millions of Americans to help cover basic expenses and bills. While these payments are not enough to offset lost wages and benefits from pandemic layoffs and furloughs, they’ve provided enough relief to help low-income earners move out of poverty and eliminate the need to work multiple jobs. This, in turn, has given many Americans the freedom to take stock of their employment and reevaluate their priorities for more balanced, higher paying careers. 

  1. Human lifestyle priorities

Early COVID-19 quarantining presented people with a forced break from work and the hustle and bustle of life. With newfound realization for the value of this time and work/life balance, many workers are now reprioritizing their life and family goals, swapping uninspiring jobs with more purposeful work.

Read our latest whitepaper and see how SPARK brings people and tech together: Now Hiring: How Digital Has Forever Changed the Lending Career Landscape

Technology is a Perk, Not a Hindrance

Technology played a crucial role while the economy was shut down at the start of the pandemic. For banks, implementing digital systems and processes has not only allowed them to scale their impact, but serve more customers, deliver more capital, and remain “always-on” — beyond the pandemic and well into the future. This is because automated software is designed to eliminate employee burnout by making daily operations smoother and easier to manage, resulting in smarter (not harder) work. 

Instead of presenting a roadblock to employment and advancement, technology has demonstrated time and again how it helps workers thrive. In lending specifically, automated software provides employees with the ability to:

  • Eliminate non-value-add tasks like data entry and document generation
  • Expand employee technological experience and build expertise
  • Focus on customer management, relationship building, and other responsibilities only humans can accomplish
  • Work for a company that values employee time, advancement, and education in addition to future-proofing the business

Instead of presenting a roadblock to employment and advancement, technology has demonstrated time and again how it helps workers thrive. In lending specifically, automated software provides employees with the ability to:

As technology becomes a top differentiator in today’s banking hiring landscape, candidates are looking for intuitive, cloud-based solutions that streamline work as opposed to the clunky legacy systems of long ago. SPARK is a cloud-based loan origination platform that helps banks and lenders attract the next wave of talent.

As the industry’s most complete and intuitive end-to-end solution for managing and nurturing SMB lending, SPARK makes hiring and retaining employees easier. It simplifies the loan origination process through automation, customer-centered design, and deep expertise, allowing professionals to focus on strategy and relationship building instead of manual workarounds.

Plus, SPARK makes it easy to continue business without interruption when an employee leaves. Our platform never forgets — it’s always accurate, up-to-date, and equipped with the latest forms, guidance, and rules, making it easy to pick up where a former employee left off and train the next replacement. 

Assuming other aspects of the job are equal (pay, work/life balance, management, growth potential, etc.), we believe digitally enhanced lending operations like SPARK will allow companies — and employees — to flourish, while those that elect to remain manual will fall behind.

Ready to enhance your lending job with our SPARK platform? Request a demo today


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