The U.S. government’s coronavirus rescue package, designed to relieve companies and workers overwhelmed by business-closure and shelter-at-home mandates, is putting unprecedented pressure on commercial lending institutions. As they attempt to keep up with an influx of applications, lenders sorely need more workers with expertise in administrating the SBA loans so many small businesses are now attempting to take advantage of.
Variously referred to as loan administrators, loan processors, loan officers, loan servicers and more, these professionals are in short supply, given the scope of the need. It is not the only role in demand now at lending institutions, but it is a key one.
The SBA is offering this lifeline to small businesses and sole proprietors (generally those with 500 or fewer employees) in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Adding to the pressure on commercial lenders to find enough loan administrators is the government’s push to process the loans and get the money into the hands of small business owners quickly.
With today’s low interest rates, lenders must find skilled workers to process other commercial loans as well. There is, for example, demand for businesses wanting to buy equipment, build out new manufacturing facilities and make other improvements.
If you need to hire loan administrators, consider the following tips on identifying the right candidates and streamlining the process of bringing them aboard:
Core loan administrator job duties
Start by creating or updating your job descriptions to ensure they accurately reflect the expectations you have of loan administrators as well as the skills and temperament you want them to have. Given the rush, you may feel you don’t have time for this, but if you create targeted job descriptions and then base your job postings on those descriptions, you’ll increase your chances of attracting candidates who can hit the ground running.
Typical duties of a loan administrator include:
- Processing and monitoring loan payments
- Handling customer inquiries
- Identifying signs of suspicious or unusual account activity, and making appropriate recommendations to minimize risks
Responsibilities for someone in this role include ensuring that loan documentation is properly put together and signed, collateral is documented to ensure the bank is protected, loans are set up in the bank accounting system, and clients are properly billed.
Key skills required
The position typically requires a bachelor’s degree. In the absence of a four-year degree, some employers will accept previous loan processing experience — mortgage or commercial.
Loan administrators should have strong organizational, communication and customer service skills. The candidate also needs to have high attention to detail, an understanding of complex legal documents and competency in the mathematics required. Excellent soft skills — especially empathy and respect for individual loan seekers — are also essential in this day and time.
A basic understanding of risk can also be important. It is often the loan administrator who brings to the attention of the loan or credit officer that there is something not going right with the loan.
The job of loan administrators doesn’t end once the loan is in place. They must then keep a watch on each account to ensure compliance with matters such as properly documented customer payments and continuing insurance on the property. They must follow up if improper documentation is discovered after the fact and handle any issue as it relates to collateral associated with the loan. In short, they are responsible for ensuring the loan continues to function properly.
Interview questions to ask loan administrator candidates
- What loan types and complexity levels have you handled?
- Have you ever, on your own or having being asked, moved more quickly than normal to expedite loan processes?
- What are your tools for calculating income and analyzing credit?
- What software have you used in previous jobs?
- If you’ve uncovered fraud in the past, how did you deal with it?
How Robert Half can help you hire loan administrators now
Robert Half has years of experience placing loan administrators with clients on both a temporary and full-time basis. And our recruiters are well-versed in helping companies hire remote workers.
Robert Half can help the people we place securely access necessary data and applications, including virtual desktops. For workers who lack the necessary equipment at home, we can quickly provide tech tools to help them jump into action immediately.
Our highly skilled loan professionals are capable of working remotely from anywhere. And with fewer geographic constraints, we have a larger talent pool than ever to draw from. We can find remote loan personnel for you who are a perfect fit with your particular needs. Put simply, regardless of how many loan administrators you need, we can help you navigate the hiring process from beginning to end, and we can do it quickly.
Let us help you staff up with the loan administrators you’ll need to get you through this intense period of business activity. We move fast because we understand that the need is so very urgent.
Whether you want one person or a whole project team, and whether your needs are short-term or full-time, we can help you hire skilled professionals today!