According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics’ Occupational Outlook, by 2026, the title industry will see a 4.4% increase in job openings -- higher than the national average for positions of the same educational level with the same level of on-the-job training.
While these statistics represent an exciting opportunity to bring new talent into the title industry, they also present a challenge. Last year, for the first time in 2 decades, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of open jobs was higher than the number of people looking for work.
As the U.S. labor shortage marches on, who will fill these positions and what will the title industry need to do to entice the millennial workforce to enter title work?
The College Effect
Since the last U.S. labor shortage, the proportion of individuals pursuing a college education has increased dramatically. As a result, the available workforce for trade and other skill-based positions that do not require a bachelor’s degree has dwindled. In other words, filling a position such as a title processor is more challenging than ever before. Meanwhile, baby boomers who have previously filled these positions are beginning to retire, further widening the gap between open positions and available talent.
The Title Advantage
Although the pool of available workers for high-school-diploma-level positions is waning, title & escrow companies have a strong advantage over the rest: higher wages.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, title occupations (not including attorneys) boast a median wage of $47.1k --8% higher than the national median wage for occupations that require the same level of education and on-the-job training.
The title industry’s favorable wages could entice more interest from those entering the workforce; however, title & escrow companies must do more to bring in the next generation of title industry professionals.
How Can Title Companies Compete for New Talent?
To attract new employees and fill the increasing number of available positions, title & escrow companies must understand the needs of the millennial workforce. We sat down with Tom Griffiths, CEO of Hone, a training solution for modern teams, to discuss ways title companies can appeal to this generation.
Griffiths says hiring and retaining millennial talent comes down to two factors: purpose and growth. He asserts that title & escrow companies are well-equipped to deliver both if they can adapt their hiring strategy to meet the aspirational needs of millennials.
- Offer purpose-filled work. While people coming into title positions may not immediately recognize the purpose imbued in their day-to-day work, Griffiths says there is plenty of opportunity to bring the higher vision of title work to light. “Leadership must dig deep to define what the higher purpose of their business may be,” he says. “Perhaps it’s about connecting title & escrow work to the deeper purpose of helping people through a major life event of owning their first home.”
- Deliver growth opportunities. Unlike generations of the past, millennials rank career growth higher than paycheck when examining job opportunities. “Millennials want to progress more quickly than previous generations and they want to be recognized with promotions,” Griffiths says, “Millennials also have a higher turnover rate than previous generations because they often move from job to job to achieve the growth and promotion they are looking for. If you can offer exciting development opportunities, they are more likely to stay put.”
In addition to creating an enticing work culture, title & escrow companies must consider the workplace tools millennials expect. “As a digital generation, millennials are used to working with high-grade, consumer-level technology,” Griffiths says. In that vein, title & escrow companies may want to evaluate their technology and make upgrades to meet the digital needs of the next generation of title professionals.
A digital transformation will not only impact day-to-day title work -- at scale, better digital processes will streamline the closing process and transform the real estate transaction. Despite the challenges of acquiring new talent in the face of a rising labor shortage, title & escrow companies are well-equipped to attract new talent with the enticing possibility of joining an industry on the cusp of massive change.