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“Our clients wanted to know what a competitive strategy was and there wasn’t any concrete information available in the market," said Christie Summervill, CEO of BalancedComp.

The 55 community banks and credit unions that responded to the short four-question survey had assets from $100M - $4B.

  • 60% reported they do not pay an internal referral fee to employees who refer someone for a mortgage loan.

  • Of the 34.55% who do, the median payout was $50. However, the average payout of $100 demonstrated the wide variation in response.

“We had responses from $500 per closed loan to $5 for a referral," Summervill reflected. The mode was also near $100.

There is no compelling response to indicate that, to be competitive, one must pay an internal fee for mortgage referrals. It would have to be considered in the total framework of the internal compensation philosophy of each organization and the relative impact of mortgage loans for that organization.

In 2016, BalancedComp found that the median total cash compensation for mortgage loan originators exceeds $70,000.

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President-elect Donald Trump committed to “require each federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on American business, and rank them from most critical to health and safety to least critical. Least critical regulations will receive priority consideration for repeal.” While this may spell freedom for some organizations, it will create a need for HR and comp professionals to keep closer tabs on what’s happening in their state​. ​

Here are some regulations that could change during the next four years:

Minimum Wage. Trump suggested tax breaks instead of increasing minimum wage significantly. Twenty-nine states have already taken the initiative to ​increase minimum wage above the federal law, but minimum wage won’t be changing as a result of Trump’s policies.

Fair Labor Standards Act. ​On November 22, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the the U.S. Department of Labor’s FLSA overtime rule from taking effect on December 1. The fate of the overtime rule is now uncertain. The Trump administration will take over the USDOL in less than two months’ time, and the incoming administration has repeatedly indicated that it wants to eliminate unnecessary regulations hampering the business community.

Paid Family and Medical Leave. Trump supports six weeks of paid maternity leave for working mothers. This would improve upon the U.S.’s current lack of paid leave policies, but still remains far behind other countries’ policies.

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Modern managers have been almost guilt-tripped with the idea that they don’t give enough praise and recognition to employees. It is said to be the key to engaged employees who are highly productive even when their manager isn’t watching. It has proven to lead to more profitable companies. Employees join companies, but leave supervisors who don’t effectively manage engaged relationships, HR has assured us.

I don’t disagree with any of that, but woe to the supervisor who isn’t wary of its double-edged sword.

I have had several employees in my career who were obviously rising stars. No doubt they were all “my right hand.” We took them to lunch on their anniversary and birthday. They were given high-profile projects to stretch and showcase their talents that could potentially lead them to future promotions.

To coordinate this performance with their pay levels, they were paid at the midpoint of their salary range after only a couple of years in their position. It was easy for me to think I was getting everything right, a model manager, in terms of praise, recognition, and engagement with my employees.

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“The often unrecognized fact is banks and credit unions compete for talent regularly,” explains Christie Summervill, CEO of BalancedComp.

While there are stark and notable differences between their business models, there are negligible differences between their candidate pools. These financial institutions fill more than 90 of the same benchmark positions, each seeking to add the best experience to their teams. It’s more confirmation that competitive salary grades aren’t a luxury, they’re a necessity to gain and retain the best talent.

BalancedComp’s 2016-2017 Salary Survey takes a high-level look at why the connection between banks and credit unions is more important than people assume. Based on responses from more than 200 HR professionals at banks and credit unions, across five asset sizes up to $1 billion, we’ve identified some key differences between these organizations. Where do you compare?


Credit unions hire more employees than banks in fulfillment of their member service mission.

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Banks have more supervisors, but lower employee count, for most asset categories.

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High turnover is a company’s greatest detriment, but it’s becoming a more common occurrence among employees. Continuous candidates, employees who are constantly seeking a new job, are a global phenomenon. In the U.S., 41 percent of job seekers agreed with the statement “I am always looking for the next job opportunity” in a study conducted by ManpowerGroup Solutions.

So why are they leaving? There are a few factors at play that you should be aware of.


As the company’s most direct influence, employees first look to their managerial relationship to determine job satisfaction. Micromanaging and making employees feel powerless could cost you workers.

Contract employment.

In a job world that demands flexibility, contract work allows employees to adapt to the market and not feel limited to skills that may become obsolete in a few years.

Lack of job security.

Mass layoffs made everyone wary of unemployment. Many feel that job hopping is the only way to diversify their portfolio and avoid remaining stagnant at a company only to get laid off.

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