March/April 2014 – Issue 2

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Where’s the Talent?

By Michael Giusti

A niche industry deals with the challenge of recruiting experienced professionals

As the alternative business lending industry continues to enjoy explosive growth, many companies are now finding that recruiting talented and experienced new people is becoming a real challenge.

Firms from across the country are facing the prospect of needing to fill roles in seemingly ever-expanding offices, and they are turning to a number of creative methods to fill those needs.

Some companies are promoting from within. Others are repurposing veterans from other industries. And others still are ramping up recent college graduates. But the one thing unifying most alternative business lending firms is that they are facing the need to fill vacant positions in one way or another.

College Graduates in Merchant Cash Advance“There’s a lot of growth in the industry currently, which is putting pressure on companies to attract or retain great employees,” said John D’Amico, managing director for Springfield, MA-based GRP Funding.

One of the reasons that alternative business lending firms are finding it difficult to recruit new talent is the relative youth of the industry.

“Specialty lending has never been a mainstream industry like banking or finance,” D’Amico said. “Most of the companies in the industry are searching to fill very specific needs, finding someone with a certain skill set or business experience background.”

So, hiring someone fresh out of college, through online services or local classifieds may not yield a candidate who is ready for prime time. That is because, even if you throw a bottomless bucket of money into recruitment, the pool of qualified candidates is just painfully shallow, said Heather Francis, director of the Gainsville, Fla.-based Merchant Cash Group.

“This is not a money issue. It is an experience issue,” Francis said.

She said that even though most funders compensate “really well” for underwriters, there just aren’t enough people qualified to step directly into the role to satisfy the industry’s demands.

Francis said in many cases geography compounds the problem for companies located in cities that are not financial services hubs. The talent just doesn’t live nearby and may not be willing to relocate.

D’Amico said geography has hampered his recruiting efforts as well. “However, since it’s been an employer’s market the last five years, we’ve fortunately benefitted from a good pool of potential applicants,” D’Amico said.

But, just because recruiting is difficult in many cases, that does not mean that it is time to throw in the towel, said Daniel DeMeo, CEO of New York City headquartered CAN Capital.

Merchant Cash Advance Employment

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