MCKINNEY, Texas — Equipment finance executives are working to attract new talent as the industry continues to face recruitment challenges.
“The biggest challenge we’re starting to address — but we’re so far behind the curve — is the influx of new talent and doing a better job of [recruitment],” Patrick Hoiby, president of Fort Worth-based Equify Financial, said during a panel Wednesday at Equipment Finance Cares in McKinney, Texas.
“When I look at where the industry is headed, everything’s headed for better technology, but we’re not spending enough time [on] PR and social media trying to attract new talented people to the industry. If it’s not presented correctly, equipment finance doesn’t look very attractive, but if you teach it right, [the industry] could” be more attractive to prospective recruits.
The art of the deal
Deals are key to recruiting talent, Dave Fate, chief executive of Plano, Texas-based Stonebriar Commercial Finance, said at the event.
“There’s nothing like deals to tell a story,” he said. “The minute you tell me there’s something I shouldn’t do, one of my marketing guys with the energy and the ingenuity is going to figure out how to put the deal together. The difference between the real and perceived risks: That’s where you make money in this business, and that’s how you should think about it. It’s a great story to tell, you just have to be good storytellers, and transactions [are] the best part.”
People, technology are key
Dallas-based BOK Financial Equipment Finance, for one, is taking the industry’s story to college campuses to aid in addressing labor shortages, President Jill McKean-Bilby said.
“Many of our customers and industries that we serve — construction [and] trucking, for example — are short on workforce, but we are too,” she said at the conference. Employees “went out to some of the local colleges and told the story about equipment finance; it’s really getting the word out on the story.”
Increased use of technology and a younger generation of equipment finance leaders represents a key combination for the industry in the next decade, Kirk Phillips, president and chief executive at Frisco, Texas-based Wintrust Commercial Finance, said.
“We are going to find ourselves as an economy that is going to be relying more and more on technology and other aspects,” he said. “There’s going to be those that can learn to adapt and use technology, not only within this industry but within all industries that we serve. The next five to 10 years is all about people and technology.”