A recent “State of the Property Management Nation” survey revealed that the sector has enjoyed rapid growth over recent years.
The demand for capable candidates, experienced in block management, is far out-stripping supply. It does, of course, take many years of dealing with every aspect of the job from issuing section 20’s and representing at the FTT, to briefing contractors and scrutinising tender documents, before a candidate truly becomes an industry professional. So the high-level candidate, with the requisite number of years’ experience, is swimming in a very limited talent pool. A talent pool constantly diminishing due to the veritable stream of buildings that have sprung up in response to the economic upturn – all in need of a skilled managerial hand.
Often the best talent is only on the job market for a short time, and in that time they can take their pick of the roles available, and command a premium salary to go with it. This presents a real challenge for any hiring manger out there.
Consider the following steps in your recruitment process – they could be the key to helping you secure that highly sought after candidate:
1. Talent attraction
Developing a targeted recruitment campaign, with a clear strategy to attract a specific skill set, will be more effective than a stand-alone ‘situations vacant’ advertisement. Drawing up a profile of the perfect candidate will help to determine your strategy and should help to highlight your recruitment goals. The next job is to sell yourself, what makes you stand out as an employer, and what makes the role in your company stand out to a potential candidate. We think that focusing attention on employer branding is key.
2. Employer branding
The importance of product branding is the focus of marketing teams the length and breadth of the country, but in this sector, employer branding is of equal merit. The company website, in particular its homepage, will generally be the first port of call for any candidate considering becoming an employee. The About Us landing page, the next stop in the navigation, should convey the values at the heart of the company. What makes that company attractive to potential employees? What makes the company mission statement interesting? Continuing on to investigate the company’s social interaction, think about LinkedIn profiles and industry recommendations. Entering industry awards is a great calling card, an ‘Employer of the Year’ accolade could be what sets you apart from the competition. Don’t underestimate word of mouth as a key influencer! Your recruitment agent and staff should be your biggest promoters.
3. It’s all in the mind
Why not look outside the industry talent pool for someone who has transferable skills? Yes it will take longer to train them at the beginning, but they will also bring a different perspective and fresh ideas. A positive attitude, willingness to learn, and the right mind-set are attractive qualities and can often tip the balance in that candidate’s favour.
4. The friendly interview
Flexibility with interview times is important. After work appointments are often preferred, or consider making an appointment over a lunch meeting. Be prepared to make a decision quickly after interview, having only seen a few candidates, or you run the risk of losing them to a competitor. Providing same-day constructive feedback is important. Even if you don't feel that they are right for your team, they still have the power to influence their peers. Every candidate should come away feeling positive with regard to your interview process and your firm. Make sure your agent manages the candidate’s expectations of your recruitment process efficiently.
5. The up-sell
Make sure the interview panel are prepped and ready to work hard to sell the position. Highlighting the benefits for the candidate in accepting a position with the company is essential. Outline their package and their career progression, if possible. We often receive feedback where a position is offered, but not accepted, because the interviewer has failed to create the right impression or been enthusiastic about the brand. Don’t be afraid to promote your firm, and the position, truthfully. Over-promising and under-delivering will result in the candidate, when retained, becoming quickly unhappy and unmotivated.
Alice Cadfan-Lewis, Director at Block Recruit