Small property management businesses are always looking for ways to recruit top talent for their teams. While high turnover is not a new concern for the real estate industry, this year it is a growing concern. In 2021, 35% of Canadian employees were considering to look for another job and 45% of companies were seeing difficulties with attracting and retaining talent.
Without the resources of a large, coordinated HR department, which tactics should small businesses use? Here are ways you can position your business to compete with larger talent competitors.
1. Look outside the property management industry for talent
Industry experience is always a plus. If all other qualifications were equal, relevant job history should obviously come into play. However, if you’re only looking at applicants who have worked in property management, you’re missing out on the vast majority of candidates. This is especially true for entry-level positions or office positions with transferrable skills.
For instance, does a good accountant need to have background in property management? With built-in accounting tools in property management software, the skill may be more relevant than direct experience. Likewise, it would be great to hire a leasing agent with experience. At the same time, that might not be possible in your area. Interview a number of candidates to find a smart, fast learner.
DO WHAT WORKS TODAY
Always consider the job market when you make an effort to recruit top talent. It may have worked in the past to hire those with prior experience in your field, but if you’re struggling to find a good fit, you may need to redefine acceptable job qualifications.
2. Enhance your marketing presence
It’s not just residents and tenants who are looking at your public presence (e.g., website, social media, online reviews). Potential employees are checking you out too! They might use your marketing and customer feedback to evaluate your company culture, professionalism, relationships with tenants, etc. That means your marketing efforts should be made to impress anyone who could potentially find you online.
P.S. We’ve written a lot about marketing on our blog!
3. Promote your strengths to help attract & recruit top talent
It’s often easier for large companies to recruit top talent. In part, this is thanks to financial advantages that smaller companies can’t always compete with. (We’re not just talking about higher salaries.) Large, established and highly profitable businesses often have more flexibility when it comes to paid time off, retirement savings, healthcare plans, etc.
But that doesn’t mean small property management businesses don’t have their advantages. You just have to know what they are and how to promote them!
For instance, with fewer corporate hoops to jump through, small offices can be more flexible and nimble. It’s often easier to implement new things or change strategies, etc. That’s great for someone who wants to showcase multiple talents, learn a variety of new skills and wear many hats on a daily basis. With any luck, you’ll find people to grow with you for years to come. At the very least, you can position your business as a jumpstart to someone’s career.
4. Prepare for tough interview questions
Even if you’re an experienced interviewer who knows how to recruit top talent, you may have noticed the questions coming from interviewees have gotten tough. This is happening as part of the “Great Resignation.” For the first time in a long time, job seekers have the upper hand in negotiations and are willing to walk away from offers that aren’t perfect.
To help prevent you from being caught off guard, we put together some tough interview questions small property management businesses should be prepared to answer. Knowing how to respond could help you compete with larger companies.
- “I currently have a great job. Why should I consider this position instead?”
- “Can you talk about a really bad day you had working here and how you got through it?”
- “How do you talk to people outside of work about your job?”
- “Can you provide evidence that diversity and inclusion matter in your hiring?”
- “How has your company adapted to the shift to remote and flexible work?”
- “How long has this position been open? Why do you think that is?”
- “Are high performers fast-tracked for promotions and salary increases?”
5. Give meaning to the work you do
Show your applicants that they’re contributing to something in society. Find ways to demonstrate the impact you have on your community. If a potential employee has narrowed down their choices to you and an entry-level position at a large corporation such as Apple or Google, what intangibles do you offer that other businesses can’t? It might be community involvement, a sense of place and being, etc.
6. Get the latest tech to recruit top talent
Isn’t the goal to not only recruit top talent but to retain it? Giving your people the same tools they would have at a larger business will go a long way. Property management software will streamline your business operations like never before. That’s why it’s essential to use a platform that’s robust enough for your community and easy to learn for new employees. But having the wrong system is almost as bad as having no system as all and will make it harder to train and retain staff.
For a quick rundown of our best software options, check out this infographic comparing Yardi Breeze Premier and Yardi Voyager.