EPMEPM: HR and Recruitment

Backing a winner!

There’s a common saying in sport that ‘winning is a habit’, and it’s a saying which should become a mantra for you when hiring new staff for your business. If you can find staff that have accomplished something amazing in their lives, even if it’s outside the professional realms of your industry, you’ll create a team that understands how to plan for, build towards, and achieve success.

It’s no accident that reigning champions in the sporting arena are hard to knock off their perch. Sure, they might have the best players, but eventually another challenger arrives, with players of a similar ability. However, it often takes years for these new-comers to claim the silverware. For several seasons you’ll see them start strongly, set a cracking pace, and even make the final, but invariably the ‘old-dogs’ win when it really counts.

The reason is self-belief, and an understanding of what it takes to win the battles that really matter. And the principals are the same outside the sporting domain. If you can find staff who know what it takes to scale great heights, even if those heights have been outside the property industry to date, you will find you create an environment where success and great achievements become second nature.
When you’re hunting for these ‘super-achievers’ you need to be open-minded, and think outside the square. If you’re purely focused on finding people that have previously achieved great things in the Real Estate industry, you’ll find you’re forever competing with every other Real Estate company out there. Of course you need these people with hands-on industry experience, but if you can also be a bit innovative with your recruitment you’ll find a huge and largely untapped market at your fingertips.

Look for people who have created successful businesses from the ground up. Even if it had very little to do with property – say a boutique bakery or a home-grown clothing label – if someone had the drive and self-belief to start something from scratch, and the determination to battle through the challenges and hurdles they inevitably faced, they’ll be able to do it again for your company.

Similar skills are needed to accomplish great things outside the business world. Think about people that run marathons or climb Mt Everest. These are people who decided they wanted to take on a monumental challenge, committed to it, then set about knocking it off. These huge achievements show strength of character and a single-minded focus which these individuals will be able to apply to every aspect of their lives – including their new career working for your Real Estate company!

Confidence in their own ability
Just like the champion sports team, individuals who have previously achieved great things have incredible self-belief. If they’ve set themselves a massive target in the past (cycle the length of the country, make a million dollars before they’re 25, etc), and then achieved that target, not only will they believe that they can achieve anything, they’ll also be open to taking on big challenges, no matter how impossible they may initially seem.

Rarely do people achieve great things without being resilient. If running a marathon was easy, everyone would do it, and along the path to finishing a marathon there are inevitably roadblocks – injuries, time constraints which impinge on your training, and the many and varied challenges that everyday life throws at you.

Very few people in business ever simply have a great idea, put things in motion, then sit back and enjoy the money as it flows in. Love them or hate them, some of the world’s most recognisable business people (people like Richard Branson and Donald Trump) display amazing resilience. They might lose the odd battle here and there, but they always come back, because they believe in themselves. And, more often than not, the battles they win are the battles that really matter, just like the champion team that knows how to get up when finals time rolls around.

Success breeds success
Success is contagious – if you start filling your office with people who are grabbing life by the scruff of the neck and squeezing as much out of it as they possibly can, you’ll find the rest of your staff catch the bug. The more people you can have who turn up at the start of each week with their game faces on, ready to conquer the world of Real Estate, the better. You’ll soon find that your other staff members become invigorated and inspired by the energy these people bring to their work life – if not then it may be time you reconsider their position on your team.

The skill of learning a new task
People who are willing to accept a new challenge and learn a new skill can be taught how to succeed in Real Estate, even if they have very little genuine experience in the property market. Learning anything is a process – a process which involves being open to, and wanting to, learn a new skill, accepting the fact that they have to start at the bottom and work their way up, and a commitment to the education process, no matter how hard or lengthy it may be.

People who have learnt a new task before (anything from learning how to sky-dive to teaching themselves how to walk again after an accident) understand that it is a process, and that things that may seem daunting initially invariably become clearer as time goes by. If you can find individuals who accept that they don’t know everything, but understand that time and commitment will see them eventually becoming an expert, you can mould them in to your ideal team member. It’s the people who never step outside their comfort zone, who are content to remain stagnant and accept the status-quo who will keep your business from reaching its true potential.

Finding these great achievers isn’t really that difficult, it just requires a change of mind-set and a slightly different approach when hiring new staff. Start asking questions about their lives outside of the Real Estate industry. Encourage people to list all their achievements, not just the ones they think will appeal to you as a business owner. If you can isolate people who are used to setting targets and working towards achieving big goals, and spend the time giving them the skills and tools to do this, you’ll soon reap huge rewards!

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