Natalie Hastings looks at ways to improve your team’s performance in 2015 through better recruitment and training.
A FRESH NEW year lies before you, offering the chance to make 2015 your best real estate adventure yet. Before the year begins in earnest, take time to think about your business and the people who power it.
To make 2015 the outstanding success you’d like it to be, you’re no doubt thinking about recruiting energetic new team members.
Having assisted numerous principals and property management department heads with the process of upskilling and recruiting for their teams, I present an array of recruiting and training basics. They are certain to help you choose well-matched new team members, boost individual performance and build a quality corporate culture. Here’s to you – and your team – in 2015!
HIRE WELL, HIRE ONCE
Rushing to hire a team member to fill a gap can soon cause employer’s regret – not only in disruption and a loss of time and resources if you pick the wrong recruit, but in money and intellectual property too. By taking a methodical and measured approach to recruitment, you’ll have the time to get to know your potential employee and see whether they’re a good fit, both for the role and your brand.
First things first: ensure your job advertisement is well written, fully explaining the role’s responsibilities and the qualities a candidate must have, to prevent an avalanche of unsuitable CVs flooding your inbox. Once you’ve made a shortlist of quality candidates, go online and visit their previous employers’ websites and the candidates’ professional and personal social media pages. This will tell you how the candidate is likely to represent your own company, based on their online behaviour. Google is your new best friend! Of course you’ll also check references thoroughly with past employers.
At the interview stage, observe any above-and-beyond initiatives the candidate has taken. Have they researched your brand’s website and social media pages? If they already know a little about your business and its values, you’re looking at an interested and proactive individual.
Crucial to any hiring practice is a test run – at hastings + co our trust accounting roles require incredible attention to detail, matched with speed and accuracy, so we always complete a mini ‘play date’ exercise which reveals the candidate’s skills in receipting and reconciling. Do the same with your potential candidate to identify areas of strength and weakness.
A CULTURE AND FEEDBACK CRITICAL
You’ve found your ideal new team member – nicely done! Take them out for dinner or a drink with your team a week before they begin, introducing everyone and making your newbie’s first day less daunting.
Now it’s time for a thorough induction, a process that unfortunately many employers overlook. A poor induction leaves a new team member feeling lost and unsure of your expectations, so make sure any training on software or systems and processes is done immediately and with clarity.
Make a date to meet with your new recruit at the end of their first week to see how they are settling into their new role and to address any concerns. Likewise, diarise a follow-up meeting at the end of their first month to provide more focused feedback on performance and give your employee the tools to make improvements, if necessary.
Ensure that ongoing training, not just for the new recruit but for your whole staff, is also diarised now, making sure that a culture of improvement and learning is fostered from the get-go. Make it full of variety, encompassing online training, in-house training, classroom training and – of course! – on- the-job training.
Think laterally. Monthly ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions are a fun way to have staff members present to their colleagues on a topic at which they excel. Everyone gets real-world training, learns something new and has a free lunch into the bargain.
Now is also the time to commit to attending industry and related events together as a team. Networking as a group is great for confidence building, brand building and creating a feeling of being ‘all in it together’.