It’s time to ditch the ‘hire as needed’ mindset and adopt an ‘always recruiting’ mindset. But the problem is, we don’t always recognise the difference between hiring and recruiting.
Stay on the front foot
Gone are the days where we can afford to adopt a reactive mindset to bringing new team members onboard. Building your team should never be a case of “I have a vacant position, so I’ll start looking”. Hiring is about fulfilling an immediate need in your business for a person with particular skills. It’s reactive and far from the most efficient way to attract the best talent.
You’re at a disadvantage from the start of the hiring process, because every day you don’t have someone in a role you’re losing money. You scramble to fill the role and you may end up settling for a less than ideal candidate out of fear no one better will come along within the timeframe you need them.
Anyone who’s ever advertised a position knows that great people are hard to find. Hoping that the perfect person will come along at the exact time you choose to advertise is not just illogical, it’s risky too. To secure top talent, you need to always be keeping an eye out for people who might fit your business. You need to always be recruiting. It’s a constant. Why? Because your business should always be changing and evolving, and you should always be asking yourself “who will I need next?”.
Effective recruitment is not about hiring. It’s not about advertising. It’s not a case of posting a position description on a job board and waiting for candidates to come to you. It’s about head-hunting. You should always be enhancing your network and cultivating relationships. At any given time, you should know who’s operating in your market. Who are the standouts? What is it that makes them a fit for your business? Is there an opportunity to bring them into your team and grow them over time?
Property management businesses go through multiple iterations as they grow and recruitment needs to support this growth. There will be times when your agency expands and will require more people. When this happens, you don’t want to find yourself on the back foot. Having a clear understanding of your business direction today means you can anticipate who you will need onboard tomorrow.
It never stops
Recruitment isn’t a one-time thing. It doesn’t stop when someone joins your team. Retention and development are key aspects of recruitment and you need to create a culture of accountability.
What’s the key to a high performing team? Most business leaders will tell you its regular and open communication – but why do we find it so hard to do? Do we not have enough time to communicate? Or do we simply underestimate the value of communication with our team when everything is running along smoothly? Whatever the case may be, the key to a high performing workplace lies in the way we communicate with our team – because for any communication to be effective, it needs to be regular, scheduled and two-way.
It may sound complicated and time consuming, but it’s not.
You need to make a schedule and stick to it. It’s all well and good to plan to catch up with your team members at some point during the week, but the reality is it never works out that way. Schedule a time to catch up with each team member you manage and stick to it. This creates an expectation that you’ll both make yourselves available at the scheduled time.
A quality one-on-one is a conversation, not an interrogation. Make sure there’s space for your team member to raise questions and concerns of their own. A conversation now could prevent bigger issues down the track, so take the time to listen. And make sure you don’t take on all issues and challenges yourself. Make sure you provide your team members with the information and support they need to deal with problems themselves.
And don’t fall into a ‘wait and see’ mentality. It’s human nature to avoid difficult conversations about potential issues, but doing nothing in the hopes that things will get better can create risks for your business down the track if the smaller unspoken issues escalate into larger ones requiring performance management. Maybe some additional training is needed. Or perhaps there’s an opportunity for personal coaching to nip the issue in the bud.
Finally, always acknowledge your team members who are doing well. It’s sad but true – we often put aside meeting with team members who are performing well in favour of meeting with those who aren’t. But high-performing team members need to be communicated with just as much as those who are underperforming – possibly even more so. After all, you don’t want to lose them. Even more so, you don’t want to risk them becoming under-performers.
One-on-one meetings are about connecting. It’s not about using a big stick to keep everyone in line. By actively investing in your team, you’ll see the results.
Remember, recruitment doesn’t start when someone leaves. It’s a neverending process that limits the need for the hasty hiring of lacklustre talent and it saves you time and money.
Recruitment gives you control and should be happening constantly. Even if you think you have the perfect team in place, you never know when it might change. So always be on the lookout for your next great team member.