They say that in business the people you partner with are your biggest assets - and the staff you employ can be a huge aspect of success, especially in real estate. Despite this many real estate agencies spend relatively little time really thrashing out and developing their recruitment process - a mistake that can lead to a significant amount of wasted time and money.

Last month Manos and Maria sat down with Head of HR at Eview Group Julie Anderson to discuss the many nuances and stages within the delicate process of recruitment - and the importance of getting it right each and every time. Since Julie came on board and radically updated our approach our success rate with new recruits has been phenomenal. Here we share valuable insights from our recent video - opening up about the steps we stick to stringently when recruiting any role within our company.

1/ Know your requirements - create an attractive ad

The process begins with knowing your requirements - as clearly identifying who and what you need is essential when building an ad that will attract exactly the type of person you are looking for. Make it exciting and different to set it apart from the rest - as sifting through ads can get boring for candidates. Create interest and give them a feel for company culture - use mixed media (videos, photos) to give them a taste of what day to day life is like working as part of your team. Don't be afraid to be specific about the qualities you're looking for - and the documents you need applicants to submit. Always ask for a cover letter - as this provides a great summary of a person. Great written communication is what we're looking for here - good spelling, impeccable grammar. Can they be understood clearly? Remember, this is the quality of written communication they're bringing into your company, so you're effectively screening them at an earlier stage which avoids disappointment and wasted time later on. For this reason both the resume and cover letter should be heavily scrutinised before moving on to the next stage.

2/ Sift through resumes and create a shortlist

One of Julie's key mantras is "The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour" - and this is evident throughout her recruitment process. It's perhaps most relevant at this stage - when determining how a candidate's past roles, training, successes and struggles may influence their productivity and suitability within your business.

"Look for people with drive and proven successes in the past. Does their resume provide evidence of steady employment?" Says Julie. Have they given it time in the roles they've had? Have they worked well with others and adapted to changing climates within companies? Three, four years or more is very attractive - as is any progression shown within the organisation during that time period. This says a lot about a person and their ambition and abilities.

80% of resumes don't make the first screening - so this should give you an idea of the importance of this screening process and the ruthlessness and results focus required even at this early stage. If very little work, effort and attention has gone into what is effectively the first impression you as an employer receives, what does this say about how they will be once they join your team? 80% sounds like a lot - and Maria openly admits that at first being so brutal made her nervous. But it's a highly effective and efficient methodology that has helped us to build a strong, successful team of passionate professionals.

3/ A preliminary phone call is essential

Most of the people we recruit are going to be dealing with clients over the telephone - so this is another great skills assessment that seamlessly integrates into the recruitment process. You would think that people would be careful about how they answer the phone when applying for jobs - but it's not always the case! It's important that candidates are mindful of their phone manner both for incoming and outgoing calls. This is a great thing to do and a very easy way to get a feel for how professional and personable a candidate is. It offers a valuable glimpse into how clients will perceive them - so see how the conversation flows. "I usually know from the phone conversation who I'm going to progress." Says Julie. "Usually at this stage more come through to face-to-face interview."

Start by asking what their aspirations are to determine how aligned they are with the position. Do their short and long term ambitions fit well with the role? Sometimes they'll tell you what they think you want to hear - but that isn't going to be right for you or for them in the long run, so try to probe further and really get to the bottom of what it is they want from the role. Maybe they're qualified but the long-term passion has gone - making job dissatisfaction further down the line likely. Similarly someone with drive and experience who is lacking in formal education might be an excellent candidate for progression and growth with the company. Also be mindful of any unsuitable roles they may have held in the past, and use this as an opportunity to determine how they handle certain situations and how good their ability to problem solve may be. It's important to be forgiving if short stints are present in their resume - but there's a right way and a wrong way to convey negative experiences with past employers.

4/ The face-to-face interview

This is where the majority of people start - which is what often leads to unsuitable selections, frustrating mistakes and wasted resources. The preparatory steps of 1 through to 3 are key - as these set you up perfectly for the face-to-face interview, which you can conduct with confidence given the information you already possess about each candidate. Often more than one face-to-face interview is necessary. Following the first you can introduce other people into the interview process and progress the conversation with directors and other members of the team.

5/ Testing

The fifth and final step is also often missed - but it's important. We like this element because it puts what we're being told to the test and ensures that what we've learnt is factual. It's good for the person and the company, as it reaffirms the suitability of the selection on so many levels. We test each candidate in a comprehensive and holistic manner depending on the role they have been selected for - a diverse assessment which also helps us to identify where a perfect candidate may need additional training. Candidates are also subject to a profiling and personality test using Agent Dynamics, which has been specifically designed for real estate. It's interesting to see what that person gravitates towards. What do they really enjoy doing? What makes them tick? Each role within real estate will have totally different skills, interests and passions attached to it - so the personality test is very enlightening and interesting and highlights where someone will fit in well within the company. Fulfilment is important - and finding where a person's strengths are and what type environment they thrive in is key for both candidate and company.

Inspired? Head over to Manos and Maria's Facebook page for more insider insights and industry tips and tricks.





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